METAIRIE, La. -- The Superdome will officially have a new name in 2021.
The New Orleans Saints confirmed that their naming rights agreement with Mercedes-Benz will not be renewed after it expires next year. Greg Bensel, the Saints' senior vice president of communications, told Forbes that the team is seeking a new partner that will not only lend its name to the legendary building, but also partner on initiatives to aid the Gulf Coast region.
"The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a globally iconic building that brings a tremendous valuable future for a naming rights partner," Bensel said in a statement. "As with the philosophy of the Saints organization and the stature of the building, it will serve to represent our city, state and region as a leader to better our community, to be a more than just a naming rights opportunity, but a real partner, just as Mercedes-Benz was. And in that partnership, the goal will be to bring positive change to our region, our city and state, through a number of initiatives."
The 45-year-old building never had a title sponsor until it inked a 10-year deal with the German automaker in 2011 that was worth a reported $50 million-$60 million.
A split has seemed likely, however, since Mercedes-Benz also signed a 27-year naming rights deal with the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium that opened in 2017.
The Saints shouldn't have too much trouble attracting new partners, however, since the Superdome regularly hosts so many major events in addition to Saints home games.
The Super Bowl was originally scheduled to make its 11th trip to New Orleans in 2024. However, that game probably will be pushed back a year or two because the NFL's planned 17-game schedule created a conflict with Mardi Gras.
The Superdome is also scheduled to host the NCAA Men's Final Four in 2022. And it hosted the college football national championship game in January. The building, which was famously revitalized after being ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is scheduled to undergo another $450 million in renovations between now and 2024.
Over the years, the Superdome has also hosted a visit from the pope, a Republican presidential convention, a heavyweight title fight featuring Muhammad Ali, and a college basketball championship game featuring Michael Jordan.