The best of the Superdome
- Published: Jan. 28, 2013 at 02:08 p.m.
- Updated: Jan. 28, 2013 at 05:23 p.m.
Super Bowl XLVII will be the seventh Super Bowl held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but Super Bowls aren't the only major events the signature sporting venue has hosted.
The Superdome originally opened on Sept. 28, 1975 and cost $134 million to build. It is the only domed stadium built from that era that is still in regular use; other domed stadiums built in that time are the Silverdome, the Kingdome and the Astrodome.
Showdown of coaching titans
On Dec. 31, 1975, Alabama beat Penn State 13-6 in first Sugar Bowl game played in the Superdome. This was also the first college football game played in the Superdome. The game was coached by Alabama's Bear Bryant and Penn State's Joe Paterno.
Doomsday in the dome
Super Bowl XII was held in the Superdome. It was the first Super Bowl played in the Superdome. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Denver Broncos, 27-10. Cowboys defensive tackle Randy White and defensive end Harvey Martin were named the only co-Super Bowl MVPs in the game's history.
Another title for 'The Greatest'
On Sept. 15, 1978, Muhammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to win the world heavyweight boxing title for the third time in his career, the first fighter ever to do so. Following his victory, Ali retired from boxing only to make a brief comeback two years later.
Monumental triumph for the Silver and Black
Super Bowl XV was held in the Superdome. It was the second Super Bowl played in the Superdome. The Oakland Raiders beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10. Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett threw three touchdown passes, including an 80-yarder to Kenny King, as the Raiders became the first wild-card team to win the Super Bowl. Plunkett was named Super Bowl MVP.
Set in Stones
On Dec. 5, 1981, a Rolling Stones concert in the Superdome set a world record for attendance, attracted more than 87,500 spectators.
Tar Heels reach the top
The 1982 NCAA Final Four was held in the Superdome. The championship game was between Patrick Ewing's Georgetown Hoyas and the North Carolina Tar Heels, led by James Worthy, Sam Perkins and a young Michael Jordan. Jordan, the North Carolina freshman, whom many still called Mike Jordan, hit one of the Final Four's most famous jump shots from about 16 feet on the left side with 15 seconds remaining, giving North Carolina a 63-62 lead over Georgetown for the national championship.
Shuffling to glory in the dome
Super Bowl XX was held in the Superdome. It was the third Super Bowl played in the Superdome. The Chicago Bears beat the New England Patriots, 46-10. The Bears, seeking their first NFL title since 1963, scored a then-Super Bowl-record 46 points. The Bears' league-leading defense tied a Super Bowl record for sacks (seven) and limited the Patriots to a record-low 7 rushing yards.
Pope visits New Orleans
On Sept. 11, 1987, Pope John Paul II addressed 73,000 youths in the Superdome.
The 1987 NCAA Final Four was held in the Superdome. Indiana, coached by Bob Knight, won the national title with a 74-73 victory in the final over Syracuse, coached by Jim Boeheim. Keith Smart of Indiana hit the winner in the final seconds and was named Most Outstanding Player. The tournament also featured a "Cinderella team" in the Final Four, Providence College led by then-unknown Rick Pitino.
Four more years
George H.W. Bush was nominated for election at 1988 Republican National Convention in the Superdome.
49ers dominate in the dome
Super Bowl XXIV was held in the Superdome. It was the fourth Super Bowl played in the Superdome. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Denver Broncos, 55-10. San Francisco won its fourth Super Bowl. San Francisco's 55 points broke the previous Super Bowl scoring record of 46 points by the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX, which was also held in the Superdome. San Francisco scored touchdowns on four of its six first-half possessions to build a 27-3 lead at halftime.
Host to Webber's gaffe
The 1993 NCAA Final Four held in the Superdome. North Carolina, coached by Dean Smith, won the national title with a 77-71 victory in the championship game over Michigan, coached by Steve Fisher. Donald Williams of North Carolina was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. The most memorable play in the championship game came in the last seconds as Michigan's Chris Webber tried to call a timeout while double-teamed by North Carolina. Michigan had already used all of its timeouts, so Webber's gaffe resulted in a technical foul.
The Pack is back
Super Bowl XXXI was held in the Superdome. It was the fifth Super Bowl played in the Superdome. The Green Bay Packers defeated the New England Patriots, 35-21. Desmond Howard returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown while Brett Favre threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Packers won their first Super Bowl in 29 years. Howard, en route to garnering the MVP trophy, established a Super Bowl record with 244 total return yards.
Super Bowl XXXVI was held in the Superdome. It was the sixth Super Bowl played in the Superdome. The New England Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams, 20-17, in one of the greatest upsets in NFL history. Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal as time expired gave the Patriots their first Super Bowl title. The Rams outgained the Patriots 427-267 in total yards, but the Patriots forced three turnovers, resulting in 17 points, while committing no turnovers.
This was the first Super Bowl played after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and featured many patriotic themes, including a memorable halftime performance by U2.
Home for hoops
NCAA Final Four was held in the Superdome in 2003. Syracuse, coached by Jim Boeheim, earned a 81-78 victory in the final over Kansas, which was coached by Roy Williams. Syracuse's Carmelo Anthony was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Saban stars at Sugar Bowl
Nick Saban's LSU Tigers defeated the Oklahoma Sooners, 21-14, to win the BCS National Championship for the 2003 season at the 2004 Sugar Bowl in the Superdome. Following that victory, Saban left LSU to coach the Miami Dolphins, only to return to the college ranks three years later with Alabama. For the 2011 national championship game, Saban led the Crimson Tide to a 21-0 victory over LSU at the Superdome.
Before the storm
The last event in the Superdome before Hurricane Katrina was a preseason game on Aug. 26, 2005, with the New Orleans Saints hosting the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens won 21-6. Kyle Boller was the Ravens' starting quarterback, and Aaron Brooks started for the Saints.
Rebuilding the dome
Since 2006, $336 million has been spent on renovations of the Superdome. In addition to repairing the roof and interior after Hurricane Katrina, the stadium has expanded the plaza level concourse, replacement and reconfiguration of the 3,100 east and west plaza-level seats, the addition of three elevators, and the addition of premium clubs.
An emotional return to the dome
On Sept. 25, 2006, the New Orleans Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 23-3, in first game back in the Superdome following the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The emotional victory has been immortalized outside the Superdome with a statue of the game's hero -- Steve Gleason -- making the pivotal play.
Reaching new heights
In the 2006 playoffs, the New Orleans Saints defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-24, to advance to NFC Championship Game for the first time in team history.
On Oct. 20, 2011, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome "flipped the switch" on a new exterior LED lighting system. The new system is incredibly sustainable and environmentally responsible -- a bulb will not need to be replaced for 45 years. The energy it takes to power the lighting system is the same amount of energy used to power a small home.