WWNO skyline header graphic
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Local Newscast
Hear the latest from the WWNO/WRKF Newsroom.

New Orleans will see construction frenzy ahead of Super Bowl, leaders say

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell speaks about the state’s Super Bowl preparations inside the Saenger Theatre on June 4, 2025. Gov. Jeff Landry and other state officials also outlined plans.
Matt Bloom
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell speaks about the state’s Super Bowl preparations inside the Saenger Theatre on June 4, 2025. Gov. Jeff Landry and other state officials also outlined plans.

Lights on the Crescent City Connection bridge. Art murals downtown. Long-overdue sidewalk repairs. Those are just a few of the projects underway ahead of next year’s Super Bowl LIX game at the Caesar’s Superdome in New Orleans.

State and local leaders, including Gov. Jeff Landry and Mayor LaToya Cantrell, outlined a long to-do list on Tuesday that they promised would help prepare the city to host thousands of attendees flocking to the big game in February 2025. It’s the 11th time the NFL’s championship is scheduled to take place in the city.

The state will have a heavier hand in planning efforts between this summer and next February than in past iterations of the game, Landry said, adding that his administration will provide funding for street repairs, construction and state trooper support between now and Feb. 9.

“By the time we put this Super Bowl on, New Orleans will be one of the safest cities in the country,” Landry said.

City improvements already underway

Leaders on Tuesday highlighted a wide range of construction projects already in the works. Mayor Cantrell dubbed the frenzy of construction as the “summer of the Super Bowl.”

She pointed to TSA checkpoints at Louis Armstrong International Airport that recently began accepting digital IDs through state-run phone apps, which are designed to help move travelers through security faster. The New Orleans Police Department is moving into a new headquarters near the Superdome. The city also approved a “notice to proceed” with construction on the downtown site of the 2020 Hard Rock Hotel collapse.

“We will be ready for the Super Bowl, no doubt about it,” Cantrell said. “Once completed, these projects will not only shine for the Super Bowl, but they will enhance the quality of life citywide for years to come.”

Overall, the New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee, the chief local planning body for the event, has identified more than 300 public works repair projects it hopes to complete before next February. Broken lights, roads, sidewalks and water leaks are top categories.

A presentation slide shows before and after photos of the Crescent City Connection lighting project. The bridge's light system was destroyed during Hurricane Ida.
Matt Bloom
A presentation slide shows before and after photos of the Crescent City Connection lighting project. The bridge's light system was destroyed during Hurricane Ida.

At least 75 new light projects will go in the French Quarter, along area interstates and the Crescent City Connection bridge. Most repairs were on officials’ radars pre-Super Bowl, but hadn’t received funding or were caught up in red tape, said Michael Hecht, president of Greater New Orleans Inc., who is coordinating infrastructure projects.

“The Super Bowl is serving as a forcing function,” he said.

The total price tag for the city’s upgrades is estimated to be between $40 and $60 million, Hecht said. Sources include existing city and state operating budgets, legislative allocations, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation and other private donors.

Other focuses include hiring local artists to paint massive new street art murals downtown, fixing pumps at the Sewerage and Water Board, installing more 5G cell towers throughout the city and a coordinated effort to clear homeless encampments under interstates.

The city has already cleared at least three encampments and helped residents find supportive housing, Hecht said. More sweeps are planned, he added.

“They pose a safety threat,” he said. “And finding permanent supportive housing for our unhoused population is simply a humanitarian issue.”

Electric power, economic opportunity other key areas of prep

Officials hinted at an exhaustive list of other preparations in the works for the game next February.

The city’s convention center will be transformed into a media staging center for television broadcasters, social media influencers and sports betting companies. The NFL and host committee are training members of its supplier diversity program, which is meant to give local businesses a share of the billions of dollars the Super Bowl brings to the city.

Entergy leaders also reassured attendees that it has built redundancies in its electric grid to prevent another power outage. In 2013, an Entergy sensor caused a temporary outage at the Superdome, which delayed the Super Bowl by 30 minutes.

Gov. Landry on Tuesday said the state-led coordination of many aspects of Super Bowl planning represented an opportunity to test new ways of spending state money.

“My intention is that we use this event as a test on some of the adjustments we need to the overall procedures that will help us appropriate funds into the right hands,” Landry said. “And to make sure that those funds are spent correctly and effectively for the state cutting red tape and all of the bureaucratic issues that has plagued not only the city but the state as well.”

👋 Looks like you could use more news. Sign up for our newsletters.

* indicates required
New Orleans Public Radio News
New Orleans Public Radio Info