New Orleans Saints ownership holding up New Orleans Pelicans stadium upgrades due to missed payments


The New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans are both in offseason mode, so no games are being played at the Superdome or the Smoothie King Center. However, the offseason is also the perfect time to renovate and upgrade sports arenas.

Unfortunately, now the Smoothie King Center’s upgrades are on hold due to Saints owner Gayle Benson’s refusal to pay $11.5 million.

According to Christian Clark and Jeff Duncan of, the Saints have not paid their share for Superdome upgrades since December.

However, while the initial article poses this problem as a cash-flow issue for Benson, the Saints say they “have no issue with making the current payment of $11.5 million, or for that matter, the remaining balance. We have, however, asked for certain documentation over an extended period and we have not received that documentation.”

Further Superdome renovations are expected to cost $58 million, but the Saints’ portion of those payments amount to $41 million.

The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED) has voted to pause its plans to upgrade Smoothie King Center until something changes on the payment front.

“Until Benson pays what she owes on the Superdome renovation, the study to determine what types of upgrades the Smoothie King Center needs will not move forward.”

LSED’s official statement on Smoothie King Center upgrades

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