NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Mercedes-Benz Superdome found itself on the National Register of Historic Places thanks to a school project by a Tulane student.
Amanda Keith was researching the process for submitting a building to the Register and decided to take her project a step further and follow through with the submission for the Superdome.
It's an honor for buildings that are typically 50 years or older, but the Superdome got in at age 40 because it was considered exceptionally significant.
It was reportedly thought that the designation could inhibit, if not create minor roadblocks, for the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, the state entity that owns and runs the Superdome, but John Stubbs, the Director of Preservation Studies at Tulane University, said it shouldn't hinder renovations or progress on the Dome.
Stubbs said the only holdup would come if the Superdome was using federal funds for a project, and even then it wouldn't likely be held up by the federal committee, which he said is fairly lenient.
Keith was proud of her submission and thinks it could actually benefit the Superdome, making it eligible for tax incentives because of its historical designation.
"It's not going to slow them down, it will maybe have some incentives in the future if they want to apply for any federal tax credits for any restoration work that they would need to do, but other than that I think it's good for the building," Keith said.
The LSED, which learned of the designation only recently, released a statement about the achievement:
"We are honored that the Superdome has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We were recently advised of the designation and will continue to investigate the effects, if any, on our ongoing obligation to maintain the Superdome as a world-class venue. Our evaluation is focused on ensuring that the Superdome's operations and future capital maintenance and improvements are not impacted as we continue the stadium's legacy as an icon of both architectural and cultural significance for the State of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Region."
"They should definitely take it as an honor this building, that's not even 50 years old, it's not exceptionally old, but it's an engineering marvel. When it was first built it was the largest single-span dome in the country," Keith said.
In its 40 years, the Superdome has hosted multiple Super Bowls, collegiate championships in football and basketball, memorable boxing matches like the Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks bout, and even the Pope.