While the start of every football season is exciting, with dreams of potential glory and the promise of action and thrills, perhaps no season started with
as much fanfare as the 1975 season, with the Saints playing for the first time in the newly completed Superdome.
The opening event was an exhibition game between the Saints and the Houston Oilers, played on August 9, 1975. The next month, on Sept. 28, the first regular season NFL game played in the Superdome pitted the Saints against the Cincinnati Bengals, and played to a crowd of 52,531 football fans. In an ominous sign of things to come in that ’75 season, the Saints lost both games.
The Superdome was an idea envisioned by local businessman David Dixon in the 1960s. With support from Governor John McKeithen, a constitutional amendment to build the Superdome was voted on in November of ’66, passing by the largest margin in state history.
The NFL awarded New Orleans a franchise – the New Orleans Saints – and bonds were passed
to fund construction.
The Superdome was designed by the New Orleans architectural firm Curtis and Davis; construction began on August 11, 1971. It was officially opened on August 3, ’75, with a final construction cost of $164 million.
The Superdome has hosted an array of events since its opening, including six Super Bowls, an address from Pope John Paul II, a Muhammad Ali/Leon Spinks heavyweight title bout plus countless concerts, events and sports matches of all types. It is also the home of the New Orleans Saints, Tulane University Football, Sugar Bowl, Bayou Classic and Louisiana High School Football Championships.