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The Superdome Is Back

New Orleans stadium opens for football

September 25 , 2006

the New Orleans Superdome
The first event in the Superdome will be the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons game on September 25, 2006. (Photo: Alex Brandon/AP Photo)

By Tiffany Chaparro

September 25, 2006

When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast last August, the Louisiana Superdome sheltered approximately 30,000 people. More than a year later, the Superdome is back to its original business: football. On Monday night, the New Orleans Saints will play their first game back on home turf to a sold-out audience. The event marks a new beginning for the devastated city.

“We want to make this stadium home again,” said Saints defensive end Charles Grant.

More than 68,000 people are expected at Monday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons, and it promises to be exciting. Both teams are undefeated—each has a 2-0 record. In addition, Reggie Bush—the Saints’ latest draft pick—will play for the first time at home. Visitors to the Superdome will also get to check out the stadium’s recent upgrades, including a new lighting system and scoreboards.

"It's a celebration of life, back in our city," said Beverly Broussard. Broussard has been a season ticket holder for many years.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Superdome was a refuge for New Orleans residents who did not evacuate the city. The stadium soon became a symbol of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. After the recent $185 million makeover, though, many citizens hope it will become a reason for people to return to the city.

"I realize that it may be hard for some people to come back here," said Kathleen Blanco, the Governor of Louisiana. "But I believe that the very best thing those people can do for their inner healing is to walk this walk again, and let those memories fall out."

Monday night’s game is shaping up to be a huge event. Former President George H.W. Bush will flip the coin to determine which team will get the opening kickoff. U2, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Green Day will perform. And it looks like the excitement is just beginning. For the first time, the Saints have sold out all the seats in the dome for the rest of the regular season.

Critical Thinking Question

Read today's news story, and then answer the following question.

The Superdome is Back

How do you think the reopening of the Superdome will affect the people of New Orleans?

Join a discussion of this question on our bulletin board.

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