Two years after a contract appeared near to keep the Saints football team in New Orleans for decades, Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration is trying to persuade legislative leaders to commit to putting up the cash for Superdome upgrades central to those plans.
The Edwards administration agreed that Louisiana would steer $90 million toward the $450 million renovation project, but much of the financing still needs legislative approval.
The governor’s chief budget adviser, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, is proposing that more than two-thirds of that money come from forgiving outstanding debts owed by the Superdome oversight board, the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District. But that $63 million debt forgiveness plan appears to face problems with the State Bond Commission, the key financial panel that has to approve the debt relief. Among those resistant to the idea is Senate President Page Cortez, who says he will oppose the effort.
The commission is expected to discuss the debt proposal Thursday.