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 Super Times at the Superdome

 - Max Levy 

Every promotion had one arena that was the center ring, the main stage, and the place where everything happened. In the WWF it was Madison Square Garden. In Georgia major cards occurred at The Omni. In Jarrett Promotions the Mid-South Coliseum was the centerpiece. For the wrestlers of Mid-South all roads led to the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Before we look at the great matches and events at that took place in The Superdome, let’s first understand why the building was built in the first place and what necessitated its use for professional wrestling. 

The mid 1950s to mid 1960s was not an easy time for New Orleans. During the struggles of the Civil Rights movement, the state of Louisiana retrenched further into segregation and passed a law in 1956 that outlawed racially mixed sporting events. This hurt the entire state’s reputation and after a few years particularly sent the Sugar Bowl in to a tailspin. By the mid1960s the Civil Rights Act, pressure from the movement itself, and Supreme Court legislation had overturned many segregation laws. New Orleans was hoping to shake off the negative image and reinvent itself as a destination for tourism. Conventions became a part of the agenda and to that end the city needed a suitable venue to attract these conventions as well as other high profile events. At the same time the city had gained a new NFL team in the Saints, wanted to provide a new stadium that could replace the increasingly dowdy Tulane Stadium as a home for this team. Tulane University’s football team would also move to The Superdome, as it would also serve as a new, more vibrant site for the annual Sugar Bowl. Construction began in 1971 and the Louisiana Superdome opened in August 1975. While hosting pro wrestling was not one of the stated purposes for building the Superdome, the new facility wound up instantly became an attractive venue for local promoters. 

The opportunity that The Superdome provided initially Leroy McGuirk and later Bill Watts was to draw larger crowds than the traditional New Orleans venue would ever allow. The Municipal Auditorium could seat no more than about 7,500 people. While it provided a quaint, intimate atmosphere there simply were not enough seats to satisfy demand, especially for major cards. With a population of 500,000 within the city itself and 1,500,000 in the entire metropolitan area, 7,500 seats just wouldn’t do.  More...

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