The Louisiana Superdome, for now still scheduled to host an NFL regular-season opener Sunday between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, appeared to be in good condition after the worst of Hurricane Gustav had passed. That's according to the stadium's operator.
Doug Thornton, vice president of SMG, says both the dome and New Orleans Arena are in good shape. He says outside the buildings are some downed fences and light poles and ripped signs, but nothing structural and nothing that would affect the building's interior.
Thornton spearheaded the $200 million, eight-month renovation of the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina. He says a more thorough inspection still needs to be done.
The stadium had yet to lose normal power as of Monday afternoon.
While the dome may be in good shape, whether or not the Saints play there depends on several factors that may be out of stadium management's control.
Thornton says that includes:
-- When the city allows residents to return and whether suppliers can ship in needed food and drink for concession stands, suites and lounges.
If officials decide it's not practical to play the game in New Orleans this Sunday, it's unclear what the backup plan would be.