Super Bowl XLVII guide: Sky Sports NFL looks at the New Orleans Superdome and Crescent City
Sky Sports takes a look at the city of New Orleans ahead of staging its tenth Super Bowl.
By Paul Higham in New Orleans - Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: January 31, 2013 8:12am
New Orleans stages the Super Bowl for a record-equalling tenth time on Sunday, but this will be more special than any other given the recent history of the city and their battle to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a massive imperious structure, even if is not the most aesthetically pleasing from the outside, you cannot help but be impressed once you make your way through the maze of tunnels and emerge on the field.
Opened: August 1975
Height: 273 feet
Total area: 52 acres
Area of roof: 9.7 acres
Dome diameter: 680 feet
We were lucky enough to get to walk onto the field of the home of the New Orleans Saints for Media Day and you can only imagine the atmosphere that will await the players come Super Bowl Sunday.
Sadly you can't help but cast your mind back to images of thousands of refugees camping out at the Superdome in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, and it's still hard to believe given the condition of the stadium now - after a $336million revamp was needed.
The massive roof of the dome spans out to almost 10 acres of land, enabling over 73,000 seats to be used in the stadium, which was opened back in 1975 as the Louisiana Superdome.
The Superdome dominates the city of New Orleans, and is conveniently located for easy walking from either downtown or the French Quarter, where no doubt plenty of fans will spend the time before and after Super Bowl Sunday either celebrating or drowning their sorrows.
And there's certainly plenty of places to either celebrate or commiserate in this party town, which is also staging Mardi Gras for the first time at the same time as the Super Bowl, and the atmosphere will be even more electric than usual.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu himself told us that the event was much bigger than just staging the Super Bowl again after 11 years, but it was a showcase for New Orleans to show the world how it has bounced back from Katrina.
A downtown hotel once a shattered symbol of the hurricane damage now has a huge Vince Lombardi trophy adorning the revamped exterior, while the roof of the Superdome once ripped apart by devastating winds is once again brilliant white.
As Landrieu said himself: "This great city is back, and this Super Bowl is our time to show that from 15 feet underwater we are back on top of the world."
And that's exactly what New Orleans is doing. Official Mardi Gras may have been pushed back a week but there are still some parades going on, while the French Quarter and Bourbon Street offer food drink and jazz long into the night.
Creole and Cajun spices dominate the eating options with shrimp also in abundance, there's even an alligator burger or two going begging for those willing to try.
Indianapolis last year provided a superb atmosphere thanks to the locals' delight at staging the game for the first time, and this year will have the same result for a very different reason though, as New Orleans resident will rightly feel proud at their comeback from such a disaster.