NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The New Orleans Saints are preparing to look for a new naming rights holder for the Superdome.
Mercedez-Benz has held naming rights under a 10-year agreement that expires in July 2021 and Saints have said this week that the German automaker does not intend to extend the deal.
In 2015, Mercedes-Benz also entered into a 27-year naming rights contract with the home stadium of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, which opened in 2017.
''Each contract came about for different reasons rather than a desire to have two stadiums,'' the Mercedes-Benz public relations department stated in an email to The Associated Press. ''The Mercedes-Benz Superdome was an opportunity that came to us during a time when we were trying to channel business and funds to New Orleans for the post- (Hurricane) Katrina rebuilding a decade ago.''
The statement went on to say that buying naming rights to Mercedez-Benz Stadium represented an opportunity to mark the company's decision five years ago to move its North American headquarters to Atlanta.
Mercedes-Benz said it is ''fully prepared to honor'' its current contract with the Saints.
''That said, we understand that the Saints need to plan for their future and we fully support them in exploring their options,'' the statement said.
The Superdome currently is undergoing $450 million in renovations and is slated to host the NCAA men's basketball Final Four in 2022 and the Super Bowl in 2024.
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