As for Mercedes-Benz and the Superdome, I say good riddance.

The proper Mercedes-Benz Superdome always sounded awkward, both phonetically and culturally.

So now the German luxury auto manufacturer has announced it will not renew its naming rights option after it runs out in July 2021.

And not a moment too soon, says I.

They never seem to, but naming rights should reflect the feel and culture of the stadium's home.

Mercedes-Benz Superdome failed miserably.

All that name shouted out was "Tom Benson's Dealership!"

But, as far as the Saints are concerned, Mercedes-Benz is getting out for all the right reasons — it's North American headquarters are located in Atlanta, which is home to the Falcons.

The Saints and the Falcons, who play in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, don't need to be sharing anything in common, except maybe hatred for each other.

For that matter, there's a Mercedes-Benz factory right outside of Tuscaloosa, the home of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

At any rate, the dome's naming rights are up for auction again. If it goes like it does in most cities for most stadiums, it will end up being some multi-merged conglomerate of random letters that stand for some dot.com that you never heard but is worth more than the combined GDP of South America.

But New Orleans is not most cities.

So we can dream that the dome will get a worthy name that reflects the city and its people.

Maybe the Pat O'Brien's Superdome or Cafe du Monde Superdome.

Better yet, The Lucky Dog Superdome has a certain ring to it, and I've even heard suggestions of the Big A** Beers Superdome.

Then, on Thursday, there was a late entry. The first allegedly making an offer to put up actual cash money.

It was from an "adult" website that you need to act like you've never heard of.

The offer was for $15 million, although the email I got was somewhat vague as to how many years that would cover. The Benzers were in for $60 million over 10 years.

The email pitch read: New Orleans "always been synonymous with nightlife and entertainment. It comes alive at night, with people wandering the neon-hued promenade of one the most famous nightlife strips in the world — Bourbon Street."

I wouldn't hold my breath. But if the Stripchat Superdome works for you, go for it.

And that's all fun and good.

But this is a serious matter.

It needs to be treated as such.

The Superdome will always be in New Orleans and the Saints will always be the major tenant.

Fine. I get that.

But let us never forget that before Mercedes-Benz stepped in, it was known as the Louisiana Superdome, which is a state — our state, conveniently enough.

And the Superdome, by any other name, belongs to Louisiana as much or more than it belongs to New Orleans.

The state originally built it — way over budget, of course, and well behind schedule.

But it was also one of those rare Louisiana boondoggles where the right palms got greased or something, and it worked out to be some of the best money the state ever overspent for something.

It turned out to be worth it, maybe a bargain, maybe in spite of itself.

By almost any parameter it has been a raging success for the state, for all manner of Super Bowls and Final Fours and Sugar Bowls.

But it's not just New Orleans.

In our state, high school football players begin each season with one lofty goal: reaching the playoffs, where the focus is, as I once heard in a marvelous post-victory song and dance on the Washington-Marion sideline: "We don't wanna go home, we wanna to go to the Superdome!"

So it's not just the Saints.

It's Louisiana.

The Superdome also seems to be conveniently handy every time LSU is ready to win a football national championship.

Or when Louisiana-Lafayette is ready to go bowling.

So the new name should not just reflect New Orleans but the entire state's attachment (and investment) to the joint.

There are several worthy options, I'm sure.

The Popeyes Superdome has been suggested, and that would work.

The Slap Ya Mama Superdome probably wouldn't work because it was tried once as the Slap Ya Mama Red Zone during some Saints' preseason games and the NFL nixed the idea as offensive to domestic violence sensibilities.

So maybe the Boudreaux's Butt Paste Superdome or … OK, maybe not.

To me it's pretty easy.

To me there's only one choice — and I'm dead serious.

So I give you the … drum roll, please, the … Tabasco Superdome.

Tell me that doesn't just shout out "Louisiana Proud!" from every nook and bayou.

And yet it still has global appeal and recognition for when the really big events are inside.

For that matter, how nice would that corporate logo look plastered on the roof of the dome?

Let's make it happen.


Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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