New Orleans and the Superdome

New Orleans is a city in southern Louisiana, located on the Mississippi River. Most of the city is situated on the east bank, between the river to the south and Lake Pontchartrain to the north. New Orleans, with a population of 336,644, is the largest city in Louisiana and one of the principal cities of the South. It was established on the high ground nearest the mouth of the Mississippi, which is 110 miles downstream. New Orleans experiences mild winters and hot, humid summers. Temperatures in December average 61 degrees F, and in July average 82 degrees F.

A Brief History

New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, and named for the regent of France, Philippe II, duc d'Orleans. It remained a French colony until 1763, when it was transferred to the Spanish. In 1800, Spain ceded it back to France; in 1803, New Orleans, along with the entire Louisiana Purchase, was sold by Napoleon I to the United States. It was the site of the Battle of New Orleans (1815) in the War of 1812. During the Civil War, the city was besieged by Union ships under Admiral David Farragut, and it fell to the Union on April 25, 1862.

New Orleans Culture

The population of New Orleans reflects its cosmopolitan past. The Cajuns, or Acadians, are descendants of French emigres expelled from Nova Scotia (or Acadia) during the 18th century. They speak their own French dialect, which remains prevalent in New Orleans today. The Port of New Orleans is one of the world's largest and ranks first in the United States in tonnage handled. Major exports are grain, cotton, paper, machinery, and steel. The city's economy is dominated by the aluminum, food processing, and tourism industries.

The most famous annual tourist event is Mardi Gras, which is celebrated the week before the start of Lent. The Superdome, the home of the 2010 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, attracts numerous major sporting events and is a key element in maintaining the city's position as a leading convention center. New Orleans is noted for its fine restaurants, its Dixieland jazz, and its numerous cultural and educational facilities. Tulane (1829), Dillard (1869), and Loyola (1849) universities are among the major institutions of higher learning located within the city. The French Quarter, or Vieux Carre (French for "old square"), is the site of the original city and contains many of the historic and architecturally significant buildings for which New Orleans is famous.

Click here for a full look at the history and heritage of New Orleans.

The Louisiana Superdome

Often referred to simply as the Superdome, the Louisiana Superdome is a leading sports and exhibition facility located within the Central Business District of New Orleans. Opened in 1975, the Superdome is the home of Tulane University Football, the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

The Superdome has hosted 3 BCS National Championship Games (2000, 2004, and 2008) and 4 NCAA Final Fours (1982, 1987, 1993, 2003). Furthermore, the Superdome has hosted 6 Super Bowls (more than any other venue), and is schedule to host Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.

For more information on the Louisiana Superdome, click here.