DALLAS -- Tuesday’s $346 million negotiated refunding by the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District is the final stage in the post-Katrina process to restore and ensure the financial viability of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Restructuring the district’s debt is the culmination of an effort that has included renovations and repairs to the Superdome and elimination of annual retention payments to New Orleans’ professional sports teams, said Doug Thornton, senior vice president of SMG Services, which operates the Superdome and the New Orleans Arena for the state-created district.

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