Superdome exhibit opens at HOF


Mementos from Saints-Falcons game arrive in Canton

A special display commemorating the reopening of the Superdome in New Orleans officially opened at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“The Hall of Fame joins the NFL as well as the millions of fans nationwide who celebrated the return of football to New Orleans and the Superdome,” commented Steve Perry, President/Executive Director of the Hall of Fame.  “The stadium’s renovation has served as a symbol of the hard working community that continues to fuel the revitalization of New Orleans following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina last year.”

Among the artifacts donated by the New Orleans Saints from last Monday night’s game include: the coin flipped by former President George H.W. Bush in the pre-game toss, the football used for the opening kickoff, the jersey worn by Saints wide receiver Joe Horn, a lithographed team signed football, and a commemorative towel distributed to fans who attended the game on September 25.

The newest items are joined by several other mementos recently acquired by the Hall of Fame. One such piece is the hard hat worn by Tom Keller who was the Project Manager for the Superdome’s roof replacement.  Keller, a passionate Green Bay Packers fan, added a Saints’ logo to his yellow hard hat adorned with a Packers logo.  During a media event this past summer, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue suggested to Keller that the hat should be in the Hall of Fame as a symbol of all the diverse groups that came together to rebuild the city and the dome.  Also included is a shovel, loaned to the Hall by former Superdome PR/publications sub-contractor Jules Coco, from the Superdome’s original groundbreaking ceremony held on May 5, 1970.

Another unique item included is a Super Bowl XXXVI ticket autographed by kicker Adam Vinatieri. New Orleans resident Mike Barnes was given the ticket by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who at the time was the league’s COO.  Barnes had served as Goodell’s driver during the Super Bowl festivities.  Barnes stored the keepsake in a plastic container in a shed in his backyard.  Hurricane Katrina destroyed the shed and Barnes feared that the ticket was lost.  He found it miraculously the next day in a crawl space under his home.

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