Cajundome update includes new seats, interactive murals

Cajundome update includes new seats, interactive murals

By Claire Taylor at the Advertiser 

New seating and improved concession booths are some of the features of a major renovation underway inside the Cajundome.

The renovation, which started in May, is proceeding on schedule, maybe even a little ahead of schedule, with an anticipated Dec.1 re-opening date.

While the focus is on the interior of the arena, bids should be in hand in August to resurface the roof of the Cajundome, which is mostly black from dirt and mildew.

The $21 million interior renovation is the first large-scale upgrade of the arena, which opened on Nov. 10, 1985, and hosted its first concert featuring country music legend Kenny Rogers the next day.

The bowl of the arena has been reconfigured and redesigned by Sellers Group architects.

New seating in the ‘Dome is one of the major changes visitors will notice. The old orange seats are being replaced and hand railings are being added along steps from the 200 level on up, Cajundome Director Greg Davis said.

The new seating arrived Monday, Chief Engineer Chad Pellerin said, and installation is expected to begin Tuesday. Cajundome employees removed the seating and are doing other work, such as painting, to cut costs.

First-level telescopic seating — original to the Cajundome and so old it was difficult to find replacement parts for — is being replaced and will add seats to the arena for University of Louisiana at Lafayette basketball games and events such as concerts.