Saints March Back In

The Louisiana Superdome officially reopened as the home field of the New Orleans Saints September 25th with emotional performances by local and international stars.

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis didn’t even check his ticket to see where he’d be sitting for the game.

“I could be in the nosebleeds; it doesn’t matter,” he said just a few hours before kickoff at the SMG-managed Superdome.

Harry Connick Jr. decided at the last minute to attend the game. Connick and Marsalis were in town checking on the progress of the Musicians Village, a Habitat for Humanity project launched in December to provide affordable housing for the city’s musicians and others who lost their homes in Katrina’s flooding.

“There’s a certain level of symbolism involved,” Marsalis said. “This is just one huge symbol of the city returning to some sort of normalcy.”

At halftime, Spike Lee, who directed “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” a documentary about Katrina, shook hands with players on the field.

Musical performances by Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day and U2 added to the hype.

It wasn’t the first performance for U2 at a football game in the Superdome. The band played during the 2002 Super Bowl halftime show to commemorate victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Pregame sponsor Rhapsody is selling downloads of the U2/Green Day performance online for 99 cents a pop, with proceeds benefiting Music Rising, an organization co-founded by The Edge to assist New Orleans musicians after Katrina.

Oh yes, there was also a football game, which the home team (including Saint Reggie) won 23-3.