February 202315

Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Authorizes Amendment to Master Development Agreement with RDNI

Topgolf, New Leisure Destination, Expected to Open in 2025

NEW ORLEANS – Today, the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority (“the Authority”) authorized President Jerry Reyes to negotiate an amendment to the Master Development Agreement with River District Neighborhood Investors, LLC (RDNI) to allow the developers to bring entertainment destination company Topgolf to the new River District neighborhood as soon as January 2025. The announcement marks the first of many agreements expected for the new mixed-use development adjacent to the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

“We are thrilled with today’s announcement about adding Topgolf as an entertainment anchor tenant for this dynamic new neighborhood,” said Jerry Reyes, President of the Ernest N. Morial Exhibition Hall Authority. “Our vision has always been for this mixed-use development to encompass entertainment, housing, and hospitality. This project advances that plan, and it does so while respecting our commitment to the inclusion of workforce and affordable housing units.”

Topgolf will spend roughly $40 million on the new facility which is expected to create between 400-450 new jobs once operational. Construction on a parcel of the River District neighborhood development near Tchoupitoulas and Race Streets is expected to begin in November 2023.

“Our partnership with Topgolf kicks off just the type of inclusive fun everyone can enjoy, while helping our vision for the River District come alive,” said Louis Lauricella, co-managing member of RDNI. “Today’s announcement marks exciting progress in our master development of a one-of-its-kind opportunity for residents and visitors to work, play and stay along the Mississippi River.”

In August 2022, the Authority formally approved the terms of the master development of the River District, allowing RDNI to proceed with developing the neighborhood. The project has been hailed as a generational opportunity to activate undeveloped urban riverfront land as a transformative asset for the New Orleans region and the state of Louisiana. The River District will include entertainment, green spaces, retail, and a range of residential options, including affordable housing and workforce housing.

The River District is expected to generate $43 million of net new annual tax revenues, more than $1 billion of annual economic activity, a projected 9,000 construction jobs, and nearly 6,000 projected permanent jobs for the entire development. The developers have made a commitment to build a total of 450 affordable and workforce housing units in the development, allowing hospitality and entertainment industry employees and those in other industries to live near the places they work.

Topgolf will offer climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round comfort with HDTVs in every bay; a sports bar and restaurant; event spaces for corporate, public, and charitable organizations; giant outfield targets, and high-tech balls that score themselves.

Topgolf is a wholly owned subsidiary of Topgolf Callaway Brands Corp. Topgolf Callaway Brands Corp (NYSE: MODG) is an unrivaled tech-enabled modern golf and active lifestyle company. The Topgolf concept was conceived in 1999 outside of London, England with the mission to develop a unique, leisure-based network of sports and entertainment facilities centered around the exciting game of golf.

A map of the proposed River District

About the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority

The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority’s (Authority) exclusive mission is to finance, construct and operate facilities in order to attract and conduct conventions, trade shows and other events that support and expand the economy of both the State of Louisiana and New Orleans Region. The Authority is composed of a 13-member board of commissioners, ten appointed by the Governor of Louisiana, and three appointed by the Mayor of New Orleans. Since 1985, event activity at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.7 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.

About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NOENMCC)

New Orleans is Built to Host! With 1.1 million square feet of prime exhibit space on one level, all under one roof, NOENMCC is the sixth largest Convention Center in the United States and provides the largest single exhibit space in the country. Our recent LEED Gold certification makes NOENMCC the largest LEED-certified project in Louisiana and the largest convention center project in the U.S. certified under LEED v4.1 Operations and Maintenance, as well as the first convention center in the world to be awarded initial certification under LEED Gold v4.1 O+MA. A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, NOENMCC event activity has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening.

About River District Neighborhood Investors LLC (RDNI)

River District Neighborhood Investors is a diverse group of partners with deep local roots, all accomplished mixed-use and residential developers with local, regional, and national experience, unparalleled reputations, and strong financial results. The team was selected in 2021 by the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Authority to develop a mixed-use community with best-in-class sidewalks, bike paths, and green spaces. The River District will revitalize this 40+ acre tract of vacant land along the riverfront as an energetic hub of commerce, trade, culture, history, and community. For information visit www.riverdistrictnola.com.