It happened Friday morning, September 21, 2012. CBS called to tell us that Solomon Group won the contract to design and build the broadcast environments for its coverage of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. We were on the ceiling.
Of course, the scale of this project was going to be massive. The Super Bowl is arguably the biggest event in American culture. And CBS’s plans to cover it were historic.
They were going to need sets in or near various New Orleans locations, including Jackson Square in the French Quarter, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The network planned a week of broadcasts leading up to kick-off that included over a dozen shows from multiple divisions, including news, sports, entertainment and digital.
And the game was less than five months away.
It was the first time a local company had been selected to literally set the stages for television’s most watched event. And for Solomon Group, a small but growing 3-year-old company at the time, it was an opportunity to have our work on national display.
From the beginning, it was important to CBS that the look and feel of New Orleans play a starring role in the design of its many, custom-built environments.
Solomon Group’s creative approach centered on drawing elements of the Crescent City’s unique landscape into the sets themselves. From its wrought iron and wooden shutters to bass drums and Mardi Gras beads, New Orleans’ distinctive architecture and culture would shine through the sets we created.
We even found a subtle way to integrate the network’s branding into the design. Viewers who looked closely could see the familiar CBS “eye” logo woven into the ironwork pattern that framed each of our sets.
When the cameras began to roll, our broadcast environments could be seen all over the city. We designed, fabricated and installed several sets from which dozens of hours of programming originated at historic Jackson Square, Radio Row in the Convention Center and a game day set outside the Superdome. We even designed and helped build a beautiful cable bridge positioned over Decatur Street, which served as a gateway to CBS Super Bowl Park at Jackson Square.