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Super Bowl brings revenue

Senior Staff Writer

Published: Friday, January 18, 2013

Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013 21:01

The Allstate Sugar Bowl

Cheryl Gerber/AP Images for Allstate

The Allstate Sugar Bowl was held this January in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. In addition to the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans is also set to host the Super Bowl in February.

Super Bowl

Janet McConnaughey/AP Photo

A person works on the Super Bowl sign at the Superdome in New Orleans on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. NFL football’s Super Bowl XLVII is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

The upcoming Super Bowl won’t just bring the biggest sporting event of the year to New Orleans­— it will also generate millions of dollars for local businesses.

With the influx of tourists that will head into the city the week before the Super Bowl, local experts are estimating hundreds of millions of dollars to be coming into the city along with them.

“The figure they’re throwing around is $500 million,” college of business professor Mike Pearson said, when talking about estimates as to how much money would be generated from the event.

Pearson said that he thinks New Orleans will make a profit by having the event in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. He also said it will improve the city’s nationwide standing when hosting big events.

“It brings a lot of business in, but there’s also a lot of costs associated with the Super Bowl, but it adds prestige to the city,” he said. “If you can host the Super Bowl, you can host pretty much any big event.”

Despite the projected $500 million figure, the costs of hosting the event will diminish the profit New Orleans makes. Pearson said that the figure is not a net gain of what the city stands to make.

“It’s almost hard to say whether we make more money or spend more money on this event,” he said. “But I’m certainly happy to have it.”

In addition to hosting the Super Bowl, New Orleans has hosted a number of bowl games this past college football season, including the New Orleans Bowl and the Gator Bowl.

To deal with the impact of the increased number of visitors, New Orleans has had to spend money on improvements to its infrastructure. Tom Romig, president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation, said these construction projects were started a few years ago.

“Overall, over the last several years there’s been approximately $1 billion spent in infrastructure improvements to prepare for the Super Bowl and life after the Super Bowl,” he said. “That includes the airport renovations, convention center renovations, various hotels, RTA street car line improvements and a number of other programs that add up to about $1 billion in total.”

Romig estimates that along with tourists, about 5,000 credential media members will come to New Orleans from various countries.

“We’ll have media from all over the world covering New Orleans and Louisiana reporting back as to what is going on in New Orleans, what has happened since Hurricane Katrina and all the enhancements to the city,” he said.

Preparing for the spike in tourism, which will come with the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras soon after, is only part of the objective for Romig. Even though the city has already spent more money on renovations than what it expects to take in during this time period, the goal is to make the city a better place to live, Romig said.

“All this is an investment for the people like us who live here,” he said. “The Super Bowl is just one goal line we’re dealing with. Ultimately, we’re trying to build a better city.”

Hasani Grayson can be reached at  

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