Super Bowl changes Mardi Gras
A statue of a dog decorated in Saints colors sits downtown. Super Bowl XLVII will take place in the Mercedes Benz Superdome and kicks off at 6. 30 p.m. on Feb 3.
With Carnival season ramping up and Super Bowl XLVII happening this weekend, New Orleans is an oyster for Loyola students.
With more than 100,000 visitors expected for the game, the city will be flush with activity this week. Things won't ease up next week as the heart of the Mardi Gras season hits.
Students must figure out how to adjust to the huge spike in the city's buzz while still handling every day life. Visual Art senior Kimberly Iberico says that the biggest challenge will be getting around the city.
"The only thing it really affects is the traffic since it is going to be worse. Getting into the city will be a little harder," Iberico said.
For other students, the back-to-back weekends present an opportunity to celebrate, but also the threat of celebrating too much. Accounting senior Julio VillafaÃ±e says that the Super Bowl along with Mardi Gras will bring a financial strain.
"It sucks because it's probably going to decrease my buying power for Mardi Gras. If the Super Bowl were in any other city it would be like, 'All right, let's go to Maple and watch the game.' But, it'll be like, 'All right, let's be in downtown Saturday and Sunday.'"
The Super Bowl is more than just the game on Sunday, though. Throughout the week there will be different events for the public to enjoy. The NFL Experience will be held daily from Wednesday through Sunday at the Ernest M. Morial Convention Center.
Both VillafaÃ±e and Iberico are attending the NFL Experience. Iberico will also be at the Celebrity Beach Bowl on February 2. That event features a tailgating party and a flag football game played by celebrities and current and former NFL players.
The Super Bowl attracts the famous from across the media landscape. The celebrity presence only bolsters the hype surrounding the city. With the stars come the usual speculation and rumors. Iberico says that someone told her that Kanye West rented out all the Escalades in New Orleans (the news seems to have missed this story).
The buzz encourages students to go hunting for celebrities themselves. Iberico says she will be on the lookout this week. VillafaÃ±e says that although he usually does not run into celebrities, he is hopeful the Super Bowl will change his luck. He feels the unique New Orleans nightlife offers more chances to see the stars mingling with the public.
"Here you could, for all you know, see Will Ferrell stumbling through the French Quarter like any other drunkard," VillafaÃ±e said.
Karl Gommel can be reached at email@example.com
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