What did Super Bowl XLVII do for New Orleans?

Superbowl2013By James Haralson

The last time New Orleans hosted a Super Bowl was in 2002, and since then, the City has gone through a significant transformation marked by the effects from Hurricane Katrina and the massive recovery that took place after the storm.

Eleven years and a $336 million Superdome restoration later, the city was determined to put on a great performance as it hosted Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.

Leading up to the game, USA Today reports that the city fast-tracked “more than $1 billion worth of city, state, and federal infrastructure projects.” These projects included a $356 million renovation project for the Louis Armstrong International Airport.

City officials also approved projects that helped improve transportation to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. A new streetcar line was added to the Dome, along with a major street re-paving project in surrounding areas, including the entire French Quarter.

In the year leading up to the event, the New Orleans Environmental Host Committee organized a series of sustainability initiatives throughout the year in partnership with local organizations. From a Carbon Offsets program with Entergy, to collecting excess prepared food for people in need and repurposing material from Super Bowl’s past, Super Bowl XLVII set a precedent for events to come. (Read more here)

According to USA Today, over 150,000 people came to New Orleans and brought in nearly $432 million to the City’s economy. The New Orleans host committee said this translated into $100 million more than what “Indianapolis netted last year during Super Bowl XLV”I.

Hotels took in much of this revenue, as USA Today reports that hotel revenue “was up nearly 100% from the same three days the year before.”

While the city was able to take in massive amounts of revenue and has benefited from implementing renovation projects, one specific moment gave City and NFL officials concern: the Superdome power outage that lasted 34 minutes during game play.

According to Doug Thornton, Vice President of Stadiums and Arenas for SMG, which manages the Superdome: “My reaction was just like everyone else — I wasn’t quite sure what was going on. But as the manager of the stadium and knowing a little bit about the systems, I felt like we were having a problem with one of our feeders into the building.” The exact cause of the outage has still not been identified.

While the power outage was an unfortunate turn of events in an otherwise impressive week for New Orleans, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the Times-Picayune that the outage would not prevent the city from hosting future Super Bowls.

As New Orleans looks back at a successful week hosting the Super Bowl, City officials are already preparing to put together a bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl commemorating the 300th anniversary of New Orleans.