In a city known for our rich culture, celebrated history and delicious food, we often forget that much of our tourism industry thrives on New Orleans’ sporting events. The several million visitors to our city each year create jobs and improve our economy. Sporting events in particular offer a special channel of profit for New Orleans. Here’s how hosting sporting events helps our city:
1. Sporting events bring sports fans.
With more sporting events come more tourists. After all, who can resist our local charm, fabulous music and delicious food? Historically speaking, the better New Orleans gets at sports, the more people will come to watch the games. With a big game happening, we greatly increase our odds of filling the 76,468 seats at our Saints games or the 55,675 at a Pelicans game (and we all know Anthony Davis is bound to keep bringing in even more).
2. More fans means more seats in restaurants.
When tourists come to New Orleans, they come to eat. Known for our flavorful cuisine, food is the first stop for many sports fanatics who come to view the games. At the sports events themselves, the city sees a large amount of cash flow from food alone. Plus, tourists enjoy the city’s incredible restaurants while in town, and will spend hundreds, maybe even thousands, on meals during their visits to our city.
3. Those fans need somewhere to stay.
When fans come to New Orleans for a sporting event, they need a place to stay. This drives business to our hotels. The New Orleans hotel market is one of the best in the nation, providing varied accommodations sure to fit any budget. More people coming to see sporting events equals more people staying in our lovely hotels, and more money circulating through our local economy.
4. Visitors to our city want to buy local.
In a city as iconic as New Orleans with such original products, its natural for visitors to want to bring home a local memento from their trip. With somewhere around $12 billion in estimated consumer spending during Super Bowl weekends, a large portion is spent on memorabilia in the form of jerseys and tokens from the town visited. And spending isn’t limited to Super Bowls, anytime sports spectators visit our city, they’re going to want to buy something to take home and remember their trip by. They won’t only want to buy from major chains, but spend money in local businesses as well.
5. Sporting events make our city beautiful.
Every fall there’s a competitive buzz downtown as everyone prepares for the kickoff of football season. There’s nothing quite like a major sporting event to motivate a city to invest in its infrastructure and amenities. New Orleans is not immune to this pressure. In 2013, for the Super Bowl XLVII the City of New Orleans completed many major projects to make our town ready for tourists. The Hyatt underwent a $275-million renovation and the streetcars on Canal Street received a $53-million extension. Continued sports tourism will encourage continued maintenance of these improvements, as well as inspire new projects to continue beautifying our city.