A 34-minute unscheduled timeout notwithstanding, the people of New Orleans and Louisiana can be extremely proud of the fabulous show put on for Super Bowl XLVII.
We agree with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu that the city gave witness to its incredible comeback from the tragedies of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. The last time New Orleans hosted the Super Bowl was in 2002, and it’s been a tough decade since for metropolitan New Orleans — indeed, for significant parts of the entire Gulf Coast.
While unfortunate, in the mayor’s words, the temporary power outage in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome did not erase the benefits to tourism from the game and the days of buildup ahead of it. Countless hours of extremely positive coverage of the great food and music of the queen city of the Mississippi River filled not only the sports channels. Fabulous weather helped to make the event special for visitors.
News outlets also reported positively on the improvements in New Orleans’ schools, by far and away the largest experiment in public charter school operations in America. The comeback motif did not end there, with positive coverage of the improving business climate in a city that was on its back just over seven years ago.
We think that the agencies and organizations working for more than a year on the preparations for the game and the multitude of related events deserve applause, including volunteer host committee chairman and chairwoman James Carville and Mary Matalin and all those who lent a hand.
The cooperation of state and local agencies, the mammoth efforts to deal with the crowds — in the middle of Carnival season, to boot — and tireless work on finishing up the Loyola streetcar line and other projects represent the kind of progress New Orleans needs after the game is over.
Once again, New Orleans has demonstrated its stature as a city that can hold the largest and most complex events in the nation.
Well done, and with a style all its own.