October 09, 2012
James Carville began his career as a political consultant in Baton Rouge before moving out of state, eventually returning in 2008 to live in New Orleans. As someone who’s lived in both the state’s capital and the Crescent City, Carville has a special insight into the connection between the two cities.
One of the most heartening things about post-Hurricane Katrina Louisiana, Carville recently told a group of Advocate staffers, has been a deepening recognition that the economic fortunes of Baton Rouge and New Orleans are tied.
That’s why residents of the Baton Rouge area and, indeed, the rest of Louisiana, should have an interest in helping next year’s Super Bowl XLVII become a successful event.
Slated for Feb. 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the event promises to have a wide economic impact on the regional economy. Carville is co-chairing next year’s Super Bowl host committee with his wife, fellow political consultant and media commentator Mary Matalin.
Next year’s event will mark the 10th time that New Orleans has hosted the Super Bowl. That track record gives the city extensive experience in welcoming Super Bowl visitors, but the challenges — and the potential rewards — of hosting Super Bowl games have increased dramatically in recent years.
That’s because the Super Bowl is not one, but many events, including not only the big game, but numerous activities leading up to kick-off.
The host committee budget for the 2002 game was $5.3 million, but the projected host committee budget for next year’s game is $13.5 million, much of it raised from private contributions. Organizers estimate a local economic impact of $432 million.
New Orleans has obvious attributes as a Super Bowl host city. Its food and entertainment venues are world class, and the proximity of hotels to the Superdome is another big plus.
We’re glad that the Super Bowl is returning to New Orleans after an 11-year absence from the city.
The game promises to be a marquee event for Louisiana, even if the Saints don’t emerge as Super Bowl contenders.