Super Bowl XLVII and Mardi Gras: Big Money Makers for the Big Easy

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January 29, 2013 ‐ By CAP
A member of the Krewe du Vieux at last year's Mardi Gras. AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman

A member of the Krewe du Vieux at last year’s Mardi Gras. AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman

Just about everyone is anticipating the upcoming Super Bowl XLVII. Whether you are a Baltimore or San Francisco native, an overall NFL fan, a commercial aficionado, or just trying to get a glimpse of the possible Destiny’s Child reunion, millions of people will be watching.

No matter who takes home the title, one the biggest winners in this whole deal is the city of New Orleans. With the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras piggybacking each other, NOLA is expecting to see fans and party goers come out in record numbers.

USA Today reports on the lack of hotel accommodations still available in the city. According to hotel search site Trivago, city hotels are completely booked for game day. As of Friday morning, the Super Bowl fan lodging site showed that there were 10 hotels available for Super Bowl weekend, however they were all over an hour away in Baton Rouge. To get a decent rate or a room at all in the Big Easy, you’d have to wait until after Fat Tuesday.

The lack of available rooms and surplus of people is a good sign for the city of New Orleans’ economy. However, The Times-Picayune references experts who say all the money being dragged in leads to a lot of money being dragged out. It was predicted during the Super Bowl XLVII bid that the game would bring in an over $434 million boost, but economist Victor Matheson at College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, who has studied decades of Super Bowls, says that after subtracting costs that number would likely be more like $30 million.

The factors he considers are, “the substitution effect,” which is when residents spend money on Super Bowl-related events they otherwise would have spent in other parts of the city. Then the “crowding out effect” takes place when tourists not interested in the game, and organizers of other events such as conventions, avoid the city because the Super Bowl dominates attention and space. And “leakages” when some of the Super Bowl spending funnels to corporate headquarters elsewhere, such as in the case of hotels that are jam-packed, but the strong profits mostly benefit their national chains.

Either way, the city stands to make some money on these back to back events and I think everyone is pleased to see New Orleans once ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, back and better than ever.

And speaking of back and better than ever, we saw this story and wanted to share: the Baby Doll Ladies are making a comeback during Mardi Gras. Moreover, a book and museum exhibit about the history of female troupes is coming soon.

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