Sweet Economics - Sugar Bowl Dollars Make Sense For New Orleans and Louisiana
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
[This story is part one of a series of stories highlighting the Allstate Sugar Bowl's impact on the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana.]
Studies completed in February of 2012 by economist Dr. Timothy R. Ryan showed the annual activities of the Sugar Bowl had a combined economic impact of $493.73 million on the metro region, including direct tax revenue of $24.35 million for the state and $16.43 million local governments in the New Orleans area. The Bowl's activities for the past year included both the annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic as well as the Allstate BCS National Championship, hosted by the Sugar Bowl for the fourth time in 2012.
The two college football showcases were attended by over 142,000 fans, with over 73 percent of those fans coming from out-of-state. In addition, primarily due to the extreme interest in the national championship showdown between LSU and Alabama, considered by many to be one of the largest sporting events in the history of the South, Ryan's study estimated that more than 20,000 additional fans came to the city without game tickets to take part in the festive atmosphere created by the games.
"The Sugar Bowl is a true monument to success, having withstood the test of time and circumstance to become part of the very fabric of New Orleans and Louisiana," said Mitch Landrieu, the Mayor of New Orleans. "The economic impact in the form of tourism spending and tax dollars generated is such a key asset to the entire region; and in addition, each year it brings the national spotlight to our city and state to showcase their virtues to an audience of millions. And the Sugar Bowl is not just a football game; it also aids the community with its support of different programs held throughout the year."
In addition to those who actually visit New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, many million more fans around the world watch the game each year on television, making it the only event to bring the city such tremendous attention on an annual basis.
"The Sugar Bowl is integral to the New Orleans economy, welcoming thousands of visitors to our vibrant city each year and filling our hotels at a traditionally slower time. Not only do we have the opportunity to welcome thousands of people to the city, but we receive tremendous free publicity from the national media and that exposure greatly enhances tourism, an industry that employs over 80,000 people and is vital to the economy of New Orleans."
The Sugar Bowl also serves to showcase one of the state's greatest treasures, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Home to the Sugar Bowl since 1975, the Superdome has become one of the most widely recognized sports facilities in the world.
"We're proud of the excellent relationship between the SMG staff at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the outstanding staff of the Sugar Bowl, as well as the eminent business and community leaders who make up the membership of the Sugar Bowl Committee," said Doug Thornton, senior vice-president for SMG, the management company of the Superdome. "The Superdome is truly the Sugar Bowl's home throughout the year, and we're always pleased to start the new year with one of college football's premier games."