While the winners of the playoffs are preparing to go head to head in the biggest event of the NFL season, the host city is preparing for the entourage of people expected to flood the city.
New Orleans has been selected as the Host City for Superbowl XXXVI, for a record ninth time. The Host Committee has been preparing for this event since they were granted the prestigious honor.
“We were awarded to host the Superbowl almost four years ago, but planning stages began three years ago,” said Dan Happoldt, Director of Media Relations for the New Orleans Host Committee.
In 1999, representatives from the Host Committee traveled to Atlanta and Tampa in 2000, to get a hands-on look at how they operated during the Superbowl. They made sure to observe such things as transportation, the media center, and special events. The representatives also met with members of past host committees for input.
Now, back in New Orleans planners have been working diligently to coordinate a Superbowl atmosphere all their own.
“I spend a lot of time on the phone, calling vendors, setting up reservations and any other needs that people have,” said Tricia Calamia, Special Events Coordinator.
“We are busy finalizing plans for parties, VIP services, getting gifts for corporate sponsors and recruiting volunteers,” added Happoldt.
This hard work has paid off as the committee has planned a week full events for everyone that range from media parties for national and international media, to The NFL Experience and a NFL benefit concert, where all the proceeds go to charity.
“The knowledge that 800 million people will be watching (the Superbowl), New Orleans will get world wide publicity that you can’t put a price on. It’s like a four hour commercial that goes everywhere,” Happoldt said. Which is another added bonus.
According to Happoldt, a whopping 100, 000 people are expected to enter the city of New Orleans, bringing in an estimated $310 million. Adding a nice boost to the New Orleans tourism economy.