LOUISIANA IS NATION'S SPORTS CAPITAL THIS HOLIDAY SEASON -- 12/14/2007
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOUISIANA IS NATION'S SPORTS CAPITAL THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu Announces Louisiana Will Host Four NCAA Football Championships
In February, New Orleans Hosts NBA All-Star Weekend
Successful Major Sporting Events Demonstrate Tourism Industry's Readiness
Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu today announced Louisiana will host four NCAA championship bowl games during the 2007 holiday season this year, marking the beginning of what Landrieu says will be a banner year for tourism in 2008. "For the next month, Louisiana will be the Gridiron capitol of the world," Landrieu said. "Fans will have a chance to cheer-on their favorite teams, and also sample Louisiana culture and hospitality at its very best."
Landrieu continued: "Bowl season is just the first of many opportunities for sports fans, regional visitors and the media to take a closer look at Louisiana as a fun and active vacation or holiday destination. Next year, in addition to Mardi Gras and the Jazz Fest, we offer fans the experience of the NBA Allstar Game and Weekend, the Allstate Track and Field competition and the Zurich Golf Classic, just to name a few sporting events. Louisiana is open and ready for business not just during this bowl season, but year round," he said.
Louisiana Football Frenzy starts in earnest on December 21st at the Superdome with Florida and Memphis in the 2007 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. The action shifts to Shreveport when Colorado plays Alabama in the Petro Sun Independence Bowl on December 30th. On New Years Day, all eyes will be on the Superdome as Georgia and undefeated Hawaii go head-to-head in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic. And, in a much-anticipated game for Louisiana fans, LSU will meet Ohio in the Allstate BCS National Championship game at home in the 'Dome on January 7, 2008.
"Bowl games and other major sporting events are a much-needed shot in the arm for the local economies of host cities, " Landrieu said. "In November, the 2007 State Farm Bayou Classic brought roughly 200,000 visitors to the state during the Thanksgiving holidays. Grambling and Southern University fans impacted the economy to the tune of $200 million," he said.
Last year, the Allstate Sugar Bowl football game and related activities had an economic impact in New Orleans of nearly $127 million and, when hometown favorite LSU was featured in the 2003 Sugar Bowl, the impact on the New Orleans economy was close to $250 million dollars. Landrieu says he hopes LSU participation in the Allstate BCS National Championship will boost visitor activity and spending to similar levels.
The holiday bowl games are just the beginning of what promises to be an exciting tourism season. Mardi Gras festivities start early this year with parades and related activities shifting into high gear from January 19 through Mardi Gras Day on February 5th. On Valentines Day, the National Basketball Association brings the NBA All Star Weekend to the Superdome. The 57th annual All Stars Game and related activities are expected to have an $80 to 90 million impact on the city. Slated for early 2008: the Allstate Sugar Bowl Track and Field Classic, March 28 - 29, 2008; and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April.
For more information on the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic and the BCS Championship and related activities, visit