SUGAR BOWL ECONOMIC IMPACT TOPS $125 MILLION
NEW ORLEANS, La. (March 23, 2007) ----- The Sugar Bowl Committee's 2007 Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic and festival events produced an economic impact of $126.7 million for the city and state according to a study completed by Dr. Timothy Ryan of the University of New Orleans.
This year marked the return of the Sugar Bowl and the Bowl Championship Series to New Orleans after a year's hiatus in Atlanta following Hurricane Katrina, and according to Ryan the results were another sign of the region's return to normalcy.
"Given that this Sugar Bowl game was held just 15 months after Hurricane Katrina and in light of some of the questionable publicity the city has received, the Sugar Bowl still had an exceptionally strong impact for the area," Ryan said. "The Sugar Bowl continues to be a positive and highly important national event, and we have every reason to believe the Bowl will continue to be a premier economic catalyst for the area."
On January 3rd of this year the Sugar Bowl Committee hosted Southeastern Conference champion LSU and Notre Dame at the Louisiana Superdome before a sold-out crowd of 77,781 that saw the Tigers defeat the Irish 41-14. Comprising the Bowl's overall economic impact figure was a sum of $68.71 million in direct visitor spending and an additional $57.99 million in secondary spending. State and local governments also realized $9.9 million in tax revenue as a result of Bowl activities.
"This study shows the positive effect that championship caliber college football can have in the recovery of our city, the region and state," said Ray Jeandron, president of the Sugar Bowl Committee. "Our volunteer members and professional staff are proud to stage events of this magnitude, which will continue to attract thousands of visitors from across the nation, all of whom will see that New Orleans and Louisiana are open for business."
According to Ryan's study, city hotels reaped substantial benefits in association with the 73rd Allstate Sugar Bowl as nearly 60 percent of those attending the game stayed in local hotels and spent $21.02 million. The average length of stay was 2.46 nights.
Eating and drinking establishments fared well also as Bowl visitors spent $13.19 million in New Orleans area restaurants and another $7.07 million in local bars. Entertainment and shopping venues realized an estimated $11 million in new revenue from Bowl guests.
"These numbers indicate that we're off to a good start as we work to do our part in helping the area's recovery," said Paul Hoolahan, the Bowl's Chief Executive Officer, "and we look forward to even greater production in the future."
The Sugar Bowl Committee, which hosted its first game on New Year's Day in 1935, consists of volunteer men and women from the New Orleans area business and civic community. In January of 2008, that group will host the Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1) and the Allstate BCS National Championship Game (Jan. 7), marking the first time the organization will have hosted two major national events in a week's time. Early estimates show the combined economic impact of those two games could top $400 million.
With these latest figures, the Sugar Bowl has now generated more than $1 billion for the local and state economies over the past decade.