Bayou Classic kicks off a series of sporting events - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Bayou Classic kicks off a series of sporting events

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New Orleans, La. - For the 39th Annual Bayou Classic, 200,000 people are in town to see the college rivalries play and celebrate football.

"Hotels are at about 90 percent occupancy and we expect about $30 million  in economic impact just for this weekend," says Kelly Schultz with the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For New Orleans, the Bayou Classic is just beginning of an unprecedented string of sporting events.

"We're getting ready to do the New Orleans Bowl, then of course we'll have Super Bowl and the NCAA Women's Final Four, so I don't know of any city or time in our history when we've had so many high-profile sporting events back to back," says Schultz.

In the middle of all the sporting events, Carnival season will kick into high gear and on top of that, a major boating convention will be coming to town.

Schultz says the city is prepared to go all out, especially in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl.

"There's going to be such a spotlight on New Orleans and the entire hospitality industry is really getting prepared to roll out the red carpet for the eyes of the world -- that's going to be on us," says Schultz.

The Super Bowl alone is expected to generate 450 million dollars for the city and Schultz says the international exposure can only help to generate tourism in the future.

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