Super Bowl co-chair James Carville says city will be ready - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Super Bowl co-chair James Carville says city will be ready

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James Carville addresses reporters outside a Mid-City restaurant. James Carville addresses reporters outside a Mid-City restaurant.

New Orleans, La. -- James Carville is known for colorful political punditry on national television, but Wednesday afternoon Carville was not talking politics with news reporters gathered outside a Mid-City restaurant.

Carville was trying to get the word out that the city will be ready for the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, despite the persistent construction work downtown.

"I got bad news for the doomsday-er's, the naysayers, the people in the peanut gallery; everything is going to be finished, it's going to be finished on time -- the airport, the area around the Superdome, the streetcar line, everything," Carville stated.

Where Loyola Avenue intersects with Canal Street, crews continued to work under gray skies, as part of numerous infrastructure upgrades ahead of the game.

Carville, a well-known Democratic strategist, is a co-chairman of the Super Bowl Host Committee,  as is his wife, Republican strategist Mary Matalin.

"I think we got this old gussie shined up and polished pretty good.  I think we're going to be ready for people to come in," Carville stated.

This week, Mayor Mitch Landrieu echoed that when talking to news media.  "All of the projects that are under construction will be finished on time, on task, but we're in the crunch time right now," Landrieu said.

"You can't rebuild a street unless you got to inconvenience people," Carville stated.  "You go on some of these streets here in New Orleans... we need to be more inconvenienced, if you ask me."

Because of ultra-tight security measures for the Super Bowl, some norms outside the perimeter of the Dome will be just the opposite on Super Bowl weekend.

"No, you're not going to be able to get in your car and drive and go park in the French Quarter and have a good time.  It's going to be a lot more complicated," Carville said.

While Carville is confident that all of the construction deadlines will be met before game day, he is not exactly worry-free.  "I can't really sleep at night.  I can give you a lot of things I'm worried about, [but] the streets and the airport being finished on time and the projects, that's not things I worry about," he said with a smile.

Carville said he's honored to have the platform of the Super Bowl from which to extol the city's virtues.

"I think we have a real story here… I see it every day in showing people around, talking about it.  And I think the Super Bowl is a real way to tell our story, but more importantly we got a story to tell ourselves... Look, remarkable things have happened here and it's happened because of the people who live here," he said emphatically.

In the remaining weeks until the game, Carville is focusing on instilling confidence.  "I can understand people's skepticism.  I grew up in Louisiana… things have fallen behind, but this is not one of them," Carville said.

Just in case his predictions are a little off, he has a backup plan.  "If we got three or four days to go and it's not done, you can catch me there with a wheel barrel, pouring concrete... I don't know, doing something, but it's not going to come to that," Carville said, laughingly.

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