Months of hard work pay off for the New Orleans committee charged with bringing the College Football National Championship to the city. In 2020, New Orleans will play host to an event that some say will have a more than $300 million economic impact.
M.J. Bourque runs Blaze Pizza in the new South Market District. It's located just down the street from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home to the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship.
"When we have a Saints game we have about 80,000 people tailgating over here so I can only imagine it's going to be extremely huge," Bourque said about the upcoming game.
Jeff Hundley, executive director of the host committee that presented the winning bid, says, "This is a great day for New Orleans, a great day for the state of Louisiana."
New Orleans beat out many other cities across the country. Something that gave the Crescent City a leg up was the lucrative financial deal the host committee was able to offer.
Hundley explains, "We were able to raise the necessary funds thanks in large part to the Sugar Bowl committee which funded approximately two-thirds of the financial package."
Hundley says this championship game should rival the size of the Super Bowl, meaning every single seat inside the Dome will be filled.
"The planning will start almost immediately. The event is huge in magnitude," Hundley said.
The thousands of fans who will descend upon the city will have plenty to see and do. In fact, new development like the planned Four Seasons Hotel at the World Trade Center and soon to open restaurants and businesses downtown helped influence this decision.
"One of the gentleman from the playoff group made the comment, it's not the same old New Orleans. and we took that as a positive. They were impressed with what they saw," Hundley said.
Back at Blaze Pizza on a quiet Wednesday night, M.J. Bourque can only dream of what business will be on January 13th, 2020. It may be years away, but he says, he and his crew will be ready!
The host committee responsible for this bid is also working on some other projects with the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, including, trying to get the Final Four to return to New Orleans for 2022.