NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Saints fans from out of town are expected to be in the Crescent City ahead of the playoff game.
“I think it’s going to be very busy around the Central Business District, the Warehouse District, of course Champion Square,” said Kristian Sonnier with New Orleans & Company. “That whole area will be flooded. They’re going to be spending money.”
Sonnier said all of the places you’d expect to be busy during a home game weekend will be packed.
“That means Uber drivers, Lyft drivers are going to be full. Cafes, coffee shops, shops for shopping along Magazine Street. The French Quarter is going to be full. Restaurants will be full. This is the type of weekend that keeps the city humming.”
Hotels are already selling out.
“Typically, January is kind of soft,” said Pontchartrain Hotel General Manger Cody Bertone. “It’s not real busy in New Orleans, but this has made our month. We didn’t anticipate this, but it’s good to have.”
Bertone said they only have a handful of rooms left. As of Thursday, the hotel has 83 percent of their Friday rooms booked with an increase Friday at 90 percent.
"This adds demand and it builds that compression,” Bertone said. “It gets people in the city. It raises our rates. A longer length of stay with people traveling to the game. Now, we have Sunday selling out."
Managers at the Loews Hotel say they are completely sold out with out-of-town fans.
“A lot of people are going to make plans to come here,” Sonnier said. “They’ll drive in from Baton Rouge, Shreveport, the Gulf to come here. Those are pretty healthy numbers for a Thursday, so we think they’re going to go up.”
Sonnier said of the 22,000 hotel rooms in Orleans Parish, 87 percent of those rooms are gone, and he expects more hotels to sell out by Saturday.
“People make last-minute plans, you know how it is. People are still trying to figure out exactly what they’re going to do."
Bertone at the Pontchartrain Hotel said they already have rooms booked with hopes that the Saints make it to the NFC Championship game.