Viral wrestling video gives glimpse into future of Esplanade Mall

Esplanade Mall Future

KENNER, La. (WVUE) - A viral video of wrestlers jumping from the second floor of the Esplanade Mall could offer a glimpse into more events that could be coming to the Kenner mall.

While many spots remain vacant, Kenner officials say they’re seeing a rise in sales tax coming from the Esplanade Mall due to some new additions.

It was the wrestling move seen across social media. The video was shot Sunday at the Esplanade Mall.

“That’s some pretty good exposure for the Esplanade Mall and the city of Kenner and we do support exposure as long as it’s good family entertainment,” says Kenner Mayor Ben Zhan.

Zahn says he was at the mall Sunday for the wrestling match and was impressed with the crowd it attracted.

“Probably before Christmas, before Katrina, we have not seen the spike they’ve seen recently.”

It was the first time the wrestlers performed at the mall, but the mayor says he would like to see more events like this in the future.

“We have seen a spike in sales tax and I think it has a lot to do with our outreach to these different groups that we want to bring into the mall.”

City officials say another thing that is driving the sales tax up is moving Kenner’s recreation and parks department near the mall over the Summer. Parents can now bring their kids to Esplanade Mall for cheerleading, gymnastics and martial arts.

“We’re hoping that by creating traffic flow it will start spurring businesses to come back here. What we’re seeing from this recreation department being here we have people going shopping. We see them coming in with bags,” says Kenner City Councilmember George Branigan. “We’ve already doubled the enrollments and our recreation director thinks that we can quadruple it and if we can do that it’s going to help bring business to this mall.”

One parent brings his kids for classes and says his family is now shopping at the mall more because of it.

“They have the Target and some other stores. We do see parents drop their kids off sometimes. We will wait here, drink coffee. We will notice the parents come back in, they have shopping bags and things like that,” says Mike Spell.

As for the wrestlers with the viral moves, the mayor would like to see them perform at the mall again.

“I’d love to see them get a permanent home here,” says Zhan. “We would totally support that the more things that come to the mall the more people are going to spend their money.”

The mayor and city councilman say they also saw close to 2000 people at the Esplanade Mall for a Halloween trunk or treat event.

They say due to that success, they’re considering doing something there for Easter as well.

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