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City officials hope for new Super Bowl bid invite

Published: Feb. 2, 2015 at 10:40 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2015 at 12:03 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Two years ago, New Orleans was the focus of the sports world as it hosted Super Bowl 47, and New Orleans tourism leaders were in Phoenix for Sunday's big game with their sights set on getting another one.

At Armstrong International, business wasn't bad, but it was a lot better two years ago.

"We were so so busy, I didn't know if we were going or coming, said cabbie Arlene Thomas. She yearns for the kind of income they enjoyed after the city hosted it's last Super Bowl in 2013.

"People were so nice, you ran so much - work, work, work," she said.

Except for a 30-minute power outage, New Orleans got rave reviews.

"Everybody loves New Orleans - the food, the architecture, the friendly people - it's lovely, and so do I," said cabbie James Johnson.

In fact, an article in the New York Times over the weekend complains that the Super Bowl in cities like Phoenix, has "no sense of place," and if "location really had to do with throwing the best party, it would be in New Orleans every year."

"The New York Times article puts the stamp on what New Orleans has been so famous for. It's a great sports destination," said Mark Romig with the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation.

With seven Super Bowls, no other facility has hosted the big game, as many times as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but that experience isn't always a plus.

New Orleans lost out in the last round of bidding to three cities, all with new or soon-to-be-built stadiums. Super Bowl 50 will go to San Francisco, 51 returns to Houston, and 52 will go to Minnesota.

"I saw the last bid. It was awesome, but it went to Minnesota - a new stadium city, " said Romig.

But local officials will continue to tout the post-Katrina renovations at the Superdome worth over $300 million.

"I have no doubt that our stadium has been a great venue, and will continue to be a great venue in the years ahead," said Romig.

Later this year, the Sports Foundation says the NFL will invite New Orleans and other cities to bid for the next available Super Bowls in 2019 and 2020.

"They better listen, take heed, and make it happen, because this is the place," said Thomas.

And though the New York Times says we're the best host party city, the competition will be stiff. Expect heavy competition from Atlanta, which is expected to have a new stadium by 2020, and Miami, which will have a newly renovated stadium. After that, Superdome general manager Allen Freeman says things should even out because new NFL stadium construction is expected to slow down.

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