NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Wrestlemania fans expecting to see a show of force this weekend, turned out to be a real force in New Orleans, taking the Crescent City by storm and driving up business for hundreds of hotels, bars, and restaurants.
Many of them were easy to spot in the city, wearing their best WWE Superstar costume, complete with matching attitude.
When they first started pulling into town, Thursday, it immediately started," said Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar Manager Chris Clinkenbeard.
Clinkenbeard says he expected an influx of people but didn't anticipate so many in the CBD.
He says that's likely because the area has a lot more to offer visitors than the last time Wrestlemania was in town four years ago, with a number of new hotels and restaurants.
Clinkenbeard says Lucy's alone was 40-percent busier since the event started this year.
"At around 12 or 1 o'clock, they all start coming in, real hot. They want to come in, they want to drink, they want to party, they want to listen to loud music. They want to meet other fans walking around in other shirts and talk smack," Clickenbeard explained.
Though the event is over now, Clinkenbeard says Wrestlemania fans left their mark on New Orleans.
"It's good for everybody. A high tide raises all ships. Having something like Wrestlemania down here, 75,000 strong inside the dome, not to mention maybe the 15 to 20 just here to party in the city. It's been awesome for us," said Clinkenbeard.
It would seem New Orleans also left a mark on them.
"This is my second time here but first time for Wrestlemania. I'm very excited, very excited. I like the hype," said New Yorker Jennifer Mulhaul.
WWE officials announced Sunday's WrestleMania 34 broke the record for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome's highest grossing entertainment event. They say, this year's main event grossed $14.1 million, surpassing the venue's previous record of $10.9 million set by WrestleMania 30 in 2014
The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the event will bring 95% hotel occupancy and an economic impact of about $140 million.