New Orleans declares itself favorite for 2018 Super Bowl

October 9, 2013
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Usually it’s the Big Apple with the egotistical reputation. But when it comes to hosting big events, no place has a higher estimation of itself than the Big Easy.

Just a day after the list of six 2018 Super Bowl suitors was trimmed to three, New Orleans officials are declaring themselves the front runner for the big game. Minneapolis and Indianapolis are the other finalists after Dallas, Miami and Tampa got cut by NFL owners Tuesday.

“New Orleans, of course, seems like the early favorite due to its location and experience having hosted Super Bowls in 1970, 1972, 1975, 1978, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1997, 2002 and 2013,” New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter Terrance Harris wrote in Wednesday’s edition.

In April, New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Jeff Duncan said the 2018 Super Bowl was “ours to lose.”

“My initial thought was, ‘Good luck, Indy. You’ll need it,'” Duncan said about Indianapolis’ 2018 bid. “That Super Bowl is ours. … The competition would be wise to step aside and allow the Crescent City to bid unchallenged.”

The New Orleans media is merely echoing the confidence oozing from their local officials.

“I think we have about as good a chance as we’ve ever had to get it,” Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President and CEO Jay Cicero said Tuesday. “But having gone through this several times, we have won it by a landslide and we’ve won it by two votes, so you never know.”

Notice that Cicero doesn’t talk about losing the bid, just the size of the margin by which New Orleans wins.

No one is discounting New Orleans’ experience in hosting big events. And no one has forgotten that 2018 is the city’s tri-centennial. But saying the decision is a forgone conclusion is a bit premature. In addition to Indianapolis, Minneapolis, with a $975 million stadium set to open in 2016, also appears to be a serious contender.

Indeed, New Orleans seems to see itself as a cut above.

During the week of the Super Bowl in 2012, I did a story about what New Orleans, which hosted the 2013 Super Bowl, and New York, which will host the 2014 Super Bowl, might learn from the way Indianapolis hosted the game. After all, Indianapolis was the first city to incorporate a Super Bowl Village, a zip line, a social media command center and a number of other innovative features.

Officials from the cities that host the next two Super Bowls attend the current year’s Super Bowl to promote their city and watch, observe and learn from the current host.

Officials from New York, which will host its first Super Bowl, were effusive in their praise. They readily admitted—though Indianapolis and New York are vastly different—that they could take ideas from Indianapolis.

The New Orleans officials looked at me sideways. Cicero and his staffers were polite and professional, but quickly pointed out that no city had hosted more Super Bowls and that their city had even hosted a Super Bowl and a Final Four in the same year. They also listed a litany of other big events they’d hosted.

While they acknowledged Indianapolis was doing a nice job in 2012, I got the sense that they didn’t think there was much they could learn.

They did admit to liking Indianapolis’ friendliness and cleanliness.

“Your hospitality through the volunteers is the best I’ve ever seen,” said Mark Romig, New Orleans 2013 Super Bowl Host Committee public relations committee chairman. “It starts at the airport, and permeates through the whole city.”

“This is the cleanest city I’ve ever seen, especially for a big event,” Cicero told me in 2012. “So we’re looking at how city crews have worked during the event and in the late night and early morning hours to keep everything clean. We’re also looking at how they place their waste receptacles to encourage people to put trash where it belongs.”

It’s no wonder Cicero focused on cleanliness.  Earlier in the week leading up to the 2012 Super Bowl, former NFL player and broadcaster Boomer Esiason said, “Indianapolis is like New Orleans without the dirty.”

That had to take the shine off things for New Orleans.

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  • New Oreleans
    New Or-le-ans, Home of pirates, drunks, and whores, New Or-le-ans, Tacky overpriced souvenir stores. If you want to go to Hell, you should take a trip To the Sodom and Gomorra on the Mississip. New Or-le-ans, Stinky, rotten, vomiting, vile, New Or-le-ans, Putrid, brackish, maggoty, foul. New Or-le-ans, Crummy, lousy, rancid, and rank, New Or-le-ans.
    • But then we never have blackouts
      New Orleans is a great city and a lot of fun, but my guess is that Indianapolis' infrastructure for the big game will be better. Fewer power blackouts and floods.
    • +1 bazillion
      Stanley wins the internet.
    • Sing it Stanley
      That's a Cole Porter lyric, right?
    • Cue the lights...
      If I was Irsay, I'd make sure the lights went off in the room when New Orleans makes their final presentation.
      • Been There - Done That
        I have had the pleasure of living in both cities and worked closely with Super bowls in both venues and the question is - Does the NFL want the Super bowl to be an "adults only" event or a "family friendly" event? If it is the latter, then Indianapolis wins hands down.. You do not want to introduce children into the mix in New Orleans...Stanley was right, New Orleans has made its tourism industry reputation on the debauchery and adult friendly hospitality of the "French Quarter" and that will not change for the next Superbowl. Indianapolis is a CLEAR front-runner for 2018 as I believe the NFL is working to make their signature event an "All Family" affair!!
      • Remember
        this article. Having hosted 10 Super Bowls, it's pretty evident that New Orleans has the right atmosphere to host the big game. Central Location/Indy Weather/New Orleans Food/New Orleans Tourism/New Orleans Stadium/Indy or Minnesota (they'll have a new venue erected by the game.
      • It's Easy
        "There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better."
      • Murph
        I'm not quite so sure that everyone would agree with you... Central Location > Indy, of course Weather > Sure, I guess it will be nicer that time of year in N.O. Food > OK, so N.O. probably has the market on Creole but I think you dismiss the other too cities car too easily. Minneapolis is an established foodies haven and Indianapolis is home to cadre of very talented chef's gaining national praise. Tourism > If ALL you're interested in is seedy bars, drunken rowdiness and casinos's then, yes... N.O. hands down! But in my mind, Indy has more to offer to a broader range of visitors than either of the other two. Stadium > We agree. Either Indy or Minnesota, to be certain.
        • underdog
          Indy is the underdog in this race. I actually think Minnesota is the favorite because of building the new stadium. They have the same advantage Indy had last time. New Orleans is second because of all the extra-curricular activities and also weather. Indy has their work cut out for them, they'd better go big. Good luck, I'm in Indy's corner.
        • Indy's Hopes
          And when Indy is in the room presenting if I were New Orleans I'd make sure the air conditioner was stuck on high and couldn't be turned off. The warm weather we had for the last Super Bowl was a freak of nature.
        • What will the city have to do?
          The article did not mention what the city will have to do to get the big game? Before the beer dried in the stands the NFL owners said we would have to build a another hotel before they would consider Indianapolis again. So the old question of the Pan Am Plaza will have to be finally addressed.
          • Randall is Right
            The only way we really have a chance is to build another hotel in the downtown district. The Pan Am Plaza has long been slated for that type of development and I can't see the game coming to Indy without it. Would be great to see another 4+ star hotel in the city for all of the convention traffic we see throughout the year.
          • Tough fight
            I agree with Frank X. I think the only way Minneapolis doesn't get it as a reward for the new stadium is if they show up with a less than spectacular presentation, and are told to try again for the next year. Indy will pull out all of the stops, but the new stadium seals it for Minneapolis. New Orleans has a strong chance as well, but I think the game being in Houston the year before doesn't help their chances, too close and doesn't balance well with the cold weather locations. At least Indy gets a chance to watch the winter Olympics in a few months to look for "new" ideas.
          • Well a Ra
            Well the Colts let New Orleans beat the stink out of us for the SuperBowl, Peyton Manning went through the motions to make it look like he was playing a game against the city he was from and everyone else felt sorry for-on that basis Indianapolis has much to worry about as far as landing the title of the host city in 2018,
          • Are you serious?
            If was good at any particular thing, mathematics, science, sports, debating, etc., and was confident in my abilities, I would care very little about another person, or in this case, city's, confidence or perceived arrogance. To write a article complaining that NOLA is declaring itself as front runners, says more about you, and what you REALLY think of NOLA chances than your intended goal which is to rally the citizens of Indy behind a shallow and childish argument. By all means, continue to have your opinion and continue to write to your fingers fall off but if Andrew Luck win a few more games and Houston continue to struggle, wouldn't you DECLARE Indy as AFC South winners and FRONT RUNNERS to knock off the mighty Peyton, and oh by the way, a player that for 11 years was the sole reason Indy showed a great amount of self-entitlement.
          • Isnt' this the city that proudly proclaimed it was ready for Katrina? NOLA should be more concerned about making its 40 year old stadium world class. Losing power during the middle of the big game does not bode well for future Superbowls, especially since it has been proven that Superdome officials knew they had an issue and did not address it. They received this last Superbowl more out of sympathy for Katrina than for really being a facility and city that can up its game for what the Superbowl has become. From what the "experts" have said, last years Superbowl was average. No city has upped the bar like Indy did, and NOLA did not step up their game. Minneapolis may get a game, but their problem is they have all of the negatives and no positives for the game. The new stadium is averaged sized 65k expandable to 73k. It is 15 miles from downtown Minneapolis. as such there is not the ammenities close by as there is in Indy. Minneapolis averages 54" of snow a year and January temps of 24 hi 7 lo Indy averages 29" and temps of 34 and 19. Those will make a major difference, especially when the majority of downtown ammenities are 20 minutes away. Indy will get 2018, NOLA may get 2019 and Minneapolis will wait until 2020 or 21.
            • Wow
              Just when I think Indy's inferiority complex can't get any worse, this article and related responses proves me wrong.
            • NOLA again?
              Hey remember last time NOLA hosted and the power went out and it was a giant disaster and took forever to fix? Because... that was kind of a big deal wasn't it?
            • Indy's Gonna Win
              Count on New Orleans to deliver a lights out presentation...
            • Did you really
              Did you really try and equate cuisine for Minneapolis and Indy is even on the same playing field as New Orleans? As for Tourism, I am talking about things to see besides the downtown areas of any of the three. The one thing the city has that Indy and Minneapolis don't is a plethora of American history. Take a walking tour of New Orleans and you'll see what I'm talking about. Not the bars and beads the city is known for, but things to see that are part of American History.
            • Yep, lots to see in New Orleans. If you can have your kids step over the drunks and whores in the street they can go see the old slave market. There is a reason the folks in NOLA marvel at how clean Indy is. Their city was, is and will always be a pig sty. It is a nasty city. As far as things to see and do, Indy had 265,000 people pay to go through the NFL Experience, that is cash in the NFL's pocket. NOLA? 90,000. Of course to be fair Indy shattered the previous record by 30%. That would be hard for anyone to beat, let alone a place that can't build flood walls or keep the lights on. Other numbers, the NFL Village attracted 1.1 million in Indy and around 500,000 in NOLA. Add Indy's proximity to the US population and the fact people just don't have a good image of NOLA, and you can see which is the fan friendly, family friendly destination.
            • Indy?
              Indy, the dullest city in the United States. Lived there for a year and hated it. I'd rather see the SB land anywhere but this awful place.

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