Tag Archives: Super Bowl

In New Orleans, Who Cares About The Super Bowl?


New streetcar lines are rolling, parades are marching. and the weather is appealing. The food and music are awesome. The “Super Gras” city with the 2013 Super Bowl & Mardi Gras combined is a gleaming package of adrenaline, seemingly ready to burst at the seams with excitement. And there are lots of local Ravens and 49ers fans here. They care about the Super Bowl. Some national media reports claim New Orleans is back.

Seven years, like those caused by the presumtiously superstitious broken mirror, sometimes seem to only reflect the light of crime, corruption, broken promises, and lost dreams. Looking through the smoke screens to find the pieces means driving around the lower ninth ward, St. Bernard Parish, and other pockets of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast still struggling to regain and maintain population and stature. They care about the Super Bowl.

Seven years ago, it seemed like an insurmoutable task to repair the devastation caused by levees which collapsed after hurricane Katrina. Many Katrina survivors felt it would take many decades for the city and surrounding areas to return to their former glory.

Most major, national events disenfranchise many local vendors, businesses, homeowners, and other citizens who are left out of the loop. That’s why the NFL has put so much focus on local business. And, the city of New Orleans recently raised property tax assessments, making taxes higher for some non-exempt property owners. The cost of rent is sometimes out of reach for many of the city’s hospitality industry and other blue collar workers. Budgets are out of whack. The city’s murder rate remains among the highest in the nation, along with it’s sales taxes.

Critics blame Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Police Chief Renal Serpas, or any other elected official – who in turn blame each other – for problems and failures. As squabbling and corrruption continues, businesses leave or avoid the city. Locals navigate the city with a sense of insecurity, uneasiness. or urgency. They care about the Super Bowl, even though the Saints didn’t make it this time.

As the world looks upon the Super Bowl city like it’s a promising, inspiring comeback story, thousands of it’s former residents are still scattered throughout the world with an equal number of Katrina stories. Some choose not to come back. Others want to. They care about the Super Bowl.

Is an unstable New Orleans ready for the next power failure? Until the city of New Orleans wakes up and finds a way to once again come together outside of the Superdome, it’s doomed to fall again. As a host for major national events, as a tourist mecca, as a food junkie paradise, and a party destination, the concensus may be that the city is back. The city cares about the Super Bowl. Yet, as a home, it still has some welcoming to do. It must care about its people.