NOLA residents excited for new football season

August 25, 2010 3:15:31 PM PDT
The Houston Texans are gearing up to take on the New Orleans Saints, the reigning Super Bowl champions. And while this is the beginning of a new season, the home of the Saints is still riding high on the team's Super Bowl win. Not to take anything away from the Texans or the excitement of their new season, but in New Orleans, it seems like it's football season all yearround. Some people never took down their Saints flags or stopped wearing their jerseys.

For this city, a Super Bowl win has meant a lot more.

At Sports Barber Shop, Leroy Alexander is already talking about the playoffs, even though the Saints season hasn't even started.

"I hope we go again," he said.

He doesn't sell Saints merchandise and is miles from the Superdome, but their championship win was good for business.

"Brought in more clients...they were happy to tip," Alexander said while laughing.

And so it seems for a city ravaged by Hurricane Katrina five years ago and in the midst of oil spill woes, the Saints have helped. No one economist has been able to quantify just much, But Loyola Univeristy's Dan D'Amico says the win tranlates into major opportunity going forward.

"It's just one more avenue to put everyting that the city does at the cultural level food entertainment, music, fun, hotels, etcetera -- it's just on display," D'Amico said. "It's there; everybody can see it; it's on the jumbotron."

Tourism is a $5 billion-a-year business in New Orleans employing 70,000 people. A winning NFL franchise adds to the city's allure and and even mental health.

Dr. Ben Springgate is a doctor at Tulane University. He has four Saints jerseys and a gold suit he sported for the Super Bowl.

"If we were down on our knees in the immediate aftermath of Katrina then the Saints were a significant part of kept our standing back up again and feeling whole again," he said.

But now, there's a new season and a different crisis -- this one in the gulf -- the question is if the city can be resilient once again.

For the Saints, it's whether they can meet expectations.

"I need to really see what they're going to do this year; hopefully, they'll take it home again," Saints fan Arlington Jones said.

New Orleans will host the Super Bowl in 2013; a University of New Orleans study concluded the event will bring about $350-$400 million impact for the city and lots of positive media coverage.


Load Comments