Super Bowl XLVII is headed for downtown New Orleans, and even though it's still more than five months away the Downtown Development District starts a beautification effort today.
The competition for these type of mega-events and large conventions is fierce these days says Richard McCall, Director of Operations for the DDD and the city needs to put on its best face. So today volunteers will be out en masse with lots of 'New Orleans green' and 'New Orleans black' to work on "painting of public infrastructure like light poles, planters, light boxes. We will also have a team that will do graffiti eradication on a few private properties."
McCall says they're also working on enforcement to make sure property and business owners are obeying all city codes.
Why start so early? McCall says, "It's very competitive now, getting these large events, particularly Super Bowl, conventions. We really want the world to know we are open for business." And with an international audience during the big game, they want the city to be presented at its absolute best.
McCall says cleanup and code enforcement measures will continue over the next five months, with another big cleanup effort coming after the first of the year in preparation for the tens of thousands of visitors expected in February 2013 for the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras.
One hundred LSU Health Sciences Center students will begin their volunteer work at 8:00 a.m., led by Downtown Development District staff, including its Clean Teams, Public Safety Rangers, members of the Lafayette Square Conservancy and supervisors from Twin Shores Landscape and Construction Services, a contractor of the DDD.
Other work includes the cleaning of tree beds along some major thoroughfares and pruning foliage in Lafayette Square Park.
As an economic development agency, the DDD, working closely with the 2013 New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee, recognizes the importance of putting our best face forward when we host major events that attract so many visitors to our city. "We want to show the world that Downtown NOLA is an exceptional place to not only visit, but to live and do business. Since 2005, New Orleans' major sporting events have had an economic impact of more than $1 billion in our city. Recently, Forbes named us the number one city in the country for Brain Gain.' What we know is that these two things are very much tied together. The DDD is dedicated to continuing to do its part in earning us these accolades," said DDD President and CEO Kurt Weigle.
Jay Cicero, Executive Director of the Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee and President/CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, says, "As Super Bowl XLVII rapidly approaches, we want to be sure that we put our best foot forward, and showcase a fresh and welcoming city to all the organizers and visitors that will be congregating in New Orleans for Super Bowl. Through this and other beautification programs, Mayor Landrieu and the DDD are proving their commitment to providing a safe, supporting and clean environment for this event. We thank them for their efforts and constant support."