Will the Super Bowl blackout spark calls for more New Orleans stadium subsidies? No, seriously

I happened to be watching the Super Bowl with FoS correspondent David Dyte, so naturally when the lights went out, I made the same joke I haul out every time anything goes wrong at a sporting event, whether falling concrete or the hot dog stand running out of mustard: “Looks like they need a new stadium.”

It turns out someone else had the same idea, only they weren’t joking:

The most recent trend for Super Bowl cities and facilities is to head to newer facilities.  Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, New Meadowlands Stadium in NY/NJ, Reliant Stadium in Houston, and U of Phoenix being excellent recent examples.

New Orleans has cashed in on their historical calling card as a festive host city.

But in the aftermath of Sunday night’s second half blackout, New Orleans may need a new football stadium before they play host to their 11th Super Bowl.

That’s from Forbes.com “contributor” (which I believe means unpaid volunteer blogger) Patrick Rishe, who if nothing else deserves props for one of the quickest SEO grabs of last night, getting his demand for a new New Orleans stadium out to the world before the third quarter was even over. (Though I’m still waiting for the “What time did the Super Bowl blackout start?” headlines.) Rishe is an economics professor and runs some kind of sports consulting firm, so he’s probably not the most reliable source for stadium demand rumors; even if other actual news outlets are speculating on what the blackout will mean for New Orleans’ 2018 Super Bowl bid, nobody’s talking about a brand new stadium just yet, not when Louisiana just spent $336 million on renovating the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.

And yet, Miami is talking about it (or another round of taxpayer-subsidized renovations at least), for a stadium that’s 12 years younger than the Superdome. Given that all evidence is that Super Bowls mean pretty nothing for local economies, that New Orleans has way more pressing needs than a new stadium, that the city isn’t exactly hurting for ways to attract tourists in February, that the NFL is going to want to keep going back to New Orleans regardless because rich people like to party, and finally — as recent events have shown — that getting a chance on the world stage can as easily result in global embarrassment as global glory, this would be pretty much absolutely crazy. But then, we’re in the crazy business here.


4 comments on “Will the Super Bowl blackout spark calls for more New Orleans stadium subsidies? No, seriously

  1. I think your $336 million dollar figure is a little misleading. They spent $193 million to make repairs after Hurricane Katrina in 2006 (obviously not chump change). The rest of that money had nothing to do with Katrina, and came a few years later as part of a new lease agreement that “improved” the dome to keep the Saints in New Orleans through 2025.

  2. Either way, it’s still a stadium that got $336 million of work done in recent years. Maybe “since” Hurricane Katrina rather than “after”?

  3. Ok. I’m not sure this is healthy (for either of us), but as I was sitting in a bar watching the game, I actually said the same thing you did out loud.

    Did you say “Oh no. 76000 people locked in a dark room with Ray Lewis” right after that too?

  4. When I heard about the blackout at the Super Bowl I said to myself it’s going to be a very very very very long time before New Orleans get’s another Super Bowl game there again.

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