Who should foot the 2013 Super Bowl bill? - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Who should foot the 2013 Super Bowl bill?

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February 3rd, 2013, the Superdome will light up the New Orleans skyline to host Super Bowl XLVII.

The cost for the Big Easy to beat out Miami was $6 million -- all coming from the Louisiana Office of Tourism, which is under Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.

"We project that the Super Bowl is going to yield $450 million in an economic impact to the Greater New Orleans area and to Louisiana, so it's a great investment," said Dardenne.

The lieutenant governor said the entire state will reap the benefits from the investment, which is why he is asking legislators to consider other avenues to help foot the bill.

"I'm willing to say that the tourism budget will pay its share. I simply am saying we shouldn't be called upon to pay the entire state obligation to host the Super Bowl," said Dardenne.

"Absolutely not. The tourism promotion fund is meant to promote the state of Louisiana," said Governor Jindal's chief financial advisor Paul Rainwater.

Past budgets for the state Office of Tourism show a steady increase:

  • $17 million for 2010-2011
  • $19 million for 2011-2012
  • $25 million for 2012-2013
  • $29 million for 2013-2014 (proposed)

"We're going to stand by the decision to do this. We're not going to cut healthcare and higher education to promote the Super Bowl, not when the lieutenant governor has the funds in his tourism promotion funds," said Rainwater.

The Lieutenant Governor's Office said the amount spent to promote Louisiana has been on the down slope since 2007-2008, that is until Dardenne took office last year. But the lieutenant governor said competing on a national level - going up against places like Florida, New York and Las Vegas, requires him to spend more tourism fund dollars.

"My contention has been all along though, the tourism budget designed to advertise and market Louisiana out-of-state should not be primarily responsible for paying the operational expenses of these various events," said Dardenne.

Rainwater said even after spending $6 million for the Super Bowl, $4.7 million would be left over to spend on marketing the state.

Super Bowl XLVII will be the 10th one New Orleans has hosted. The last time the big game was in the dome was 2002.

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