Super Bowl leaves impact on Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Super Bowl 47 had an economic impact of $450 million.  Close to $20 million of that was spent in Baton Rouge.

The sights, sounds and food were all unique attractions found only in our backyard.

Add carnival season to the mix and don't forget the biggest sporting event of the year.

90 miles away, tourism officials are calling the weekend a success.

"In this case, you had a lot of people who stopped in Baton Rouge or stayed in Baton Rouge," said David Rhorer with the Downtown Development District. "So we exposed this city to a lot of new people who normally would not be here."

Rhorer says because hotels in New Orleans were booked to capacity or were simply too expensive, tourists drove to the Capital City, some for the game and other simply for the Bayou State experience.

Around this time, Visit Baton Rouge CEO Paul Arrigo says hotel occupancy in the Red Stick is about 30 percent.  But not this weekend.

"It looks like we went to the high 80's, perhaps the low 90's over the stretch of the three days of the Super Bowl, Thursday, Friday, Saturday," he said.

That's more than a 50 percent increase.  Arrigo says they advertised in the San Francisco and Baltimore markets and it all paid off with thousands of football fans flooding Baton Rouge streets and venues with an NFL experience and something else unique to Louisiana.

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