Baton Rouge tourism leaders look at impact of Bayou Country Superfest absence

Baton Rouge tourism leaders look at impact of Bayou Country Superfest absence

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Tiger Stadium won't be home to Bayou Country Superfest (BCSF) next year. Furthermore, if producers can't find a different venue in the Capital City, Baton Rouge could take a financial hit.

Festival organizers announced last week that Tiger Stadium would be undergoing bathroom and concession stand renovations.

Every Memorial Day weekend for the last seven years, country music fans have poured into Tiger Stadium for a star-studded lineup of musical acts. Taylor Swift, Jason Aldeen, Zack Brown Band, just to name few, took center stage. It has been a huge hit with country music fans, like Brett Robinson.

"I enjoy it. It's a good chance to see a bunch of different acts all at once. It's affordable. I'm from Baton Rouge. So it doesn't cost me anything to stay in hotels, but just a ticket," Robinson said.

Superfest broke a record in 2014 when an estimated 135,000 people attended the three-day live concerts. In turn, Baton Rouge hotels and restaurants also profited.

Food industry worker Hunter Bambarger said tourists treated their taste buds to a variety of menu items during the three-day weekend.

"Every year it's a big weekend for us when it happens," Bambarger said.

The restaurants and hotels were packed. Paul Arrigo, the president of Visit Baton Rouge, said the city saw more than 300 percent in returns.

"There are things that are attractions and things that are attractors, and because Superfest was an attractor, it brought people into town," Arrigo said.

Arrigo said Baton Rouge businesses could see a dip in revenue next May if the festival is not relocated somewhere in the Capital City. At this point, he said, there aren't many options.

"Obviously it's not going to be at Tiger Stadium. We don't have a venue like Tiger Stadium. It takes a stadium like that to put something on like that," Arrigo said.

Arrigo said he and other tourism leaders are actively looking at other attractions that could make the financial blow a little softer.

"There are some smaller events going on in Baton Rouge that we are going to try to brand as part of Baton Rouge's 200th Anniversary next year," Arrigo said.

As for the future of Bayou Country, Arrigo said he hopes the stars will align over a crowd of eager fans in Tiger Stadium again in 2019.

9News reached out to BCSF producer Quint Davis on Monday and Tuesday. He has not returned our calls.

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