Super Bowl visitors spending 25% more than last year

By Danny King
A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report says visitor spending for Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans will jump about 25% from last year's Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

Big Easy visitors will dole out about $185 million in Super Bowl-driven lodging, entertainment, food and beverage, entertainment, business services and "other hospitality."

The Feb. 3 game, which pits the San Francisco 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens, has driven up New Orleans' hotel occupancy for this weekend by about 50% from a year earlier, and has more than doubled the average daily rate, according to TravelClick.

The estimated spending spells good news for a city that hasn't hosted the Super Bowl since 2002 and continues its recovery from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Last year, New Orleans hotels' revenue per available room (RevPAR) surged 15% from 2011, the second-largest jump among the 25 largest U.S. markets. (Oahu's 17% increase was the largest, according to Smith Travel Research.)

More telling, the $185 million spending estimate indicates that each of the approximately 73,000 attendees at the Super Bowl will spend about $2,530 in the area, trumping the approximately $2,200 in per-capita Super Bowl spending last year.

And while this year's spending will lag the approximately $200 million for the 2011 Super Bowl in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, that game took place at the monolithic Cowboys Stadium, which hosted more than 103,000 fans.

That means that those Texas visitors spent about $600 less per capita than Louisiana visitors will spend this week.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.
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