Super Bowl shuffle disrupts other N.O. events

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NEW ORLEANS -- Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Crescent City, like many destinations, saw some business go away, but it also faced challenges involving the rescheduling of the Super Bowl as well as events surrounding Mardi Gras.

Because professional sports schedules were disrupted following the attacks in New York and Washington, the Super Bowl was rescheduled for the following week.

However, the new date, Feb. 3, coincided with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention, which was slated to bring 30,000 people to town Feb. 2 to 5.

To resolve the conflict, NADA agreed to switch its convention to Jan. 26 to 29; the Super Bowl originally was scheduled to take place Jan. 27. Mardi Gras celebration officials also had to rearrange some events.

Parades that were to take place the weekend of Feb. 1 were moved to the last weekend in January to avoid overlapping with Super Bowl festivities.

"There was some shifting, but it all worked out," a New Orleans Conventions and Visitors Bureau spokeswoman said.

Clients coming to the city during Super Bowl and Mardi Gras will notice a stronger police presence.

There will be "hundreds of additional police officers on the streets and at the Louisiana Superdome," according to Marlon Defillo, deputy chief for the New Orleans Police Department.

Travel New Orleans, an inbound operator based in the Crescent City, is selling Mardi Gras and Super Bowl packages. The firm pays 10% to 12% commission.

For more details, call (800) 535-8747 or visit www.travelneworleans.com.

Some of the properties with space available during Mardi Gras festivities include the 597-room Hotel Monteleone, the 452-room Ritz-Carlton New Orleans and the 250-room Hotel Monaco.

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