Superbowl 2013: New Orleans Welcomes Visitors with Improved and Modernized Airport

On January 15, 2013 New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu hosted the official opening of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport’s Terminal Interior and Exterior Improvements Airport Modernization Program.  This capital program, comprising more than $300 million of infrastructure improvements, was begun before the impact of Hurricane Katrina and successfully completed ahead of a make-or-break event for the city and the region: Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome on February 2.

“An expected 42,000 visitors to the city will be greeted and hosted in world-class style with Armstrong’s newly renovated terminal and concourse spaces, windows and lighting, fully reconstructed restrooms throughout the terminal, together with new information displays, baggage claim and security checkpoint upgrades, a new walk-to-rent consolidated rental car facility, rental car service centers and six new gates in a renovated and expanded Concourse D. The Jerome S. Glazer Access Road has just been renovated for a smooth ride direct to Interstate 10.  After their visit, on the way home, there are new landmark local gift and dining venues such as the Saints store and Dooky Chase’s – more than $6 million of improved concessions offerings.  What the visitors won’t see is just as important: a new airfield fire station, rehabilitated airfield pavement and lighting controls, a $30 million state-of-the-art security system and emergency operations center and security fencing.

As significant as all of these improvements are for the visitors, they are lasting investments made for the long term benefit of the community here in South East Louisiana.  And they were all done without taxpayer dollars, with user fees and self-generated airport funds.

TMG Consulting has been assisting the New Orleans Aviation Board in realizing their plans for more than twenty years.  We have been able to advise Armstrong on planning, programing and funding their capital investments.  And we’ve been able to help build our hometown while doing it.  We’re proud of our efforts and those of our partners at Armstrong and throughout the local consultant community.  We’re continuing in our service and excited by the future.  As satisfying as the Airport Modernization Program is, we believe the best is yet to come…

Contributed by:

Ross F. Chapman

Principal

rfc@tmg-consulting.net  

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Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

New Orleans Needs to Look Beyond Tourism

In preparation for the 2013 Super Bowl which will be hosted by New Orleans, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has donated $30 million to make tourist focused improvements to the French Quarter. Simultaneously, in the legislature, Sen. Edwin Murray has introduced legislation to create a “hospitality zone” which would levy taxes in the superdome and French Quarter area to enhance public safety, sanitation, lighting, and marketing in the area. (more…)

A Tale of Two Super Cities: Indianapolis and New Orleans

February 7th is the two-hundredth anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth.  An enduring required reading masterpiece of his, a Tale of Two Cities, considered characters’ lives in London and Paris during the bloodiest days of the French Revolution.

Without much of a segue to justify my title, I offer a Tale of Two Super Bowl Cities, Indianapolis and New Orleans, that’s XLVI and XLVII to sports fans and 2012 and 2013 to planners.  Basically, London and Paris in either nineteenth century or the twenty-first are far more similar than Indy and the Big Easy as venues.

Memorial Circle, the center of Downtown Indianapolis, Photo: TMG Consulting (Left) and Lee Circle, in New Orleans, Photo:exploreneworleans.info (Right).

Though both cities are sufficiently equipped to handle an event like the Super Bowl, they are in stark contrast to each other in almost every other aspect.

1.   Accommodations:  Indianapolis has approximately 6,500 hotel rooms including a brand new JW Marriott with 1,000 rooms.  New Orleans has about 35,000 hotel rooms including almost 1,200 in the freshly rebuilt Hyatt over-looking the Superdome.

JW Mariott in Indianapolis during the 2012 Super Bowl, Photo: LastAngryFan.com (Left); The recently re-opened Hyatt in New Orleans, Photo: TMG Consulting (Right).

2.   Airports: Indianapolis has a brand new, $1 billion Airport with about seven million passengers per year.   New Orleans has a forty-year old terminal with over eight million passengers per year.

3.   Host Experience: Indy just completed hosting its first Super Bowl to many positive reviews for good planning and a successful event.   New Orleans has hosted the Super Bowl nine times before, most recently in 2002, very palpably in the shadow of September 11, 2001.

4.   Activity: The Super Bowl in Indianapolis is the crowning jewel of a rebranding of the city to promote its enthusiasm and involvement in sports, an effort involving acquisition of an NFL team and building two bespoke stadiums. Annually, they are host to the Indianapolis 500 which attracts approximately 300,000 spectators. The Super Bowl in New Orleans will pause Mardi Gras festivities next year.  Mardi Gras attracts over one million revelers annually. Other events hosted throughout the year with huge visitor numbers common in New Orleans are the Sugar Bowl (70,000+), the Final Four (75,000+), Jazz Fest (400,000 +), Essence Fest (400,000+), and the French Quarter Festival (500,000+).

2011 Sugar Bowl, Superdome, New Orleans. Photo: TMG Consulting

5.   Key Industry: While Indianapolis is working to improve their tourism industry while fostering strong corporate business activity. New Orleans has many visitors and, while always seeking to attract more, would welcome the kind of corporate business activity Indianapolis boasts.  In essence, both cities are seeking to further diversify.

Although the challenges are different between a mid-western stalwart city and a world-renowned tourist destination, the logistical and planning challenges associated with delivering a 100,000 plus visitor event are real and critical.  Each year, the NFL flies 1,500 Friends and Families of the competing teams on charter aircraft to and from the Big Game.   Dallas/Fort Worth, the host of Super Bowl XLV, had an additional 40,000 travellers and had to contend with a freak ice storm.

New England Patriots, Charter Flight in Indianapolis, 2012. Photo: TMG Consulting

TMG was able to visit Indianapolis and observe preparations to accommodate heavy aviation demand going to and, most especially, departing the game.  We’re working to assist in planning for a smooth experience for all New Orleans’ visitors come 2013.  We’re committed to making our Super Bowl, like Indy’s, the best of times!

 Contributed by:

Ross Chapman

Principal

rfc@tmg-consulting.net  or (504) 569-9239 x 27

 
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Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

IND Airport Delivers a Touch-Down Performance for Super Bowl XLVI

Over the weekend Indianapolis hosted its very first Super Bowl.  The new airport terminal at Indianapolis International Airport (IND) was the first and last destination for most attendees arriving by air.  Multi-year planning, expansive new facilities and dedicated staff let IND handle the increased passenger traffic in stride.  The Super Bowl in Indianapolis was a defining event for the city’s people and its businesses.  The genuine excitement, planning effort and hospitality were present within the airport and across the city.

From the moment you stepped off the plane in Indianapolis, it was very apparent that you were in a “Super Bowl City”.  The new terminal facility boasts high ceilings and a clean, modern feel. The Airport was accented in tasteful Indianapolis Super Bowl displays that were provided, in part, by the city’s Host Committee.  Immediately upon leaving the concourse area, passengers walk through the centralized Civic Plaza which is surrounded by concessions and comfortable seating areas.  For the Super Bowl, the Civic Plaza put on a series of live entertainment acts; offered a wealth of concessions to help football fans get ready for the big game; and featured numerous dedicated volunteers, greeters and staff wishing everyone a “Super Day”.

At IND, the busiest day for scheduled arrivals was the Friday prior to the Super Bowl.  IND welcomed over 14,000 passengers on that Friday, representing record breaking traffic for the facility. In preparation for the increased passenger volume, IND implemented a strategic Super Bowl plan which included three temporary FAA towers which assisted in air traffic control and management of fleets of charters and commercial aircraft.  The plan also included a comprehensive ground transportation program which assured that taxis, limos, buses and their passengers would not congest any area of the Airport.  Staff, vendors and the Host Committee coordinated with concessions and rental car companies to accommodate the increased demand for all amenities.

When most of the passengers returned to IND on Monday after the game, any worries of grand chaos and congestion were mainly unwarranted.  Most passengers were informed to arrive earlier than normal to deal with the rush of passengers.  Monday morning, between the hours of 6:00 – 9:00AM there were approximately 6,500 passengers scheduled to leave.  Though there were long lines at the ticketing counters, passengers moved at a steady pace in order to check in and drop off their bags.  The Airport was careful to plan for increased security and opened all fourteen of their screening lanes at the security checkpoints.  In addition, the consolidated concourses allowed passengers to clear security at any checkpoint and easily walk to their gate regardless of which concourse they were headed to.

Though the planning and effort exuded within IND was instrumental in the airport’s planning efforts to support the city during its first Super Bowl, the one thing any visitor can attest to is that the city’s people were sincerely happy and excited to host such an epic event.  The overall feeling was simply described to me as “Hoosier Pride”.

In 2013, New Orleans will host its 10th Super Bowl and plans are already underway within the city to plan for the event.  Visitors will hopefully leave the city with the same welcoming feeling and a sense of Mardi Gras cheer and Southern hospitality.

Contributed by:

Nilsa M. Duran

Analyst, Planning & Built Environment

nilsaduran@tmg-consulting.net  or 504.569.9239 x 32

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Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.