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Volume 24 No. 158

Events and Attractions

Super Bowl XLVII organizers and New Orleans city officials yesterday announced “road closure plans and described the scope of activities surrounding” the Feb. 3 game, according to Mark Waller of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. The weekend features “an NFL Tailgate Party for 10,000 guests that will take place in parking lots and garages around the New Orleans Arena.” A Game Day Fan Plaza that “aims to spread out traffic by attracting people for food and entertainment throughout the day will unfold at Champion's Square next to the Dome and on the roofs of buildings around the square.” The televised NFL Honors awards show “will take place at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts.” The XLVII numerals will “rest on a barge in the Mississippi River at Woldenberg Park, which also will serve as venue to the Super Bowl Boulevard, a free festival including music, food and interactive games.” In addition, the NFL Experience, a “traveling football theme park,” will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation and New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee Media co-Chair Mark Romig said that the “most prominent spokespeople for New Orleans will include Mary Matalin and James Carville, the famed political consultants and husband and wife who co-chair the host committee," and former NFLer Archie Manning. Host Committee Community Affairs & Emerging Business Chair Rod West said that the weekend will feature a "Super Saturday of Service" the day before the game, with $2M in renovations "at five New Orleans Recreation Department playgrounds, 10 home repair projects and other efforts that involve a total of 1,000 volunteers and 5,000 volunteer hours” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 12/12).

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has approved payment of $29.3M from the state's Major Events Trust Fund to organizers of the Nov. 16-18 F1 U.S. Grand Prix, which is "slightly less than what a group affiliated with Circuit of the Americas had requested in July,” according to Dave Doolittle of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. The payment covers “traffic management, temporary grandstands, other seating and a sanctioning fee to Formula One Management to host the race.” The amount authorized by Combs “isn’t based on actual tax revenue generated by the event," but is an “estimation of tax revenue made by the comptroller’s staff and the Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee.” Under trust fund rules, the amount granted to the event organizers “should be equal to the amount of additional tax revenues generated by the major event.” The comptroller’s staff is “required to complete a post-event economic analysis within 18 months of the event.” The tax revenues that will be analyzed “include sales, alcohol, hotel rooms and car rentals.” The application to the trust fund “sought a total" of $30.6M. The application contained a July economic impact study, letters from City of Austin officials and F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, and "other documents” (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 12/12).