CFP organizers talk economic impact and presidential visit

CFP organizers talk economic impact and presidential visit

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - New Orleans will become the epicenter of the college football world. City officials say if you don’t have tickets for the National Championship Game, between LSU and Clemson, there will be a number of big events you can take part in.

The Superdome proves it’s versatility once more with the transformation from the Saints playoff game to the biggest game in college football.

“We are on the eve of something special here,” said sugar bowl director Jeff Hundley.

Dome workers erased the Saints fleur de lis, to be replaced with college football playoff logos. new seat section wraps are also up in advance of the Monday night game, which has been in the planning stage for five years.

“We bid on this in May of 2015, and it’s been a long road game week is finally here,” said Jay Cicero with the New Orleans Sports Foundation.

The game between number one LSU and number three Clemson will be a sellout, but tickets are still available online. But for New Orleanians who don’t want to pony up the $1,000 starting ticket price, there will be a number of events.

CFP organizers are hosting three days of concerts at Woldenberg Park featuring groups like Bastille and Trombone Shorty beginning Saturday.

There will also be a playoff fan central at the Convention Center, beginning Saturday morning, complete with clinics, pep rallies, and exhibits celebrating college football.

"Over 2000 volunteers for this event, we have been recruiting for several months," said Cicero.

Security was already going to be tight for the CFP Championship but the announcement that President Trump was coming has made things even tighter.

"My public safety team did meet with Secret Service," said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

It’s been more than 40 years since a president visited a sporting event in New Orleans, and the mayor says there have been discussions to minimize fan impacts when it comes to where Air Force One will land.

“Maybe our wanting Belle Chasse used, instead of MSY, we’ve been having dialogue,” said Cantrell.

“It adds a layer of complexity for everyone, but we will create a welcoming experience,” said CFP director Bill Hancock.

The State of Louisiana put up $4 million to host the CFP championship, and the mayor is leaving little doubt as to who she would like to see win.

“Go LSU Tigers...I’m not wearing purple for nothing,” Cantrell said.

But as the city prepares for the CFP championship Monday night, she promises all will be welcome.

"Based on how the city has prepared, we're not picking and choosing. everyone is welcome to enjoy the city of New Orleans," said Cantrell.

Judging economic impacts of such events is often tricky, but organizers say it will likely run at around $250 million.

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