NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - With tourists trickling back to New Orleans, downtown businesses are reaping the benefits.
“Especially since vaccines, business is picking up a little more which is great it’s great to see tourist and having people come out sit outside and enjoy the nice weather,” said Meghan Evans, manager at Juan’s Flying Burrito.
With the Saints’ season a few months away, Evans hopes the upward trend continues.
“Huge Saints fan. I’m so excited for the Superdome to open up hopefully,” she said.
“I absolutely feel we’re on track for that and I’m hopeful I really am,” said Mayor Latoya Cantrell.
There are still, however, limitations and rules surrounding large gatherings in the city, though with vaccination efforts a primary concern, Cantrell says she’s hopeful scaled-down events will be a thing of the past.
“So by this time next year, I’m hoping absolutely we’ll be able to celebrate and host events in this city like no one can do, so it’s an exciting time and how far we’ve come, but let me tell you, the light’s clearly at the end of the tunnel,” said Mayor Cantrell.
Across the state line however, baseball in the Texas Rangers stadium saw thousands packing the stands, something many haven’t seen since pre-pandemic times.
“It looks like a super spreader event even if only for one day,” said health educator, Dr. Eric Griggs.
While encouraged by New Orleans’ current infection and vaccination rates, Griggs says it’s too early to pack a stadium.
“We know that the 90 to 95 percent effectiveness means 90 to 95 percent of the people who were infected out of those, they didn’t have to go to the hospital or they didn’t die, so that’s it… we just don’t want to rush it because every time we have to step back, it takes that much longer to get back to normal,” said Dr. Griggs.
Who Dats are anxious to cheer on the team in the Superdome again, but they know health and safety come first.
“I just want to keep everyone safe and myself safe too,” said Evans.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Superdome said:
“We also look forward to having our venues at full capacity again, and we will continue to follow health guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our guests.”
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