NEW ORLEANS -- The 2005 Sugar Bowl produced an economic
impact of $209.92 million for the city and state, according to a
study completed by Dr. Timothy Ryan of the University of New
"Dr. Ryan's study once again shows the tremendous effect that
championship caliber college football can have for our city, the
region and state," said Mark Romig, president of the Sugar Bowl
On January 3, Auburn, the undefeated champion of the
Southeastern Conference, and Virginia Tech, the winner of the
Atlantic Coast Conference, played before a sold-out crowd of
77,349. Auburn pulled out a 16-13 victory over the Hokies.
The bowl's overall economic impact was $110.18 million in direct
visitor spending and an additional $99.74 million in secondary
spending, Ryan's study concluded. State and local governments also
realized $15.92 million in tax revenue.
"For 72 years, the Sugar Bowl has been one of the most reliable
and forceful economic engines of tourism," Gov. Kathleen Blanco
According to Ryan's study, city hotels reaped substantial
benefits from the Sugar Bowl. Nearly 80 percent of those attending
the game stayed in local hotels and spent a combined $32.27
million. The average length of stay was 2.94 nights.
Restaurants and bars fared well also with bowl visitors spending
$17.51 million in New Orleans area restaurants and another $13.49
million in local bars. Entertainment and shopping venues realized
an estimated $16.59 million in new revenue from bowl guests, the
"These numbers confirm that we're doing well by our charter
mission, that being to host sporting events that positively affect
our state and local economies," said Sugar Bowl executive director
Paul Hoolahan. "Furthermore, being a member of the Bowl
Championship Series offers us a platform to showcase New Orleans to
national and international audiences on an annual basis."
According to the study, in addition to a large number of
students (23.1 percent), typical Sugar Bowl visitors are largely
employed in professional and management positions (51.1 percent)
with average household incomes of nearly $87,000.
In response to questions about their favorite things in New
Orleans, the leading answers from Sugar Bowl visitors were the food
(26.6 percent) and the French Quarter/Bourbon Street (25.9
The Sugar Bowl now has generated more than $1.1 billion for the
local and state economies over the past decade.