Not everyone excited about a Super Bowl during Mardi Gras

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wwltv.com

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 22 at 11:32 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS -- As the Crescent City recovers from Carnival season, New Orleans is looking ahead to 2013.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and community members are bracing for next year's Carnival season that will include a Super Bowl. Not everyone is happy.

"We had a very good ride. Extremely good weather," said Wayne Lee, captain of the Krewe Of Carrollton.

Traditionally the Krewe of Carrollton rolls through Uptown two weekends before Mardi Gras. But, next year that is all changing.

"The Super Bowl is actually on the day of our parade, and they'll move us up to the week before. Now I'm hearing that the city is going after the Pro Bowl and I don't know if that'll affect us or not," said Lee.

In 2013, Carnival and Mardi Gras revelers will face off against football fans in New Orleans. The Super Bowl will fall smack in the middle of the city's Carnival celebrations.

"As big as what happened on the street [during Mardi Gras was], the Super Bowl is a different kind of thing," Landrieu said.

During a news conference on Ash Wednesday, Landrieu said the city was already looking ahead. Beefed up security plans for 2013 will include NOPD officers, the Department of Homeland Security, State Police, the Orleans and Jefferson Parish sheriff's offices and other agencies.

"This was a record number of troopers that we've ever had for Mardi Gras. We actually had 155 troopers. What we're doing is testing. These are all practices for next year's Super Bowl-Mardi Gras combo," said Col. Michael Edmonson with Louisiana State Police.

Krewes are also preparing for the Super Bowl and its potential impact on their Carnival preparations.

"We've already contacted the hotel that we've had our ball at for the last nine years and they're unable to give us a date because of the early season," said Jack Rizzuto, captain of the Krewe of Pygmalion.

Rizzuto said pushing parades and balls into January won't be easy or cheap.

"The mayor and his executive staff have never taken the time to meet with us Carnival captains and explain what they're going to do to help us. They've said basically do it, take it or leave it," said Rizzuto.

While Carnival and Super Bowl crowds will bring in big bucks, Rizzuto said it is important for city leadership to remember the community.

"We're not against the Super Bowl. I'm in business in the city. The Super Bowl is very valuable to us, but the Super Bowl comes every 10 years. Mardi Gras comes each and every year," said Rizzuto.

Back in 2002, when the Super Bowl was held here in New Orleans, the September 11, 2011 attacks pushed back game day. That schedule change forced 11 krewes to change their schedules -- all were financially compensated by the NFL.

 

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