Sugar Bowl fans making French Quarter merchants smile

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 2 at 9:01 PM

Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS - The French Quarter was a crowded place Thursday, and for area businesses, the sweet sound of the Sugar Bowl was the jingle of cash registers.

"We have been having a blast," said Jennifer Hall of Forever New Orleans. "There is a very good crowd in town. We love all the folks coming in town for Sugar Bowl."

Store owners say there are window shoppers, of course, but add that plenty of visitors came here to enjoy shopping as well as football.

"Business is really good," said Louis Marcotte of Italy Direct. "Traffic is coming in like crazy, and they're buying."

And they love being in the national spotlight again.

"It's good for the City, it's great exposure again," said Patti Fischer of Fischer & Gambino Antiques.

"You know after last year with the events we had, here we start again, so we're happy."

"But I think it also raises the awareness of New Orleans as a place to come," said Tom Wilson.

Allstate CEO Tom Wilson helped spruce up Covenant House today, then became a New Orleans booster.

"I use this opportunity to invite other CEOs and business leaders that I know from around the country down to this event, so that they can see New Orleans," said Wilson.

French Quarter merchants hope this is the start of another super year. Actor Dennis Haysbert, he's Allstate's spokesman, agrees this is the town to host super events.

"Like no other place in the world," said Haysbert. "The Super Bowl should be here every year, as far as I'm concerned. It certainly shouldn't be in the ice cold of New York. I'm sorry NFL."

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