NEW ORLEANS - The Saints may be struggling on the field as of late, but they lead the NFL in one important statistic.
According to a new report by STR Analytics, published in Hotel News Now, the Saints rank first in the league for home-game, hotel room revenue.
New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation President and CEO Mark Romig says fans across the NFL come to the Big Easy for the game and the city.
"They know its a good visit, a fun visit and I think word's getting out that if you're going to come to a sporting destination, New Orleans is one of those top destinations to visit," Romig said.
According to STR, the Saints had a $16.2 million impact on hotel revenue in 2015.
The biggest draws last season, Carolina and arch-rival Atlanta, followed by the Giants, Dallas, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Detroit.
"You've got two great fan bases in both Atlanta and Charlotte, Charlotte supporting the Carolina Panthers," Romig said. "It's also the opposite, we have a lot of people who leave New Orleans that go up to the Carolina game or will go over to Atlanta."
Windsor Court GM David Teich, who also serves at president of the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association says it's not just the match-up that impacts hotel performance
"Our hope is that there are more night games, that's always a boom, especially on a Monday night or a Sunday night game or Thursday night games," Teich said. "For instance, on this Monday night game against the Falcons, which I think is a week from Monday, on a normal Monday night, we would be busy, but certainly not sold out, but now we've sold out weeks and weeks in advance."
Many Who Dats are also spending the weekend in New Orleans. The Saints have a large base of support across the Gulf Coast.
"They're on the Gulf Coast, they're in Mississippi and Alabama, northern parts of Mississippi," Romig said. "They're coming in as well."
Hospitality leaders say money spent at area hotels is just a fraction of what visitors and locals alike will shell out in New Orleans on a weekend when the Saints are playing in the Dome.
"Everything is within a mile of the Dome," Teich said. "We have 36,000 hotel rooms right in that area, restaurants, bars. It's a whole weekend party."
"They're going to the restaurants," Romig said. "They're having a great time when they're here and they're staying two or three nights as well."
Economist Dr. Tim Ryan pegged the Saints overall economic impact on New Orleans and Louisiana at more than $600 million a year.
(© 2016 WWL)