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Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS -- There is one month and counting before Super Bowl XLVII in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Thursday night, more than a thousand volunteers attended an orientation session at the Morial Convention Center to learn about their role in hosting the big game.

'We recruited 17,400 volunteers over the past two years,' said host committee executive director Jay Cicero. 'There are 12,000 shifts that were available to sign up, 98 percent of those are full right now.'

The NFL has already taken over the Superdome. Locals will soon see signs football's premier event of the year is just around the corner.

'They're going to notice the build out around the 'Dome,' said Cicero. 'They're going to notice a lot of signage that's going to start to go up not only at the airport, but in downtown properties and hotels.'

The Super Bowl has grown by leaps and bounds in the 10 years since New Orleans last hosted the event.

The game itself is expected to attract 111 million viewers worldwide.

Tourism leaders say the city has an important story to tell about recovery and rebirth in the wake of Hurricane Katrina more than seven years ago.

That's something bound to strike a chord with football fans in New York and New Jersey recently hit by Superstorm Sandy.

The Big Apple hosts the next Super Bowl.

'The New York media will be here looking at what happened to New Orleans and where we are now and that parallel story will be told I think all week,' said New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. CEO Mark Romig. 'I think the fact that they can see how far we've come and see the spirit of the people is intact gives them the hope that a brighter day is ahead for them too.'

The Super Bowl is expected to have a local economic impact of the more than $500 million.

Even small businesses such as L & R Security in New Orleans East get a piece of the pie.

'It's going to be a great deal,' said L & R owner Ed Robinson. 'We've been looking forward to it. We've been waiting on it. We're hiring people. Even though it has this big world atmosphere, we have a part of that big world and a lot of other small companies that I know about that actually have an opportunity to work.'

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