NEW ORLEANS - Whether it’s ESPN Brazil, Univision or reporters from Japan and Norway, New Orleans is at the center of the media universe this week.
For better or for worse, the city is under a microscope. Most of those talked to by Eyewitness News on Tuesday, say what they’ve experienced is ‘for the better.’
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has been to New Orleans many times – both before and after Hurricane Katrina. What he writes can have a lasting impact on the city’s image.
“I’ve been out twice, late at night,” he said. “(I’ve) walked long distances back to my hotel and never looked over my shoulder. I mean, this city is back and back in a fantastic way.”
Katrina is seven-plus years in the past, but around the world, they have not lived our day-to-day recovery and the Super Bowl will provide a canvas for a clearer picture.
“New Orleans, as far as Japan is concerned, has only heard the bad things that happen with Katrina and post Katrina,” said Ikuma Isaac of Nippon TV. “This is a great way to shine the spotlight on New Orleans to the world.”
With the last Super Bowl having been in the city in 2002 and the next, at the earliest, in 2018, the chance to be on the global stage is rare and the city has to make the most of it.
“It is one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world,” said Antoinetta Collins of Univision. “I can say that because I’ve traveled. This place, the people make it so amazing.”
Media Day and the Super Bowl have become a must-attend event, but, if you can’t be here, you can always Skype it.
Either way, New Orleans wins – so far.
“There’s the flavor of the city, there’s the food, the music,” said Kevin Frasier of the Insider. “It’s the perfect place to gather. That is, no question, what I’ll take away.”
The officials of the city and the region know this is a high-stakes test. So far, it has passed with flying colors, but it’s only about a fourth of the way through the exam.