The New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee, at its inaugural press conference, announced today that James Carville and Mary Matalin will serve as the Host Committee Co-Chairs for Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. The formation of the Host Committee is the first step in preparation for hosting the world's most special sporting event. The Committee will be responsible for fulfilling all the obligations of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation and New Orleans Saints' bid presented to the NFL. In May of this year, the NFL owners voted to award New Orleans Super Bowl XLVII, following a six-month bid process and final presentation at their annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale.
Led by the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, the Super Bowl Host Committee will be comprised of leaders from the hospitality, tourism, and economic development industries including: the New Orleans Saints, State of Louisiana, City of New Orleans, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans Morial Convention Center. Saints owner Tom Benson and Rita Benson LeBlanc, New Orleans Saints owner and Executive Vice President, introduced Carville and Matalin at today's press conference. LeBlanc noted, "As resident stakeholders of the City of New Orleans, James and Mary bring a national and global perspective to our city and this local effort. We couldn't think of a better pair of representatives to steer the enormous efforts of the Host Committee as we begin the process of hosting our 10th Super Bowl."
Louisiana native James Carville, America's best-known political consultant, and Sirius XM radio sports talk radio host, has been a longtime champion of the city he now calls home, "My favorite city is playing host to my favorite sporting event, and I am delighted to be able to contribute to that effort. Undoubtedly, New Orleans is about to enter into one of its most exciting and productive eras in its nearly 300 year history."
The return of major sporting events to New Orleans has played a vital role in our economic re-development, paving the way for the return of the sporting world's marquee events, which have long served as major economic engines for this community. The Super Bowl is not just the NFL's crown jewel and preeminent sporting event in the United States, but perhaps the preeminent event of any type.
"Mary and I are honored to serve as the Co-Chairs of New Orleans' 10th Host Committee, and in our eyes the most important Super Bowl to date for New Orleans. I was lucky enough to attend Super Bowl I in Los Angeles, as well as the first Super Bowl in New Orleans. In 2013, the world is going to be reminded why New Orleans is the favorite destination for the Super Bowl. From the French Quarter, to the dining, to the music, to our world class hospitality, no city does it better, period."
Fellow political consult, commentator, and best-selling author, Mary Matalin, also signed on to Co-Chair the efforts with her husband, "As residents, we recognize the value of hosting the world's greatest special event. We also know that no city can deliver a Super Bowl experience better than New Orleans. James and I look forward to steering this Host Committee and rallying our community in every aspect; from recruiting thousands of volunteers, to fundraising, to promoting the inclusion of our women and minority owned businesses in the business of Super Bowl. We are proud to hit the ground running today as the Host Committee Chairs."
Ron Gardner, Chairman of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, also announced the naming of Jay Cicero as the Executive Director of the New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee. Cicero, President/CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, served as Executive Director of the 2002 Host Committee. The staff of the Sports Foundation will once again serve as the day-to-day staff of the Host Committee as it did in 1997 and 2002. Gardner added, "The vast experience of the Sports Foundation Board of Directors and staff is a tremendous advantage for special events like the Super Bowl. We are pleased that James and Mary have accepted a leadership role as Host Committee Chairs for this great event."
Follow the New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee online, at www.nolasuperbowl.com, or find nolasuperbowl on Twitter and Facebook.