City Reps: NBA All-Star Weekend ‘A Slam Dunk’
NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend a huge success yesterday, and thanked the local, state and federal public safety agencies, public employees, the host committee, and the people of New Orleans for helping make it all possible.
At a press conference at City Hall, alongside Dennis Lauscha, President, New Orleans Pelicans and New Orleans Saints; and Jay Cicero, President, Sports Foundation/All-Star Game; Mayor Landrieu said, “It takes a great team of professionals in our public and private sectors to coordinate these types of major events. This is especially true this year as we continue to respond to the tornado in New Orleans East. I want to thank the hard-working men and women of the New Orleans Police Department, Louisiana State Police, FBI, New Orleans Fire Department, New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, and all our federal, state and local partners who were all hands on deck throughout the Weekend. I want to thank the people of this great city for your cooperation and enthusiasm throughout NBA All-Star Weekend. We expected this to be a heavy lift with All-Star Weekend overlapping with the first week of Mardi Gras parades, but we had good plans in place and the public was cooperative and patient. Thank you to the NBA, Pelicans, and local All-Star Game Host Committee for an unprecedented effort to pull off the NBA All-Star Game in just six months. This weekend is proof positive that being inclusive and welcoming is beneficial to the tourism industry and economic development for the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans.”
Owner of New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Tom Benson said, “We are proud of our relationship with the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver. We thank them for trusting New Orleans to make this All-Star game the best ever. Hosting the NBA All-Star game is so much more than just a game celebrating the greats of today in a game played on one night. It is a build-up highlighting the great programs of the NBA’s youth development programs – inclusion and equality – and cherishing the legends that built this game. Gayle and I cannot be more proud of our staff at the Pelicans and our city officials, the police officers and fire department that kept us safe and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation and its many volunteers that made this a reality. A heartfelt thank you to all of you. There are few cities that can pull all of that off and do it in short order. This is something that we all can take great pride in – showcasing our city to a global audience. And finally, I would be remiss to not congratulate our very own Anthony Davis, the game’s MVP and while is he is a great player on the court – he is a better man off the court.”
Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President/ CEO Cicero said, “In addition to New Orleans having an inclusive environment, the NBA decided to give New Orleans the opportunity to host because of their confidence in the leadership and experience of Mr. Benson, Governor Edwards, Mayor Landrieu, our facilities and hospitality community. The unmatched experience and dedication of our All-Star Host Committee, led by the Pelicans and the Sports Foundation, created a spectacular weekend in Louisiana that exceeded all economic, cultural, and positive media exposure expectations.”
President and CEO of The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation Mark Romig said, “The hospitality industry is deeply appreciative of the NBA as well as the local Mardi Gras krewes for their belief in our city’s ability to come together as one and produce a winning weekend for all. We once again demonstrated to the nation that we are one of the best destinations for national and international events and we know how to help create lasting positive memories for both citizens and visitors.”
President and CEO of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau Stephen Perry said, “Our city made a strong statement about the importance of inclusion and diversity over the weekend. NBA basketball fans watching around the world saw New Orleans’ hospitality on display, while those who made the trip to New Orleans were fully immersed in it, as well as the added benefit of experiencing the incredible spirit of Mardi Gras. I am so proud of our hospitality industry and the city’s leadership for all the hard work and planning involved in hosting the NBA All-Star Game this year. I believe it sent a powerful message about our values and our ability to host multiple, large-scale events and will hopefully lead to more weekends like the one we just had.”
The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) will continue to have officers staffed at 100 percent capacity throughout the city during the 2017 Mardi Gras season, city reps said. They are complemented by officers from the Louisiana State Police and FBI, as well as officers from other public safety agencies. This weekend, there were 590 NOPD officers and 165 Louisiana State Police officers on the street. Other law enforcement agencies that assisted were Louisiana National Guard, FBI, U.S. Marshal, St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office, Kenner Police Department, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, Tulane University Police, Louisiana Probation and Parole and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Officers made a total of 100 arrests and seized 12 illegal weapons over the weekend. NOPD will continue to enforce a zero tolerance of guns on parade routes throughout the rest of Carnival season and continue strong presence in every neighborhood, city reps said.
Over the weekend, the city’s hotel occupancy was at 99 percent.
The City employed a total of 930 contract workers from the Department of Sanitation and other city departments to plan and execute the clean-up during All-Star Weekend. All of these laborers worked tremendously hard to return the city streets to normalcy, city reps said. In general, all routes were cleaned within two hours of the conclusion of a parade. Fifty-three City Sanitation workers and contractors collected a total of 9,079.3 tons of debris using 22 pieces of equipment.
The city also issued more than 182 vendor and special permits related to the Mardi Gras and NBA All-Star Weekend activities.
To keep residents and visitors fully informed this Mardi Gras season, the city is providing live updates to the public about weather, traffic and general parade safety. Parade goers are encouraged to text MARDIGRAS17 to 888777 from a mobile device to receive alerts.