TWITTER FANS: Details on how to win the #SugarTwitTix are here.
NEW ORLEANS — In the battle of the reds, Cardinal commanded the French Quarter.
From the morning parade to the Allstate Fan Fest stage in the afternoon, it was obvious which fan base was large and in charge.
Officials with the Fan Fest proclaimed the estimated 10,000-plus Arkansas Razorback fans created the largest pre-bowl pep rally crowd.
The city of New Orleans rolls out the red carpet whenever special events happen. This time, Razorback Red rules.
Bowl and tourism officials are estimating 35,000 of the 70K-plus inside the Louisiana Superdome are with the Razorbacks. From a look around town at banners and crowds walking the French Quarter, it’s obvious that number could be low.
The town is booked solid with fans of both the Razorbacks and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Officials with the metro convention and visitors bureau say that if you factor the roughly 35K Hog fans against an estimated visit impact of $1,200 per person, that means Arkansas is dropping a $42 million impact on the Big Easy.
Not bad. When you consider there are thousands more Razorback fans still chasing the sold-out tickets to the game, the impact could approach $45-$50 million.
The excitement in this traditional tourist location is obvious.
Last night, an overflow crowd for Margaritaville Cafe (they can hold around 800) spilled into the streets of the French Market area to see head coach Bobby Petrino’s show.
Today that spread across the entire French Quarter.
Coach Petrino at the close at his show came up with a perfect assessment of these last 24 hours heading toward kickoff.
"We’ve come her to work hard and take care of business so the whole state of Arkansas can have a party," Petrino said.
Business for the Razorbacks starts at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.
TODAY FROM THE QUARTER
We have bonus video of the Allstate Fan Fest pep rally from the spirit squad point of view.
In our day seven video blog, Kelly Schulz with the New Orleans CVD tells us more about the economic impact.
This morning, serious business as members of the University of Arkansas athletic department, university administration and students volunteered in the city’s Ninth Ward. The Ninth Ward continues to suffer from the impact of Katrina, and those who attended found it eye-opening that five and a half years since the greatest landfall hurricane tragedy in recent memory the destruction remains. (If you are interested in one particular part, jump to our earlier blog about Save NOLA.)
TOMORROW FROM THE DOME
The interactive blog opens early, but due to BCS rules, we will not be allowed to do regular play by play. So we will provide as many updates as we can, and there’s nothing that says our fans can’t chime in and add their comments. With kickoff around 7:30 p.m., we will start at least at 4:30 p.m.
Speaking of 4:30 p.m., that’s when the Razorback Sports Network broadcast with Chuck Barrett and Keith Jackson begins. We hope to have Chuck and Keith here on ArkansasRazorbacks.com tomorrow morning with a special video preview.
And late Monday evening, we secured TwitTix for the bowl game. For followers of @ArkRazorbacks on Twitter, a chance to get great seats. The contest takes place on Twitter, but details are here.