NEW ORLEANS, LA (NBC33) — A winning performance by Southern University wasn’t the only big moment at the 39th annual Bayou Classic in New Orleans. The event was the only HBCU Football Classic to see an increase in attendance from last year, making it the second largest Classic on the list.
The official attendance placed 45,980 at the game, and roughly half that at the Battle of the Bands and Greek Show.
“It is exciting to see the increase in attendance in all of our events this year,” said Dottie Belletto, President and CEO of New Orleans Convention Company, Inc. (NOCCI), the management firm of the Bayou Classic. “Our strategy for Bayou Classic is working with last year our focus on making Bayou Classic a family event that provides something for alumni, visitors and the community of New Orleans and this year focused on continued growth in attendance for all events that make up Bayou Classic weekend.”
The increase in attendance was also good news for the city of New Orleans. The Convention & Visitors Bureau shows that hotel occupancy was at roughly 93 percent. They project that the event brought 200,000 fans into the Crescent City.
This year’s Bayou Classic win for Southern University was its first since 2007. The team was lead by interim head coach Dawson Odums, who is currently one of three candidates in consideration for the full time position.