Tourism leaders working to bring Sugar Bowl fans to the Coast - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Tourism leaders working to bring Sugar Bowl fans to the Coast

Tourism leaders on the Coast are working on a plan to take advantage of Ole Miss playing in the Sugar Bowl. (Photo source: WLOX) Tourism leaders on the Coast are working on a plan to take advantage of Ole Miss playing in the Sugar Bowl. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Tourism leaders on the Coast are working on a plan to take advantage of Ole Miss playing in the Sugar Bowl.

An effort is underway to cash in on the opportunity to bring football fans here and make the Coast a bowl game destination.

The Ole Miss Rebels football team and their enthusiastic fan base is preparing for a trip to New Orleans and a showdown in the Superdome against Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.

While a lot of fans will likely book rooms in New Orleans, there is a golden opportunity to lure people to the Coast.

Tourism leaders at the Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast office are aware of the fact that many fans from both universities could find South Mississippi to be a great alternative.

"There will be a lot of people who will automatically stay in New Orleans, including the media. All the rooms may be occupied there and travelers could be looking for other opportunities, maybe more affordable opportunities," said executive director Renee Areng. 

Hotels, casinos and restaurants can be a magnet to bring fans to South Mississippi. A game plan is now in place to take advantage of the Coast's amenities and close proximity to New Orleans.

"We've reached out to the lodging association, and we're working with them on packages for overnight stays here, and we'll provide transportation to New Orleans. Hopefully we'll get fans from both Ole Miss and Oklahoma State staying here. They can enjoy the Coast and New Orleans," Areng said.

As for marketing the Coast, tourism officials plan to use digital platforms to attract football fans.

"This will be more of a viral campaign. It’s short notice, so we'll do a lot of social media to reach out to the universities and their alumni associations," said Areng.

The Sugar Bowl kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 1 in New Orleans.

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