NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It’s a few hours until Tampa Bay fans find themselves in New Orleans. But even with Who Dats all around, businesses in the French Quarter say they haven’t seen the usual black and gold frenzy as years prior, especially compared to past playoff runs.
“Trickling in and out. You know, this as best it can be expected for what is going on, you know, within our limited capacity. We’re still going to be loud. We’re just not going to have as many people” said John Kanippe.
“The restaurants are working really hard to adapt to all of the changes and the restrictions so you know for both locals and for visitors we want it to be a fun experience but most importantly, a safe experience,” said Kelly Shulz.
With modified Phase 1 restrictions still in place, only about three thousand fans will be allowed inside the dome.
New Orleans and Company’s Kelly Schulz says even though the numbers aren’t great for visitors and tourism dollars, it’s the national exposure that should pay off in the end.
“What we will have is millions of dollars of free PR and advertising value, that will be brought to the city with all of the national spotlight on the city of New Orleans,” said Shulz.
“We’ve always done the black and gold cakes and off course they pick up now,” said John Caluda.
While crowds inside the dome are cancelled, if king cake sales are any barometer, the watch parties just moved to the living rooms.
“There aren’t going to be as many parties the offices aren’t full so you don’t have many people buying the larges and supers aren’t going as much as, they are going but they’re still buying minis and smalls in large numbers,” said Caluda.
Caluda’s owner John Caluda said despite the pandemic, he had a good feeling about king cakes this season, knowing folks would still pair a sugar fix with a Saints win.
“Like the saying is you can cancel Mardi Gras you can’t cancel king cakes its true,” said Caluda.
“I think Covid there’s just less fans gathering. I think there is still the love out there for sure…. Yeah, I can’t support moving to a smaller king cake. I think bigger is better, but to each their own you know,” said Aaron Baltzely.
“This season has to go on as close to normal as possible and this kind of brings low normality to it so, do our gumbo and have a king cake and it feels like regular season,” said Heather Tucker.
Caluda said they’re already prepared to sell those black and gold king cakes tomorrow, but you’ll still have to get up early and wait in line.
Copyright 2021 WVUE. All rights reserved.