Here’s the final score:
New Orleans 2
San Francisco/Oakland 0
Though Bay Area teams have often dominated us on the sports field we have a solid lead in a category that is more important – urban design.
First there are the NBA’s Warriors, who just won a third championship. They carry the name of neither San Francisco nor Oakland but rather the silly title Golden State, which could also apply to Florida or Nevada. Their arena is in Oakland alongside an expressway connecting the Bay Bridge.
In New Orleans we have an arena, which is located downtown in walking distance of the business district and the French Quarter. What the name Golden State has to do with Warriors is unclear but New Orleans and Pelicans clearly go together.
Then there are the football stadiums. Our dome is downtown, with all the conveniences, and next door to the arena. The 49ers decided they needed a new stadium, but could not come to an agreement with San Francisco. So, the city of Santa Clara stepped in and made a deal. Now the 49ers play in Levi's Stadium, which is 44 miles from downtown San Francisco. (Imagine if you lived in New Orleans, wanted to go to a Saints home game and had to drive to Houma, that’s roughly the distance between San Francisco and Santa Clara.)
Sure for the people who live in greater Santa Ciara there is an advantage, but San Francisco is the hub for transportation, media, places to stay and things to do.
Here’s are more figures:
- 37 miles
That’s the distance between where the Warriors play and where the 49ers call home.
- Across the street.
That’s the distance between where the New Orleans Pelicans play and where the Saints call home.
Such concentrated locations are making the development of a sports entertainment district easier, and that’s what is happening along Poydras Street. New Orleans did it right.
On Feb. 7, 2016 Super Bowl number 50 was played at Levi’s Stadium, where attendees could lament about how much more convenient things are when the game is played in New Orleans instead of being sprawled across a hundred miles or so. Game-goers will rediscover the thrill on Feb. 4, 2024 when the game is mercifully returned to this city where it belongs. In most cities by the time the Super Bowl is over people still have to hunker down for more winter. In New Orleans, Super Bowl weekend will be in the middle of the Carnival parade season with Mardi Gras day only nine sunrises away. It would be great if the Saints won that Super Bowl; however, one way or the other, we will be celebrating. New Orleans wins again.
— 30 —
BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s book, “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2013), is available at local bookstores and at book websites.