Understanding the Unforgettable


Gayle and Tom Benson have been to many Super Bowls and parties, but when New Orleans was awarded Super Bowl XLVII, Gayle wanted to put on a party that no one could ever forget. She wanted to show the best of New Orleans hospitality with elegant details and “over the top” food, music and libations. Not only was she thrilled that she could showcase the city, she also wanted to make sure that the Super Bowl would come back to New Orleans for the 11th time.

When the Bensons attended a spectacular Mercedes-Benz party in Germany, Gayle asked who helped with the décor; Bronson Van Wyck from New York was the designer. When they got back to the states she got in touch with him and told him her vision for the National Football League’s owners party. She wanted the party to take place in City Park. Lighted walkways lined with ferns were created, and spectacular tents complete with elegant chandeliers were erected. The oak trees were lit, so guests could see them through the clear tent that was set up for the dinner. Flowers consisted of Phalaenopis orchids, peonies, tulips, hydrangeas and roses – all in white. The entire Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra played while guests dined on delicacies created by Susan Spicer, and Trombone Shorty and others entertained the guests after dinner.

In addition to the main tent, there were tents with the San Francisco 49ers’ and the Baltimore Ravens’ colors; lounge areas for each of the owners with their names prominently displayed; and, of course, there was a Saints tent complete with flowers and live music. There were also fabulous bars, music and food during the entire event showcasing the best of New Orleans.

Before the big event, Gayle hosted a luncheon at the New Orleans Museum of Art for the owners’ wives, complete with a fashion show put on by Saks Fifth Avenue featuring Fendi. If the wives have anything to do with the decision to come back to New Orleans for another Super Bowl, we know we’ll win it again. Thanks to Gayle and Tom Benson for a spectacular event!

Digital Sponsors

Become a MyNewOrleans.com sponsor ...

Sign up for our FREE

New Orleans Magazine email newsletter

Get the the best in New Orleans dining, shopping, events and more delivered to your inbox.