There is a great deal of whining going on down in the Crescent City over the loss of the 2018 Super Bowl. Many New Orleanians who were part of the bid process felt they were far and away the front-runners to host the big game for the 11th time. After all, the year would be the city’s 300th anniversary. It turned out that the rest of the NFL couldn’t have cared less. There might have been some sympathy towards New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in allowing the 2013 game to be played there. But a Super Bowl in New Orleans in the near future seems like a real long shot.
To win the Super Bowl, a city needs a new state of the art stadium that costs well over $1 billion. Minneapolis, which won out over New Orleans, spent that, and so did Atlanta, which seems a cinch to get the bid in 2019.
Old wounds no doubt came into play when opposing cities lobbied for their town, and then quietly undermined the New Orleans effort. Forbes Magazine referred to the blackout during the 2013 game saying outage would hurt the city’s future chances. And gouging hotel prices were also used against New Orleans. During the last game played in New Orleans, average room rates skyrocketed on average more 300%, with some hotels exceeding 590%. And the hotel, motel tax is one of the highest in America.
But it’s the stadium. You just gotta have a new stadium to hook a Super Bowl bid-right? And the drums are already sounding for the State of Louisiana to pony up a billion or so in an effort to bring the big game back to the Crescent City as soon as possible. Local TV station WWL raised the question in a headline that read: “Does New Orleans need a new stadium to land a Super Bowl?” And one commentator at the state’s largest paper, the Times Picayune, lamented: “Saints owner Tom Benson needs to start planning for a New Stadium…New Orleans will not have a chance in hell with all other cities having brand spanking new stadiums all hoping for one chance to host the Super Bowl.”
So does New Orleans need a new stadium? Sure, if the public dollars are unlimited and the taxpayers don’t mind continuing to paying through the nose. The current Superdome is just a few years away from a $350 million renovation. That’s all taxpayer money. Continue Reading…………
And of course it was Jeff’s story that Anita Lee and I chatted about before we entered the courtroom for the DMR plea hearing before Circuit Court Judge Roger Clark yesterday in Biloxi. I was disappointed in not being able to use Twitter, especially since still photography was allowed inside the court room per the court’s own rules. Those rules were written before the rise of social media and it shows. Nonetheless, when the court’s bailiff comes out two times before the start of the hearing to let everyone else know they better turn off all their electronic devices it behooved those assembled to heed the good word.
Let’s start with Anita’s story for the Sun Herald:
She does a good job recounting the events of the hearing, where Tina Shumate was clearly the boogie man de jour. After Larsen’s attorney made some statements regarding how Shumate allegedly treated Larsen when he tried repaying the travel over payment, Shumate’s lawyer Tim Holliman’s reaction upon hearing Team Larsen’s statement tells me her story will beg to differ. We’ll see.
So this was, in reality, a fishing expedition for a reporter’s sources. Gordon and John actually visited the FBI over on Leon C. Simon and signed into the official log documenting they were there, a truly cloak and dagger action if I ever saw one. These guys do not need me to tell them how to best meet with the FBI but all the Hankton defense team did was reinforce a lesson with me on never meeting with the FBI at the FBI HQ on Leon C. Simon because you have to sign a log when you enter the building. I’m glad to see the G men did not do anything stupid like two certain former US Attorneys.
Like I said earlier, I expect a Peter Galvan type outcome here. The only question in my mind is whether or not I excoriate resident talking head / lickspittle Rafael Goyeneche for drawing distinctions between Paul Connick’s outside gig that profits off Parish contracts and Reed’s. I’ve been leaning towards not but I’ll add Rafael has not burnished his rep by carrying DA Connick’s water. Just sayin’.
I think I see a nugget in David’s story that tells me he is signaling his knowledge or at least is on the right track. I like that.
The person responsible for the above reads this site, sometimes even sharing some insight. I have not covered the BP settlement litigation beyond the very early days. Luckily for everyone, Jason over at American Zombie has tackled this immensely complex subject and has done a very fine job with it, better than the New York Times and certainly far better than the gasbags at 60 minutes. Here are two very recent must reads from AZ:
If State Farm is the true pinnacle of hard nosed corporate litigants then BP does not stand a chance here with the peanut gallery alone. You gotta love the PSC for being wise enough to see the genius in an idea from a member of the public that happens understands Federal Court Practice like few others. Now take that lap.
I have it on the best authority that business will be picking up rather dramatically and I plan on being at ground zero when the muck begins to fly later today. Meantime we have Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood joining State Auditor Stacey Pickering in an incredible display of asshatitude per Paul Hampton’s recap of Judge Schloegel’s contempt order against Pickering, Hood and company.
“General Hood curiously stated it might be very embarrassing for a chancery judge to be admonished by a federal judge should the assistant U.S. attorney charge the chancellor with obstruction of justice and contempt of a grand jury subpoena,” Schloegel wrote about the phone call. “General Hood’s hypothetical regarding criminal charges against the undersigned chancellor and other remarks reinforced General Hood’s clear intent not to seek to mitigate the contempt of his client, the auditor, and furthermore, raised questions of his own role, the role of the Attorney General’s Office and the role of the defendants and their employees in the issuance of the federal grand jury subpoena and the wrongful removal of the records from state court jurisdiction.”