Win would likely have stirred up traffic, sales
The infamous NFC Championship “no call” that cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to the Super Bowl has taken a large emotional toll on its fanbase statewide — and also something of an economic one.
A Super Bowl appearance for the home team means that many more parties and get-togethers on both game day and before provide a boost to local retailers and an uplifted base of consumers. Instead, the decision to not call an clear late game pass interference penalty meant the end of the Saints season and dealt a body blow to so many locals.
Barry Majoria, of Majoria’s Supermarket, said he can already see the toll it’s taken on customers.
“It looks like all the air went out of the balloon,” Majoria said.
He recalled that the Saints’ Super Bowl appearance in the 2009 season resulted in numerous parties and events to celebrate, which meant more catering for the family-owned market.
“It was like another Christmas,” Majoria said. “Right now, I’m not very optimistic about any business … certainly within the month and maybe not until Valentine’s Day or Mardi Gras. It’s gonna result in a very big swing on businesses, and I can see it already.”
Of course, as a fan of the team himself, it was a tough blow to absorb in and of itself, with the potential loss of Super Bowl-driven business only dealing additional impact.
And while the Super Bowl results in more parties and social activities, many here have seemingly lost interest in the game.
“It looks like all the air went out of the balloon.” – Barry Majoria
“I don’t anticipate nearly as big a Sunday as it would have been … it just put people on a sour note,” he said. “I think if it had been a loss by three or four touchdowns, that’s one thing, that’s not like having it stolen from you. I think people aren’t as interested and a lot aren’t going to watch it.”
Pat Greaud of Greaud’s Fine Foods in Norco said he isn’t sure what kind of impact it could ultimately have on sales, but he can see the difference in many customers compared to before the loss.
“With the Saints, LSU, Tulane … they win and the hype is there. And the Saints losing the way that they lost, the hype is totally gone,” Greaud said. “Everyone is disgusted with the way the referees called the game.
“It’s nothing but good when our local teams win. Everyone’s excited. But right now, it’s clear people aren’t as lively.”
While time will tell what impact is has on both supermarkets in terms of lost potential food and alcohol sales and catering, for Kristi Brocato of The Basketry, Saints and Fleur De Lis items are always hot sellers, but a potential red hot two-week run up to the Super Bowl isn’t in the cards.
Brocato said it’s disappointing on several levels to not see the Saints in the big game, and said the sales on those items during the leadup won’t be what they could have been had the team made it
But she also believes the no call and disappointment in the loss won’t break Saints’ fans or deter them long term.
“The loss is disappointing, but people love them,” Brocato said. “It would have been nice to go to the Super Bowl and have two weeks to sell more … we’d have, but it’s OK.
“The Saints season was great for business, but while that loss was heartbreaking, I know our customers love their Saints and will continue to support them. It’s Black and Gold all the way.”