City Hopes to Come Off Well in National Limelight With PM-Super Bowl, Bjt
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Battered by the recession and haunted by the televised images of last year’s riots, city officials are counting on the Super Bowl to help improve the area’s tarnished image.
Super Bowl boosters have spent $4 million to stage the game and related events, which will be televised around the world and pump $150 million into the local economy.
An even bigger pay day could be in the offing if visitors go away happy, city officials said. A successful Super Bowl could mean more convention bookings, tourists, even new business, they believe.
″Because of the riots, it became more critical for us to have an event like this to demonstrate to the country and to the world that we are safe ... that we didn’t burn down the whole place,″ said Sheldon Ausman, chairman of the Super Bowl host committee.
While Sunday’s game will be played at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, officials believe Los Angeles and other Southern California cities could profit from Super Bowl goodwill.
Tourism officials have supplied the 3,000 members of the media who are covering the game with elaborate press kits. The Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau also assisted reporters with interviews and story ideas.
″A positive story portrayed in the press has twice the impact of a (paid) endorsement,″ said bureau spokesman Gary Sherwin.
Several parties, including a Thursday night affair at Universal Studios, were held for journalists. And a Sunday brunch was planned for reporters at the exclusive Brookside Country Club.
″If the media have a good time, our city will look great,″ Ausman said.
Special events and festivals were planned today and Sunday throughout the Los Angeles area to show visitors the city at play.
″We are determined to have a lot more positive things happening,″ said Donald J. Henderson, general manager of the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles. ″It gives us an opportunity to show the world that Los Angeles is altogether different than what they saw last year on CNN.″