NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Ahead of the big NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams this weekend, hotel occupancy and ticket sales are high.
It’s a highly anticipated game for Saints fans -- the team hasn’t gotten this far since they won the Super Bowl a decade ago. According to Kristian Sonnier, vice president of communications for New Orleans and Company, this weekend will be a busy one for the city.
“This is the big game weekend, so we’re going to see full hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, shopping, all over the city, especially in the Central Business District and Warehouse District and French Quarter,” Sonnier said.
Sonnier said there was also a large turnout when the Saints played against the Eagles Sunday (Jan. 13).
“Last weekend was a huge weekend for us, this weekend is going to be bigger," Sonnier said. “We’re forecasting 85 percent occupancy on Friday, 96 percent occupancy on Saturday, and then it dips down to 87 percent occupancy on Sunday.”
Some hotels said they’re already fully booked for part of the weekend. Pontchartrain Hotel manager Cody Bertone said it didn’t take long for the St. Charles Avenue hotel to fill up with reservations.
“Friday, one or two rooms left. Saturday, we’re sold out," Bertone said. “As soon as the Saints won last week, the phones, they went crazy. we sold out within minutes.”
Bertone said even the wait-list is long.
"They want to stay all three nights. MLK weekend, big game, a lot of excitement in the city," Bertone said.
It's not just hotels, tickets to the game are also in high demand.
SeatGeek Spokesperson Chris Leyden said they've been tracking the ticketing market since 2010.
“This is the most in demand Saints game we’ve ever seen, and it’s pretty significantly more in demand than even last week’s playoff game," Leyden said. “I mean, when you’re going to an NFC Championship, you’re playing for a shot at the Super Bowl, that really kind of ups the level of excitement and ups the level of people who want to be at that game.”
He said the average ticket price right now is $675.
"There are listings up there right now, and let's say those tickets don't sell in the next few days, you could potentially see people continuing to drop their prices as the game gets closer." Leyden said.
Both Leyden and StubHub spokesman Akshay Khanna said with such high anticipation for this game, it’s better to buy tickets sooner than later.
“There’s no knowing which way the market’s going to go, but presumably, demand is going to go increase as more fans travel in for the game, or more fans realize that this is the last opportunity at home to watch the Saints play this season,” Khanna said.
However, these prices are nothing compared to Super Bowl tickets. Leyden said the average is already $5,000 for the Feb. 3 game.