Tailgating in New Orleans
©2013 – Troy Gilbert
Nearly half of all NFL cities are on one of the four coasts, but only one city boasts the ability for an individual to dock their 223′ super-yacht and then walk ten blocks to the Superbowl. Jacksonville Jaguars owner, Shahid Khan’s yacht, Kismet, did just that and tied up in the Port of New Orleans for Superbowl XLII along with several other super-yachts. As a growing home to a fleet of cruise ships exploring the western Caribbean, a large stretch of the city’s massive wharfs have been modified and beautified for passenger traffic, including yachts.
For a city that was only accessible by boat until the advent of railroad bridges in the early 19th century and easily now one of the largest modern ports in the country, it shouldn’t surprise that there are ample berths for super-yachts like the Kismet or Paul Allen’s 414′ Octopus. However, for your more average personal watercraft and located only a $16 cab ride away from the French Quarter, lies the city’s marina district of West End on Lake Pontchartrain. Opening onto the Gulf of Mexico via the Rigolets Pass, the lake has a near uniform depth of 12′ and three large marinas in the city readily accepting of transients and already home to the Saints owner Tom Benson’s 122′ yacht, the Lady Gayle Marie.
There’s a real reason why New Orleans has hosted ten Superbowls – more than any other city – and is constantly debated as a permanent home for this major event. With the concentrated venues of the Superdome, the French Quarter and nearly 30,000 hotel rooms all within a radius of 20 blocks, it shouldn’t surprise.
With New Orleans the favorite to host the 2018 Superbowl and the BCS National Championship Game every four years, as well as already home to the annual Sugar Bowl and Mardi Gras – the Big Easy offers a host of opportunities to sail or cruise into your favorite championship host city on short notice.