It’s normally played at the Superdome in New Orleans, but tomorrow’s Bayou Bowl between Southern University and Grambling State will be played at Reliant Stadium. The so-called “Super Bowl” of black college football could mean big bucks for Houston.
Along with the game comes the traditional pageantry between two storied intrastate rivals who’ve faced-off in the Bayou Bowl for the past 31 years. Because of hurricane damage to the Superdome, this year’s game was moved here and Greater Houston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau President and CEO Jordy Tollett says he’s happy to have it. “I’m going to have 50,000 people from out of town here for the weekend. I would estimate that it’s somewhere between $100-150 million in real money that will spent in our community this weekend,” he says.
Reliant Park president and general manager Shea Guinn says it seems appropriate that Houston hosts a game that means so much to the state of Lousiana. “This was the site of the largest natural disaster recovery effort in the history of the United States here at Reliant Park and we reached out to help our neighbors out in New Orleans and the city of Houston responded in a way that I don’t think anybody could imagine. I think for people from New Orleans to come back over here and to actually come to Reliant Park to celebrate this time and for the city of Houston to benefit from this kind of event I think all around it’s a win-win for everybody,” he says.
Both Baton Rouge and Shreveport were considered as host cities, but didn’t have enough available hotel rooms. Tomorrow’s game will be televised nationally on NBC starting at 1 o’clock.