Document Type

Working Paper

Date of This Version



natural disasters, hurricane, New Orleans, economic development, sports, mega-events, Hurricane Katrina, stadiums

JEL Classification

Z28, O18, R53


Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans in late August 2005, resulting in damage to much of the city’s sports infrastructure and the temporary departure of both of New Orleans’ major league professional sports teams, the National Football League Saints and the National Basketball Association Hornets. The city spent over $500 million restoring the sports infrastructure in New Orleans, and both teams subsequently returned to the city. In addition, New Orleans has since hosted numerous mega-sporting events including the Super Bowl, NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, and several college football national championships. This paper examines the economic impact of Hurricane Katrina on professional sports in New Orleans and traces the recovery of the city in conjunction with spectator sports.

Working Paper Number