- According to a new study, the economic impact of the 2023 Mardi Gras celebration was $891 million.
- That’s nearly double the amount estimated for Mardi Gras in 2014.
- Mardi Gras’ economic impact on New Orleans rivals that of last year’s biggest sporting events.
Mardi Gras begins Feb. 13, and the money it’s expected to bring to the New Orleans area is close to some of the biggest sporting events that came to host cities last year.
According to a study published in January by Tulane economics professor Toni L. Weiss, the economic impact of the 2023 Mardi Gras celebration was $891 million. That’s nearly double Weiss’ estimate of $465 million for Mardi Gras in 2014, the last time he did research.
Weiss attributes this change to the growth of Mardi Gras between 2014 and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and believes the event will continue to expand. As more people flocked to the area, more events sprung up.
“The economic impact of Mardi Gras has continued to grow as the local and national economy expands,” Weiss told Business Insider. “Parades increased in number and length, and more revelers came to New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season.”
Weiss said the full economic impact of Mardi Gras also extends to the local groups — the community organizations that organize the parades — that spend time and money preparing for the nearly 40 parades and other events throughout the year.
The estimated economic impact of last year’s Mardi Gras was $411 million more than the city’s last Super Bowl in 2013, which brought in $480 million, according to the University of New Orleans.
The economic impact of Mardi Gras on New Orleans is beginning to rival that of last year’s biggest sporting events in the United States. For example, the 2023 Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona was estimated to be worth $1.3 billion to the local economy. In addition, the November 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix Formula 1 race was also predicted to have an economic impact of $1.3 billion on the region.
The economic impact is greater than just 2 weeks
Weiss believes that the estimates in his study are lower than the true economic impact because tourists flock to the city year-round to experience Mardi Gras.
“When you look at brand value, tourists come to New Orleans year-round because of the aura of Mardi Gras, the mystique, etc.,” Weiss said. “You can see it in July when you see non-locals walking around with Mardi Gras beads. Visitors are attracted.
Enchanted with the legacy of Mardi Gras, even in the off-season to New Orleans.”
In addition, business conventions are coming up around town The year still wants the Mardi Gras experience and adds to the city’s financial support by holding mini Mardi Gras events, Weiss said.
According to a small 2023 Tulane University survey cited in Weiss’s study, only 14% of 297 respondents Those celebrating the event were from the New Orleans area. 62% of those who took part in the survey were tourists from other states, and 2% from other countries.
Additionally, out-of-town visitors are estimated to spend more than $140 million during Mardi Gras, including $84 million on lodging.
The study found that the city of New Orleans received $2.64 for every $1 invested in the festival, including more than $18 million in taxes related to Mardi Gras expenses.