Meanwhile, Cicero and the GNOSF were coordinating with police at the state and local levels to make sure there would be enough crowd-control presence to manage Mardi Gras parades and a weekend of NBA festivities.About that whole flood being the priority thing. Do they know people are going to desperate for housing?
“There was never a hesitation,” Cicero said. “(They said), ‘Absolutely we can do that. We have the manpower and we want this.’”
The mayor’s office was closely involved — Ryan Berni, the deputy mayor for external affairs, was in regular contact with the NBA about the league’s needs from the city — as was the governor’s office, until recent days when flooding in Louisiana became Edwards’ priority.
As Freeman and his team opened the venue, Perry and the CVB worked with local hotels and their customers to free as much lodging space as possible for the weekend.Does the city need to "create space" for evacuees? It seems like it might. As of yesterday there were 4000 people staying in shelters making them eligible for subsidized hotel rooms. Add to that the unknown number of people staying in cars or hotels currently. FEMA has only contracted for 2700 hotel rooms so far so they're specifically asking people to stay with friends and family instead wherever possible.
In addition to fans, the city needed to create space at high-end properties for players, owners and international visitors, Perry said. The NBA needs blocks of rooms for media, who also require workspace and a large ballroom for player interviews on the first day of the event.
The governor said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay for hotel rooms on a rolling, 30-day basis. Storm victims who are staying in cars, hotels, shelters, or their workplace are eligible, but not those staying with friends and family.At this point we don't have a precise number of displaced available. But we do know from experience that the process of undisplacing them takes a very long time and long term planning is needed to meet their needs. The NBA corporate crapfest is only six months away. After Katrina, the need for continuing hotel vouchers extended beyond that. FEMA is offering to pay $160 per night during All Star Weekend. Probably the NBA is offering better.
The good news is, once the short term rental plan is approved, nobody will actually lives in New Orleans anymore so there should be plenty of leftover "Airspace" if it comes to that.