NBA All Star game fans head out; city gets rave reviews - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

NBA All Star game fans head out; city gets rave reviews

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The city is reaping much more than money after hosting the NBA All-Star Game. It's getting rave reviews from people who came to town for the week of events.

Tourism leaders said final numbers are not in yet, but it's estimated that the economic impact from the game and related events will be $90 million.

"Fantastic, definitely like to come back, ah, it's great," said Garon Bloon who was waiting for a flight out of the city Monday afternoon.

"New Orleans is great, I was actually taught that it's not New Or-leans, it's New Orleans," said Tony Shabangu of South Africa.

While he gave the city high marks, he conceded that the Cajun dishes he sampled caught him off guard.

"I'll be honest and say, it took some adjustment, I'm used to a totally different cuisine, and so we got to learn a bit about the food in New Orleans, the culture behind the food, some of the spicy food, Etoufee or something," said Shabangu.

"There was so much international spotlight on New Orleans with the game being here," said Kelly Schulz with of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"Something like an NBA All-Star Game, the publicity value of something like that is really priceless, so if you think about all of the members of the media that were here, the celebrities, the athletes," said Schulz.

And social media was a big factor in spreading the word about the city's success in hosting the event.

"There was lots of positive buzz in the social media - on Twitter, the photos, the celebrities and the musicians that were here tweeting and talking about their experience, it was all positive exposure," said Schulz.

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