Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, head of Louisiana's tourism department, speaks out against dipping into his budget to fund major sporting events like the Super Bowl.
For Louisiana, playing host to the 2013 Super Bowl will mean about $6 million less in the coffers of the state tourism department's budget come next fiscal year, and according to the Baton Rouge Advocate, that isn't sitting well with Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.
And that's not the only tourism dollars being used for special sporting events, says Dardenne, speaking Monday before the Baton Rouge Press Club. The Advocate reports:
In past years funding for the Super Bowl and other events has come from the state Department of Economic Development or in directly appropriated state funds. Dardenne said Louisiana tourism is a $10.5 billion industry that generated some $850 million in state tax revenue last year. In the current budget year, the $23 million generated through the tax did not get to tourism marketing and promotion efforts because of Jindal administration earmarks, including the $6 million state contribution to the Super Bowl, Dardenne said.
Tourism funds were also tapped for a state financial commitment to the NCAA Women's Final Four - another $1 million, operating expenses of the new Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Nachitoches, an arts grants program and more. Instead of taking tourism promotion dollars, Dardenne said the state needs to establish some kind of on-going funding source to pay for its commitment to special events such as the Super Bowl and Final Four.
Click here to read the full article in this morning's Advocate.