Charlotte City Councilman James Mitchell was at the Super Bowl on Sunday. He said he’s been in New Orleans since Thursday night meeting with corporate sponsors and the Chamber of Commerce to gauge if Charlotte is ready to host the big game.
"This is a tremendous event that I think Charlotte should pursue in the coming years,” he said.
Mitchell was nothing but positive as he spoke with us from the Super Bowl. He told Eyewitness News he sees several similarities between the Queen City and the Big Easy, including southern hospitality, a dynamic downtown, clean streets and some of the same corporate sponsorships.
Mitchell said one of Charlotte's biggest assets is Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.
"As I was talking with some owners this week they really sung his praises and he's a man of tremendous influence,” Mitchell said.
But there is at least one thing not working in Charlotte's favor right now -- a lack of enough hotel rooms in Uptown. Mitchell said the city needs to rezone some areas soon to change that.
"We just need to do planning right now to be in a position to host it in 2017 or 2019,” he said.
People we spoke with Sunday night said the Democratic National Convention in September was crucial when it comes to attracting even bigger events.
"I think we proved with the DNC that we can deal with the amount of people and excitement, just the way we all built it up was fantastic,” said Charlotte resident Kenny Fahri.
"Charlotte's an up and coming city. It's young, vibrant, and I think it would be a good fit,” said Charlotte resident Ben Wright.
Mitchell thinks it's realistic to make a pitch for the Super Bowl in 2017 or 2019. He said he's going to speak with Mayor Anthony Foxx as early as Monday about what he learned from his trip this weekend.