Leaders in Louisiana’s tourism industry—particularly those centered on New Orleans—say the restrictions on transgender people currently under consideration in the state Legislature may drive away major sporting events like the NCAA’s Final Four and the large business conventions that sustain Louisiana tourism.
If people and corporations avoid Louisiana to protest the transgender restrictions, it would have a ripple effect that extends far beyond New Orleans, Louisiana Illuminator reports. Tourism is one of the major drivers of the state’s overall economy. Tax dollars associated with it also support higher education institutions, health care, highways, K-12 schools and law enforcement across Louisiana.
“We could lose everything,” says J.P. Morrell, who sits on the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District board, which oversees the Louisiana Superdome and Smoothie King Center. “We just can’t afford to knock out one of the legs that is propping up our economy.”
Of immediate concern is how the NCAA will react if Louisiana adopts transgender restrictions this year. New Orleans is expected to host the NCAA Final Four men’s basketball tournament in 2022. Gov. John Bel Edwards went to a press conference celebrating the forthcoming Final Four just last week. The college sports governing authority signaled earlier this week it might not be willing to hold events in states that restrict transgender athletes, though it stopped short of announcing an outright boycott of those communities yet. Read the full story.