SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Shreveport officials say hosting Bayou Classic and Port City Fest was the first big step to rebuilding the city’s economy.

Early projections show an estimated $3 million in economic impact for the community, according to the Event Impact Calculator.

“We are looking at 2021 to be a revitalization year for our city,” said Mayor Adrian Perkins.

“Our community has been forced to overcome unprecedented challenges over the past year. As we make tremendous gains in our fight against COVID-19, we must prepare for the future and build a stronger financial outlook for our citizens.”

The City of Shreveport says Port City Fest events like Party on the Red hosted by Rho Omega & Friends and the Classic Business Expo organized by the Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce garnered more than 4,000 attendees with no major incidents.

Tailgating took place at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds with an estimated 2,000 people. In an effort to encourage people to return to public transportation, SporTran provided 11,000 free rides from April 16-18.

Hotels were nearly sold out for the weekend event. On Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17 hotel occupancy numbers surpassed 97 percent.

In 2020, April hotel occupancy was 34.3 percent compared to 65 percent for April 2019. Multiple agencies provided support to the Shreveport Police Department during the game and at Festival Plaza.

“Thank you to the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal, FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, and Barksdale Security Police EOD Unit,” said city officials.

“Port City Fest would not have been possible without the organizing committee and sponsors including the City of Shreveport, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Caddo Parish Commission, Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, Shreveport-Bossier Convention, and Tourist Bureau, Bossier City, and Bossier Parish Police Jury.”