NEW ORLEANS — If you don't already have a ticket to get in and out of the Crescent City on Super Bowl weekend, you may be walking to New Orleans.
Trains, buses and airplanes sold out weeks ago, added extra runs and sold out those immediately, too.
Now, airlines and Amtrak are hoping to add still more runs to meet a crushing demand for transportation to New Orleans. But any new tickets would be earmarked for hopefuls who have been on waiting lists for weeks.
More than 65,000 football fans are expected for the Jan. 26 contest between the Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots. New Orleans hopes to reap as much as $100 million in the football bonanza.
Larry Reeves, director of the New Orleans Aviation Authority at New Orleans International Airport, said airlines all have added extra flights to their schedules for Super Bowl weekend.
"It's definitely one of our biggest weekends in the year," he said.
In Chicago, Amtrak's "City of New Orleans" line has added two additional runs for the weekend to handle Bear fans.
"There are tickets to be had, it's just they're held by travel agents who bought them up in blocks long ago," said Debbie Marciniak, Amtrak's spokeswoman in Chicago.
Additional runs have also been added to the Atlanta-New Orleans leg of Amtrak's "Crescent" run, which originates in New York. Marciniak said all first-class tickets had been sold, but some coach tickets were available.
Amtrak has also reserved space for 30 private rail cars that will spend the weekend at the train station across the street from the Superdome, she said.
Jeff Whitney, spokesman with the Regional Transit Authority, said four-day passes for $10 will be available to visitors who wish to ride city buses, the historic streetcar line or on special bus shuttles, which will run every 15 minutes from the French Quarter and the downtown area to the Superdome.
"The reason we're doing the passes is because the NFL and the tourist people asked us to," Whitney said. "We won't make any money. We're just trying to break even. Because this city is becoming more hospitality minded, we want to enhance the friendly image of New Orleans as much as possible."