How big a boost will Garth give the Baton Rouge economy?

Garth Brooks at a 2018 concert at Notre Dame Stadium. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP, File)

It’s estimated that Saturday night’s Garth Brooks concert will draw over 100,000 fans to the Baton Rouge area, a number the city normally only sees for LSU football games in fall.

Almost every type of business in the Baton Rouge area—from hotels to tailgate suppliers—will benefit, says Paul Arrigo, CEO and president of Visit Baton Rouge.

Hotels, which are mostly booked, and area restaurants, which have already begun seeing a sharp increase in business, will benefit the most, he says, with hotels charging premium rates right now. 

“Those tourism dollars are going to spread through the economy,” he says.

The crowd is going to be just as big as some LSU football games, Arrigo says, but unlike some football games, a lot of these fans will be from outside of the state, so the impact will be considerably greater. 

Arrigo says this will be one of the largest and most impactful events he will have witnessed in Baton Rouge, as Brooks fans from Lafayette to Slidell have booked hotel rooms.

Baton Rouge tourism has bounced back very well in general as the pandemic appears to be winding down, Arrigo says, and weekends have been busy. 

“I think we’re looking at the biggest single day or two days that Baton Rouge has seen as far as visitation,” he says.