The New Orleans Saints had to find a new place to play their ‘home opener’ against the Green Bay Packers. They chose Jacksonville, Florida of all place. And it’s thanks in part to Expedia. The online travel agency site helped them figure out that this would be the toughest and most expensive city for Packers fans to get to.
They needed a stadium available on Sunday (moving to Saturday would have conflicted with TV broadcast needs), a stadium wired for “replay communication to the league offices in New York” and that didn’t have someone else using it.
Florida quickly became a target. Not only were all three of the league’s home stadiums available on opening weekend but the Sunshine State’s legendary heat and humidity would theoretically provide a home-field advantage for the Saints, who were accustomed to practicing in triple-digit heat indices at their Metairie training camp. Aaron Rodgers’ career 3-4 record and pedestrian 78.1 passer rating in the state did not go unnoticed.
From there, consideration was given to which location offered the most potential for a home-field advantage.
They looked at Tampa, Miami, and… Jacksonville. And that’s when they hit on a tie-breaker. Which city would be harder and more expensive for Green Bay Packers fans to get to?
They had a staffer look up Green Bay flights on Expedia and compare the difference in costs and itineraries between Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa. Predictably, Jacksonville was the most difficult and costly destination for Packers fans.
The Cheese Heads still might migrate south for the game, but the Saints certainly didn’t want to make things an easier for Packer Nation to make the trip.
The New Orleans Saints used Expedia correctly – for research, but almost never to make an actual booking.
(HT: Dan R.)