Five Things You’ll Miss About Shreveport-Bossier in Five Years [LIST]
First and foremost, I'm writing this article with the hope that nothing on this list actually comes true. Most of the things listed below are 100% opinion-based and can be used as motivation to prove me wrong.
I've lived in Shreveport-Bossier all of my life, and if the last five years have showed me anything, it's that anything can happen in five years. So using my crystal ball, I've put together a list of things I believe we will miss by the year 2021.
Once again, I hope I'm wrong.
My goodness, things have changed drastically in the nightlife scene since 2011. Just five years ago, downtown was THE place to be. With numerous bars and clubs open until 6:00 AM, it was hard to find a place not at capacity by 2:00 AM. Over the years though, I have seen with my own eyes, downtown Shreveport literally dying. What used to be considered a bad Friday night is now being considered an excellent Saturday night. Look no further than Phoenix Underground, the staple of downtown nightlife for ten years, closing it's doors last month. As someone who makes a living in this industry, I truly hope I'm wrong, but I'm worried that this is just the beginning and we'll continue to see downtown nightlife suffer.
Mickey's Hot Dog Stand
This one kind of goes hand-in-hand with number one. For seventeen years, one man has served those stumbling out of bars and nightclubs in Shreveport with a delicious treat that kept them coming back for more. That man is Mickey Davis. You may not know him by his full name, but you you certainly know Mickey the Hot Dog Man. Mickey is well known in the ArkLaTex for many reasons, but none bigger (in my opinion), than his amazing, infectious attitude. The guy is simply one of the nicest men in town. The conversation you'd have with Mickey waiting at the hot dog stand was almost as good as the hot dog itself. With Phoenix closing, Mickey announced he will only be serving his weenies in downtown Shreveport during lunchtime hours. The good news is, though, when you miss Mickey and his wieners, you can always book him for catering!
Movies Filmed In Town
This one is just down-right sad. After Hurricane Katrina, Shreveport quickly became the "Hollywood of the South". Over the years, you've heard many stories of locals running into stars like Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Gerard Butler, Kevin Costner, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jack Black, and so many more. Sadly, we don't hear about many star sightings these days. A lot of that has to do with the resurgence of New Orleans and the fact that most movies we could get are simply going there instead. Millennium Studios announcing they're "going dark" last year certainly isn't helping matters. The good news is, for now, we still have Shane West and "Salem", with the occasional Marilyn Manson karaoke sighting.
Robert J Wright On The Radio
I sincerely hope this man stays on the air for the next 40 years. Robert J Wright is simply THE voice of Shreveport. He's been on the air in the Ark-La-Tex for well over two decades and is showing no signs of stopping. He currently hosts the morning news on 710 KEEL with longtime partner-in-crime Erin McCarty. He was the PA announcer for the Mudbugs every single season, and will re-take that seat when the Mudbugs come back in September. There's no reason to think RJW is going anywhere, anytime soon, but after speaking with him this morning, it looks like he may be getting close to hanging up the headphones. Robert tells me he plans to retire within the next 5-7 years. Then we all collectively say, "NOOOOOOOOOO!"
The Independence Bowl
In case you've been under a rock over the past three or four years, you know that the Independence Bowl simply isn't what it used to me. The 11th oldest bowl in the country has failed to hit 40,000 or more in attendance in consecutive years for the first time since the early 1990s. To make matters worse, our bowl is on it's third title sponsor in as many seasons. The game used to attract top-tier teams, but with other bowls offering more lucrative payouts and (let's be honest) better scenery, Shreveport can't seem to land those teams anymore. Camping World is the current title sponsor, and entering their final contracted year with the bowl. Will they sign a long-term sponsorship after this season? God, I hope so. My heart hopes that we'll be able to turn this around, but my gut says we won't. If that's the case, we will be out of a bowl by the year 2021, and the same people who will complain about it's extinction will be the same ones who never bought a ticket in the first place.