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SBD/Issue 73/Leagues & Governing BodiesPrint All
NFL Docks Jacksonville’s
Cruise Ship Plan
The NFL has “scuttled the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee’s plans for a game viewing party aboard one or more of the cruise ships coming to town for the event,” according to Judy Wells of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. The league said that “charging admission to watch any of its games violates copyright law and a long-standing policy.” Wells notes this is the “first time the NFL's policy against ‘mass out-of-home viewing’ has been applied to a host committee, although the league has sent cease and desist letters to groups” such as the New England Aquarium, Las Vegas hotels, the ECHL Charlotte Checkers and the Patriots. NFL Dir of Corporate Communications Brian McCarthy: “The idea is to maximize the number of fans who view the game at home. High ratings are critical to our success. This helps protect networks and our advertisers. People at this party aren’t measured by Nielsen.” Wells notes the committee had planned on using proceeds from the viewing parties to “help defray the $11[M]-plus cost of leasing the five ships to augment the number of four- and five-star rooms in the Jacksonville market” Also affected is the NFL-sanctioned Players Gala, which had its starting time changed from 5:00pm ET to 9:00, and the VIP game viewing has been eliminated (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/5).
FIGHT TO THE FINISH: In Jacksonville, Francine King reports Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Jacksonville-based Juba Entertainment are staging “Super Fight I” on February 4, the Friday before the Super Bowl, at the Univ. of North Florida Arena in Jacksonville. The event is being billed “The Fight Before the Fight” and if it “is well-received, the promoters expect Super Fight I will become an annual event.” Super Fight II is already scheduled for the week of the ’06 Super Bowl in Detroit. De La Hoya: “We feel that this is the start of many events around the Super Bowl and hopefully the start of many boxing events here in Jacksonville.” Juba Entertainment President & co-Founder Carnell Lake, a former NFLer, said, “We wanted to bring something different to the Super Bowl experience instead of just a party. A lot of events for Super Bowl are not accessible to the local residents, and this is one event that's really going to allow all the Jacksonville residents to participate" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/5).
As both Super Bowl XL and the ’05 MLB All-Star Game will be held in Detroit, the efforts of the groups organizing the events to work together are examined by Jennette Smith of CRAIN’S DETROIT. Super Bowl Host Committee Exec Dir Susan Sherer said about 2,000 of the 9,000-10,000 Super Bowl volunteers will be at the ’05 MLB All-Star Game at Comerica Park. The Super Bowl and All-Star Game also “will issue a joint request” for proposals for street pole banners. Additionally, both events are participating in a regional marketing campaign by the Tourism Economic Development Council (TEDC) “pegged largely on both sporting events.” TEDC Exec Dir Jim Townsend said that the campaign, launching January 26, “seeks to change the negative self-image Detroiters have.” Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau President & CEO Larry Alexander: “Everybody wants to be sure we look good. Hosting these big events and having all the players at the table just helps us continue to build on that for the future. I have already had conversations with the NFL about another Super Bowl bid” (CRAIN’S DETROIT, 1/3 issue).
ENCOURAGEMENT: In a separate piece, Jennette Smith reports the Super Bowl XL Host Committee and NFL will announce a program “to encourage more minority- and women-owned businesses to participate in the Super Bowl.” The program includes a resource guide that the Host Committee, NFL, sponsors and NFL clients “can use when selecting vendors” (CRAINS DETROIT, 1/3 issue).