SBD/Issue 73/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NFL Punts Jacksonville’s Plans For Super Bowl Parties

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).

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