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Pundits Question Whether
Jacksonville Can Handle Traffic
While “gridlock could paralyze Jacksonville’s downtown” during Super Bowl week, it has not “happened yet,” according to USA TODAY (2/1). In Las Vegas, Joe Hawk reports at “every turn” there is at least one of the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee’s 4,000 volunteers, who come off as “perky goodwill ambassadors, dressed in a pressed red golf shirt, beige logo hat and smiling” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 2/1).
HIRED GUN: In St. Petersburg, Kris Hundley writes Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee President & COO Michael Kelly, who held the same position for Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa and raised $3.6M, has a budget of $12M for this year’s game, meaning Kelly “has raised more than three times as much money from a metro area that’s half the size of Tampa’s.” Kelly, who signed six sponsors that paid $500,000-1M each in exchange for tickets and use of the committee’s logo, has a salary of $150,000 plus incentives compared to the $60,000 he earned in Tampa. In addition to top-level sponsors, “millions more dollars flowed into the host committee from the sale of hospitality packages including tickets, accommodations and parties.” Kelly said security expenses this year, which are augmented by the city and NFL, are “probably at least triple the cost of security in Tampa” (ST. PETE TIMES, 2/1).
LOOKING AHEAD: In Tampa, Alan Snel reports Tampa Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau (TBCVB) President & CEO Paul Catoe, TBCVB Secretary-Treasurer Dianne Jacob, Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) Exec Dir Henry Saavedra, TSA Chair David Mechanik and Tampa sports booster Leonard Levy are scheduled to go to Jacksonville “to lobby NFL owners to pick Tampa for the” ’09 Super Bowl. Tampa is competing against Atlanta, Houston and Miami for the game (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/1).