SBD/December 3, 2012/Events and Attractions

South Florida Faces Dilemma Over '16 Super Bowl Bid With Boat Show On Same Weekend

As South Florida readies a bid for Super Bowl L in '16, it must "contend with a major potential conflict" on the tourism calendar as the NFL may "move the Super Bowl to Presidents' Day weekend, already home to the five-day Miami International Boat Show since the 1940s," according to Douglas Hanks of the MIAMI HERALD. It is a "significant enough conflict that, in the past, local tourism officials have declined to pursue a Super Bowl if it fell on boat show weekend." This time around they "may have no choice." Sources said that for the first time, the NFL is "requiring that potential host cities agree to a Presidents' Day weekend Super Bowl if they want to pursue the big game at all." Greater Ft. Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau President & CEO Nicki Grossman said, "In the past, South Florida has not responded to a Super Bowl date that included Presidents' Day weekend. This package is different." The notion of hosting both events "strikes some top tourism officials as a bad idea." Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau President William Talbert said, "There is not sufficient hotel inventory available in Miami that weekend to host a Super Bowl." For now, South Florida's Super Bowl organizers "face a largely hypothetical challenge, because the current NFL schedule has the Super Bowl occurring two weeks before Presidents' Day weekend" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/30). In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis wrote the South Florida host committee "has had talks with the boat show organizers about moving the event, but the latter are understandably resistant." Marine industry reports indicate that the boat show "draws more than 100,000 attendees, about 45 percent from outside of Florida." However, South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee Chair Rodney Barreto said that the two events can "complement each other" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 12/1).
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