Tampa Ready To Host Fifth Super Bowl Next Year, First Since '09
Tampa will host Super Bowl LV next year, marking the area's "fifth Super Bowl and its first" since '09, according to Greg Auman of THE ATHLETIC. L.A. was "originally awarded this Super Bowl," but in spring '17, "heavy rains pushed back the opening" of SoFi Stadium from '19 to '20. The NFL "stipulates that a stadium must have two seasons of use before it can host a Super Bowl," so L.A. was bumped to hosting Super Bowl LVI in '22. That change "meant a shorter timetable" for Tampa to "plan for such a major undertaking." Once the "window came open for Tampa to step in," Tampa Bay Sports Commission Exec Dir Rob Higgins and other local organizers "had only 90 days to firm up everything." Tampa's downtown area will have a "greater presence than in past Super Bowls," with new developments introduced around the area. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, which was "introduced as a social hub for free concerts and other public events" before the '17 CFP title game, "should again be one of the week's entertainment centers" (THEATHLETIC.com, 1/31). In Tampa, Richard Danielson notes by the time Super Bowl LV kicks off next year, a "decade-long construction boom will have delivered" more than $2B worth of "new hotels, airport renovations, destination parks and ambitious food halls" to the area. Much of the "makeover has taken place along the water in or near downtown Tampa" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/2).
COMING AROUND THE BEND: In Las Vegas, Case Keefer notes Las Vegas Visitors & Convention Authority VP/Marketing Fletch Brunelle spent "three days on site" at Super Bowl LIV. Brunelle and his team's "primary objective" in visiting Miami was to "spread information" about the '20 NFL Draft, which will be held on and around the Strip this April. However, they "couldn't escape Super Bowl speculation," with Las Vegas "believed to have the inside track on landing" the game in '25 (LAS VEGAS SUN, 2/2).