EXCLUSIVE: Miami boat shows would suffer if they coincide with Super Bowl

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Many consumers and exhibitors would think about skipping the Miami International Boat Show and the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach if Super Bowl L is held on Presidents Day weekend 2016 — the same weekend as the shows — according to a survey undertaken by Show Management, which manages and produces the Yacht & Brokerage Show.

Their chief concerns are hassles with parking, crowds, pricey hotel rooms and other inconveniences, according to the Jan. 17 online survey of show-goers drawn from a Show Management database of past boat show exhibitors and attendees.

One in three (34 percent) of the industry people surveyed say they would be less inclined to participate in either the Miami boat show or the Yacht & Brokerage Show.

Nearly three in four (65 percent) of them are concerned about parking and inconvenience, and more than half (54 percent) are less likely to attend because of much higher hotel costs. One in five say they would likely attend the Super Bowl, as well as one or both of the boat shows.

The three areas the industry group believes would most need attention are parking availability and pricing (76 percent), hotel accommodations and special boat show room pricing (68 percent) and bus transportation to and from the shows (51 percent).


Fifty-three percent of consumer respondents say they would be less likely to attend the Yacht & Brokerage Show and/or the Miami boat show if the events were held the same weekend as the Super Bowl. Forty percent of consumers say they would attend one or both shows regardless of potential Super Bowl conflicts, according to the survey.

The Super Bowl question drew 397 consumer responses.

“The overall impression is that people are less likely to attend the boat shows with the Super Bowl being there simultaneously,” says Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, chairman and CEO of Active Interest Media, which owns Show Management, as well as Soundings Trade Only. “The biggest problems are traffic, parking and hotel rates. … We believe it would be detrimental to the shows to have them on the same weekend as the Super Bowl.”

The National Football League has invited Miami and San Francisco to submit bids by April 1 to host the 2016 Super Bowl but is requiring bidders to agree to leave open three consecutive February weekends, including Presidents Day weekend, as possible dates. The later dates would kick in if the NFL extends its regular season to 18 games.

A Miami show has been scheduled on Presidents Day weekend since 1941.

Zimbalist and Cathy Rick-Joule, vice president of National Marine Manufacturers Association boat shows and manager of the Miami International Boat Show, have said moving the two shows from Presidents Day weekend in 2016 to make way for the Super Bowl is not an option.

“We’re together on this issue,” Zimbalist said.

Both would like to see the NFL choose a weekend other than Presidents Day weekend for Super Bowl L if it’s in Miami.

See the February issue of Soundings Trade Only for a full report.

— Jim Flannery


7 comments on “EXCLUSIVE: Miami boat shows would suffer if they coincide with Super Bowl

  1. John Lange

    As an exhibitor we made a habit of avoiding booking shows that ran over the Superbowl. Sundays were Dead, Dead, Dead and a waste of good money.

  2. Peter Anzo, CMM

    I can tell you first hand, the Atlanta Boat Show on the Same Sunday as the Falcon’s playoff game against Seattle two weeks ago, was a total bust! Close in parking was upward of $60, and no one came to the show! At least the guy in the booth next two us had a TV so we could at least watch the game!

  3. Loren Schweizer

    That’s fine…we have too many pesky buyers as it is.

    Seriously, there are the foreign show attendees who care not a whit about Americansky Futbol, and as for the diehard NFL fans, hey, hop on your G IV, do the show on Thursday/Friday, and get to the Big Game in plenty of time for tailgate brats & brews.

    One boat show does not a boat sale make, at least for most folks.

  4. Steve Morrell

    this is the subject of my editorial in the February issue of Southwinds magazine (the only southern sailing magazine). It is the Miami Boat Show issue distributed at the Strictly Sail section. You can read my editorial online after the issue comes out on Feb 1. It is in print and online at http://www.southwindsmagazine.com. I write that it doesn’t matter if the game is held in Miami, since a majority of people will stay home anyway on Super Bowl Sunday no matter where the game is held. Holding it in Miami will only make matters worse. And once the Super Bowl gets hold of that weekend, they won’t let go and they have power that makes the Miami show look tiny. It’s not a good thing. I am not sure if the NMMA has enough power to stop it. Maybe. The only saving grace might be that the game starts at 6:30 sunday evening, but you can still kiss much of the afternoon off at the boat show if it’s held that weekend.

  5. vissionquest

    The super bowl does have a profound impact on scheduling any activity that weekend. In the ski industry –the slopes are empty.

  6. Heidi Maso

    Nobody speaks about the poor tourists which come with their families from all over the world, they spend a lot of money to enjoy a beautiful tropical vacation – and not chaos, which the Super Ball and Boat Show at the same time would create. The already difficult parking situation would be impossible.

  7. Arnie

    The hotels in the area are already sticking it to visitors and exhibitors. Where else can you stay at a Marriott Courtyard across from a class B strip club on a filthy road and pay over $400 per night? The day after the show…$150.

    Add the Super Bowl in the area and those hotels will probably require our first born.

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