Super Bowl conflict with Miami shows deemed unlikely

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The South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee on April 1 submitted its bid to host Super Bowl L at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium in 2016 and included in that bid a plan to host most — though not all — of the core game activities in Miami-Dade County rather than Broward County, said Rodney Barreto, the committee’s volunteer chairman.

The bid also references three possible February game dates as the National Football League requires. The dates include Presidents Day weekend, which — if the Super Bowl were held then — would put it on a collision course with the Miami International Boat Show and the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, which also would be held that weekend.

Barreto, however, said NFL insiders say the likelihood of Super Bowl L being on President’s Day weekend is slight. The league’s players remain opposed to lengthening the season — which would push the game date later into February — as long as player injuries, especially life-threatening head injuries, are an unresolved concern.

Barreto said William Talbert III, president of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, also has reversed his earlier position that there are not enough hotel rooms close by to host the Super Bowl and two boat shows in Miami and Miami Beach during the same weekend.

Barreto said Talbert talked to hoteliers and found that room inventory has grown significantly since 2010, when Miami last hosted a Super Bowl.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association, owner of the Miami boat show, and Show Management, which produces the Yacht & Brokerage Show, have argued against — and continue to argue against — holding the three events on the same weekend.

“I share the feeling that it is unlikely that the Super Bowl will happen on Presidents Day weekend,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, chairman and CEO of Active Interest Media, which owns Show Management and Trade Only. “If it were a week or two before that, we can work with that. That would be fine and good for everybody, but I still think it would be really detrimental to have both [the boat shows and the game] on the same weekend.”

“We have not backed down on our position,” agreed Cathy Rick-Joule, the NMMA boat shows vice president and Miami show manager. “We feel it would be a real negative for the Super Bowl to step on top of the 75th Miami International Boat Show in 2016.”

A January 2013 Show Management survey of attendees at past Yacht & Brokerage Shows in Miami Beach confirmed that hassles with parking, crowds, pricey hotel rooms and other inconveniences associated with the Super Bowl would lessen their interest in attending a show. Exhibitors said their chief concerns were parking availability and pricing, hotel accommodations, special boat show room pricing and bus transportation to and from the shows. Fifty-three percent of consumer respondents said they would be less likely to attend either show if they were held on the same weekend as the Super Bowl.

Keeping the locus of game activities in Miami-Dade is part of a broader effort to persuade Miami-Dade voters to approve an increase the mainland hotel bed tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to help upgrade Sun Life Stadium, which Barreto said is necessary for Miami to successfully bid for another Super Bowl.

Stadium owner Steve Ross also is asking the state for a $3-million-a-year sales tax rebate for 30 years on sales at the stadium, which along with the bed tax would pay for about half of the $389 million upgrade. Ross would pay the rest. He also is offering to pay back most of the public money by 2043.

— Jim Flannery

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