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

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