TAMPA, Fla. – There have been 4 earlier Tremendous Bowls in Tampa, some amid battle and financial misery, however none have confronted the challenges this yr’s occasion encounters due to the coronavirus pandemic and its fallout.
Tickets for Sunday’s sport are restricted to a couple of third of the capability of Raymond James Stadium. There shall be no tailgating. Whereas the same old fan pageant and different facet points of interest are taking place, masks and social distancing are required. Most participant appearances shall be distant.
Final yr’s pre-pandemic Tremendous Bowl within the Miami space generated an estimated $572 million in new spending within the three fundamental South Florida counties, in line with that sport’s host committee. This yr, the Tampa Bay area most likely will not generate even half that, mentioned Sean Snaith, director of the College of Central Florida’s Institute for Financial Forecasting.
The standard financial take for a Tremendous Bowl is someplace between $300 million and $500 million for the host areas, he mentioned.
For instance, massive company and sponsor occasions shall be restricted if they’re held in any respect, he mentioned. Bars and eating places are open however with some restrictions on seating and an emphasis on social distancing.
“Lots of belongings you affiliate with a Tremendous Bowl aren’t going to occur,” Snaith mentioned. “That is going to have an effect economically. The circumstances put form of a moist blanket on it.”
Vacationer improvement tax collections in Hillsborough County, the place Tampa is situated, present the hit the realm has taken throughout the pandemic. This can be a tax on short-term leases, reminiscent of inns.
Earlier than the pandemic, tax collections for gross sales in January to February had been at a rise of about 30% compared to 2019 throughout the identical time interval, in line with county knowledge.
After the pandemic hit, vacationer tax collections for gross sales in March to November decreased by nearly 49% compared to 2019 throughout the identical time interval.
Hillsborough misplaced at the very least $11.1 million in vacationer tax collections for gross sales from January to November, if no more when in comparison with numbers from 2019 for a similar time interval.
Throughout the bay, Pinellas County skilled an identical tax downturn, dropping at the very least $17.9 million in vacationer tax collections for gross sales from January to November.
But leaders within the Tampa Bay space are placing a courageous face on internet hosting the sport, which was initially imagined to be held within the Los Angeles space till stadium building there hit a snag that led the NFL to look elswhere. L.A. is getting subsequent yr’s sport.
The area is thrilled that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by quarterback Tom Brady in his first yr with the staff, will face with the defending champion Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and their younger star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Folks have already been lining up at sporting items shops to purchase staff merchandise.
Past that, officers say it is onerous to place a price ticket on the publicity the Tremendous Bowl will generate for your entire area, its seashores and different points of interest. Disney World and the opposite Orlando theme parks aren’t distant, both.
Rob Higgins, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Tremendous Bowl host committee, mentioned the area is wanting on the Tremendous Bowl as an unparalleled advertising and marketing alternative.
Higgins mentioned the occasion will mark probably the most resort rooms occupied for the reason that pandemic began within the area — some estimates say maybe as many as 100,000 visitor room nights — and that flights to Tampa are beginning to replenish.
“Now we have a possibility to inform our story,” he mentioned, noting that the final Tremendous Bowl in Tampa was in 2009, throughout the Nice Recession. “That is actually a platform to share how far we’ve come as a group.”
Nonetheless, it is expensive to place collectively a Tremendous Bowl and its associated occasions. Officers estimate native governments and entities such because the Go to Tampa Bay vacationer promotion group are spending at the very least $7.5 million, not counting in-kind providers.
Resort occupancy within the Tampa space was about 53% throughout the first three weeks of January this yr, mentioned Go to Tampa Bay CEO Santiago Corrada. Final yr throughout the identical time, it was 74%.
“Now we have suffered over the past 11 to 12 months. We even have been very resilient,” Corrada mentioned. “Each month has seen a gradual and regular enhance in occupancy.”
It has been an odd sports activities yr or so for Tampa Bay throughout the coronavirus pandemic. It was extraordinarily profitable by any measure for the area’s groups, besides not having house video games throughout the title runs and followers within the seats.
First, the NHL’s Lightning received the Stanley Cup, however the championship was performed in Edmonton, Canada. Tampa did not get to host any of these video games. Identical with baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays, who misplaced the World Sequence to the Los Angeles Dodgers — in Arlington, Texas.
To prime that off, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors are enjoying their house video games initially at Tampa’s Amalie Enviornment due to coronavirus restrictions in Canada. Once more, no followers allowed inside at the very least for now.
Now it is Brady and the Buccaneers’ flip in Tampa’s personal Tremendous Bowl that will not be the identical because the earlier 54 title video games. No staff has ever earlier than performed a Tremendous Bowl in its house stadium.
Put all of this down as financial alternatives misplaced.
Related Press author Anila Yoganathan contributed to this story.
This model corrects the date of the sport.
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