TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — There have been 4 earlier Tremendous Bowls in Tampa, some amid struggle and financial misery, however none have confronted the challenges this 12 months’s occasion encounters due to the coronavirus pandemic and its fallout.
Tickets for Sunday’s recreation are restricted to a couple of third of the capability of Raymond James Stadium. There can be no tailgating. Whereas the same old fan competition and different facet points of interest are taking place, masks and social distancing are required. Most participant appearances can be distant.
Final 12 months’s pre-pandemic Tremendous Bowl within the Miami space generated an estimated $572 million in new spending within the three primary South Florida counties, in keeping with that recreation’s host committee.
This 12 months, the Tampa Bay area most likely received’t generate even half that, stated 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 stated.
For instance, massive company and sponsor occasions can be restricted if they’re held in any respect, he stated. 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 stated. “That’s going to have an effect economically. The circumstances put type of a moist blanket on it.”
Vacationer growth tax collections in Hillsborough County, the place Tampa is positioned, present the hit the realm has taken in the course of the pandemic. This can be a tax on short-term leases, similar to motels.
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 keeping with county information.
After the pandemic hit, vacationer tax collections for gross sales in March to November decreased by virtually 49% compared to 2019 throughout the identical time interval.
Hillsborough misplaced at the 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 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 speculated to be held within the Los Angeles space till stadium development there hit a snag that led the NFL to look elswhere. L.A. is getting subsequent 12 months’s recreation.
The area is thrilled that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by quarterback Tom Brady in his first 12 months with the crew, will face with the defending champion Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and their younger star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Individuals have already been lining up at sporting items shops to purchase crew merchandise.
Past that, officers say it’s laborious to place a price ticket on the publicity the Tremendous Bowl will generate for your complete area, its seashores and different points of interest. Disney World and the opposite Orlando theme parks aren’t far-off, both.
Rob Higgins, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Tremendous Bowl host committee, stated the area is wanting on the Tremendous Bowl as an unparalleled advertising and marketing alternative.
Higgins stated the occasion will mark essentially 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 stated, noting that the final Tremendous Bowl in Tampa was in 2009, in the course of the Nice Recession. “That is actually a platform to share how far we’ve come as a group.”
Nonetheless, it’s pricey 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 least $7.5 million, not counting in-kind providers.
Resort occupancy within the Tampa space was about 53% in the course of the first three weeks of January this 12 months, stated Go to Tampa Bay CEO Santiago Corrada. Final 12 months throughout the identical time, it was 74%.
“Now we have suffered during the last 11 to 12 months. We even have been very resilient,” Corrada stated. “Each month has seen a sluggish and regular enhance in occupancy.”
It’s been a wierd sports activities 12 months or so for Tampa Bay in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. It was extraordinarily profitable by any measure for the area’s groups, besides not having house video games in the course of 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 didn’t get to host any of these video games. Similar with baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays, who misplaced the World Collection to the Los Angeles Dodgers — in Arlington, Texas.
To high that off, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors are enjoying their house video games initially at Tampa’s Amalie Area due to coronavirus restrictions in Canada. Once more, no followers allowed inside at the least for now.
Now it’s Brady and the Buccaneers’ flip in Tampa’s personal Tremendous Bowl that received’t be the identical because the earlier 54 title video games. No crew has ever earlier than performed a Tremendous Bowl in its house stadium.
Put all of this down as financial alternatives misplaced.
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