Housing Super Bowl visitors on ships is bound to invite comparisons to Jacksonvilles widely panned turn as a Super Bowl host in 2005, when a lack of hotel rooms forced organizers to turn to its port for help on accommodations. But the fact thatBarreto raised the option in private meetings reflects the priority being put on keeping Miami in the Super Bowl mix.
Were a big city that can hold multiple events in our town, Barreto said, while declining to confirm the cruise-ship idea. Im not totally convinced the boat show needs to move.
Central to the Super Bowl standoff is Talbert, president of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. In a Nov. 29 interview, he was adamant that the Miami area does not have enough hotel rooms for the Super Bowl, the boat show and the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, another major annualevent the same weekend. Talbert said its not physically possible in Miami to host Super Bowl during the Presidents Day weekend.
Talbert has not responded to interview requests about the Super Bowl since. But a closed-door meeting with the host committee at Sun Life late last week reportedly got tense when Talbert pushed back against Barretos contention that Miami could host both events, according to several sources close to the committee. Barreto said the meeting involved a very frank discussion but would not discuss details.
Amid the tension, the Dolphins and Barreto have established a vetting process for the 2016 Super Bowl that in some ways pits Miami against Fort Lauderdale. While past Super Bowls have purposely straddled the county line to justify receiving upward of $6 million from Broward and Miami-Dade governments, the NFL wants a smaller footprint for 2016, said Dolphins CEO Mike Dee.
Youre going to see this urban core area with a concentrated critical mass of activities in one place, Dee said.
That helps explain why, for the first time, Broward and Miami-Dades tourism bureaus made separate proposals to the Super Bowl host committee this year, rather than collaborating on a single plan, participants said.
I told the committee I thought our bids were usually stronger when we present together, Grossman said. This time the request was made to make our presentations individually. And we did. It heightened the air of competition.
Dee said that a rivalry always existed as the two counties vied for more visitors and events from past Super Bowls. And he noted that no matter where the pre-game NFL activities take place, the Super Bowl will bring a flood of visitors for the tens of thousands of hotel rooms in Miami-Dade and Broward County.
There is a lot on the line here and a lot of economic value, Dee said. Both counties recognize it, and want as big a piece of it as they can.