As the general manager of the JW Marriott Marquis Miami, I’ve been closely tracking the progress being made on the new home of the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara. When completed, the $1.2 billion stadium will be magnificent, offering an impressive array of amenities and making it the crown jewel of National Football League venues, surpassing even the palatial Cowboys Stadium.
Why does Santa Clara’s facility interest me? Because while the Orange Bowl and Sun Life Stadium have hosted a significant amount of Super Bowls, new stadiums around the country will make for extremely challenging competition in the years to come.
While we, the JW Marriott hotel family, respect our friends in New Orleans, Santa Clara, and other destinations, there is little doubt that South Florida should be the preferred host for Super Bowls. Our unparalleled combination of beaches, amazing hotels and a broad range of cultural activities position us to stand alone as the top Super Bowl destination.
However, the reality is that when the stadium in Santa Clara is completed, we will have a new competitor for the honor of top Super Bowl destination for years, if not decades to come. Sun Life Stadium as it is today, simply cannot compete against a facility of this magnitude, even with the array of ancillary amenities South Florida has to offer.
The only way that our area can continue to position itself as the preferred Super Bowl destination is to narrow the facilities gap between Sun Life Stadium and our competitors.
That’s why we support the improvements to Sun Life Stadium proposed by the Miami Dolphins. We completely understand and appreciate those who may question the use of tourist tax dollars to fund the minority share of this project, but the economic impact numbers should help ease their concerns. One Super Bowl alone brings a $400 million infusion of revenue into our community. Those of us in the hotel business see it first-hand. Visitors frequent not only our hotels, but restaurants, retail establishments and tourism destinations. They have a positive impact on the employment of our residents, the sustainability of our businesses, and, in essence, become ambassadors of our community.
In addition, the upgrades will positively impact other blockbuster events at Sun Life Stadium, such as the college football championship game, the FedEx Orange Bowl, the World Football Challenge, and marquee concerts.
It is for these reasons that we support the plan to modernize Sun Life Stadium, and we ask our legislators in Tallahassee to support it as well.
Florencia Tabeni, general manager, JW Marriott Marquis Miami