In just more than eight months, the Super Bowl returns to South Florida for a record 11th time.
And NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is confident that Miami will be a gracious, effective host when the big game arrives.
Goodell, speaking to reporters in Key Biscayne on Wednesday during the NFL’s spring meeting, said that “so far, the planning has gone great” for the nation’s biggest sporting event, which will be held at Hard Rock Stadium on Feb. 2, 2020.
“There’s been a lot of work on the stadium, as you know, over the last several years,” Goodell said. “I think that is a terrific stage for us. We’re looking forward to being here.”
Miami has been transformed in the decade since the Super Bowl was last here. The skyline seems to have doubled in size. Entire neighborhoods have sprouted up.
The nerve center of all nongame activity that week will be Bayfront Park, the site of Super Bowl Live, a free, weeklong festival featuring concerts, family-friendly activities, games and NFL exhibits.
Rodney Barreto, chairman of the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee, estimates the Super Bowl will bring a half billion-dollar economic impact on the area, and while economists say those figures should be viewed with a degree of skepticism, there’s no question there will be a boost.
So how will all of Miami’s new growth handle the roughly 150,000 people expected to flood area bars, restaurants in streets next February?
“I’d say, not only has Miami and South Florida gone through a lot of changes, so has the NFL and so has the event itself,” Goodell said. “We’ve seen all that just recently with the draft. It’s bigger. It’s better. There’s more people involved. The planning takes a great deal more than it has in the past.”
Goodell added: “I have incredible confidence in this community to raise the bar once again, and to take this stage, which is the best stage in the world, and to not only do a great job with the game and the event, with all the fans that are coming here, but also it’s a stage to show all the changes that have taken place in South Florida and to use this as something to demonstrate how wonderful this community actually is.”