Posted February 1, 2016
Emon Reiser - South Florida Business Journal
The National Football League wants cities to offer up more than just their stadiums if they want to host the Super Bowl.
They want destinations willing to spend lots of dollars to host big events that go beyond the gridiron. And the South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee is game.
"We already have one of the best geographic locations you can come to host these events," said Miami Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel at a media event Friday at Sun Life Stadium, where the committee presented more details about its bid. "We're as competitive as anybody and now we will have a world-class venue."
South Florida is competing against Atlanta, New Orleans and Tampa for Super Bowl 2019 or 2020, and to get an edge on the competition, the committee will go to Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco on Feb. 3 to meet with NFL organizers, attend their final production meetings and learn more about NFL-sponsored events that surround the show.
"There have been many changes in South Florida since the Super Bowl was last hosted here 5 years ago," said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee. "Our goal is to leave San Francisco with a better understanding of what it will take to advance our final bid and bring the SuperBowl and Pro Bowl back to experience the newest developments in South Florida."
Central to the committee's presentation is the Sun Life Stadium's $450 million renovation, which includes a new roof, improved dining options, seats that are closer to the field, more bathrooms and new luxury seating. The improvements are being funded by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Miami-Dade County has promised to reward his team financially if they can attract major events such as the Super Bowl, college football playoffs or international soccer matches.
"It's going to be a game-changer for fans," Garfinkel said of the renovations.
But a virtually brand new stadium won't be enough to score the Super Bowl. Garfinkel said the NFL wants gathering places for fans outside of the stadium around Miami-Dade County. The bid committee has proposed that downtown Miami, specifically between Bayfront Park and Museum Park, would become a "Super Bowl Park" with live music and comedy performances, reserved VIP zones to host sponsors and 3D mapping that would splash Super Bowl-themed images on high rises.