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February 6, 2010 @ 4:10 am
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Tampa Targeting 2014 Super Bowl

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The Tampa Bay area's hope of landing the 2014 Super Bowl could be dashed in a New York minute.

The Bay area is preparing a bid to attract America's No. 1 sports event for the fifth time but faces some formidable competition for the next available Super Bowl.

Bids are due by early April and an announcement on the 2014 game is expected at the league's spring meetings May 24-26 in Dallas.

"League people always talk about how easy it is to do a Super Bowl in Tampa and we did a flawless job a year ago,'' said Paul Catoe, president and CEO of Tampa Bay & Co., Hillsborough's visitors bureau. "The game has a tremendous economic impact and we will put our best foot forward to get the Super Bowl back here in 2014.''

Tampa has played host to four Super Bowls, most recently in February 2009 when the Pittsburgh Steelers won their record sixth with a dramatic 27-23 victory against the Arizona Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium.

To accommodate a 2014 bid from the New York-New Jersey area, the NFL has ominously waived its standard Super Bowl requirement of 50-degree weather or a climate controlled stadium.

Other cities in the mix are Glendale, Ariz., which played host to the 2008 thriller between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, and Miami, which will serve as the Super Bowl site Sunday for a record 10th time.

Favorable weather and committed owners can sweeten any Super Bowl bid, but the game is often awarded to franchises that build new stadiums.

That's the case in the next two years as the league's showcase game moves to Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, Texas) in 2011 and Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, in 2012.

In 2013, the game returns to New Orleans for the first time since 2002, almost 43 months before Hurricane Katrina ravaged the region.

Arizona is one year ahead of the Bay area in the Super Bowl rotation, and the Phoenix suburb of Glendale boasts a $450 million state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2006.

Two members of the Glendale City Council voted against submitting a 2014 proposal, arguing that the city lost money two years ago as the Super Bowl host.

Despite obvious winter weather issues in New Jersey, Bay area officials are wary of the bid being prepared on behalf of the $1.6 billion open-air stadium that will serve as home of the Giants and Jets beginning this fall.

Only 10 miles from the NFL's Park Avenue headquarters, East Rutherford, N.J., has an average high temperature of 39 degrees in early February.

Before Miami was awarded Sunday's matchup, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue was an ardent supporter of placing the 2010 game in New York City, linking it with a development project on the west side of Manhattan.

When those plans failed to materialize, the New York area appeared out of serious contention as a future Super Bowl site. That was before construction began on an 82,500-seat facility that could entice owners to support the idea of staging the Super Bowl in the northeast for the first time.

"The New York bid received a special weather waiver and those people are deadly serious,'' said Catoe, who dispatched several Tampa Bay & Co. representatives on site this week in Fort Lauderdale. "Still, we like our chances. Our great stadium gets us to the dance and the strong support of Bucs ownership has been critical to our success.''

If NFL owners vote in May to award the 2014 game to Miami, that would mean South Florida would play host to the Super Bowl three times within an eight-year span. That seems unlikely, especially since the league has already suggested Miami will need to make substantial improvements to Sun Life Stadium before landing another Super Bowl.

Stadium concerns also continue to hurt the efforts of San Diego and San Francisco to attract the big game and boost the local economy.

"There are very few things that can unite a community,'' said Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee. "This is one of them.'

Source: Tampa Tribune - Ira Kaufman

PewterReport.com's Take:
This is potentially good news for the Tampa Bay area. Tampa has done a great job of hosting the Super Bowl in recent years, and the money it brings to the local economy, not to mention the national exposure, is tremendously valuable. Raymond James Stadium hosted one of the most exciting games in Super Bowl history last year when Pittsburgh defeated Arizona. Who knows: if the Bucs do things right, perhaps they'll have a realistic shot at becoming the first team to ever host a Super Bowl by the time 2014 rolls around. The Bucs obviously have a lot of work to do between now and then. 

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