Tampa City Council to vote on Super Bowl bid
With the NFL saying Tampa is a finalist to host the Super Bowl again in 2019 or 2020, the Tampa City Council on Thursday will consider a resolution approving a formal bid to host the championship for a fifth time.
If the council approves, the city would agree “to provide all governmental services (including without limitation public safety, security, fire and medical emergency, traffic, decorative display and public work/street maintenance services and supplies) reasonably necessary to the success” of the game and "related events" within the city, according to the resolution, and that the services would be provided “all at no cost, expense or liability to the NFL or the two participating teams."
"We go in with our eyes wide open that the further we advance in the process, there may be some costs associated with it," said City Council member Harry Cohen, who, as the chairman of the council's finance committee, is likely to make the motion to approve the resolution. But hosting the Super Bowl is something that brings a lot of welcome attention and visitors to the bay area, so it's worth pursuing. "I think it's great that we're making the effort to try to get these games."
When then-Mayor Pam Iorio originally participated in the bid to host the game in 2009, she committed to keeping the city’s cash contributions to the event at $1 million or less.
A month after the game, City Hall said total costs were just over $1.2 million — $573,448 in cash outlays and $635,000 in in-kind services. But a few city divisions made money on the game, namely parking, which brought in $221,000. Along with another $50,000 in revenues from parks and solid waste, the city’s expenses did come in, as promised, under $1 million.
On Wednesday, Mayor Bob Buckhorn said city officials have not talked about setting the same kind of cap on Tampa's contribution.
"We've committed to do what we've always done — nothing less and, in all likelihood, nothing more," he said. "You know, this is a big event for us. This is something that we do well, and is something that has proven to be very, very beneficial to us as a community. ... We know what's involved, we know how to do it, we do it as well as anybody in the country. This is a cost we're willing to bear because of the value to us."