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Super Bowl a big payday for Tampa Bay

Frank Supovitz, NFL senior vice president of events, spoke for National Tourism Week.

LARA CERRI | Times

Frank Supovitz, NFL senior vice president of events, spoke for National Tourism Week.

ST. PETERSBURG — A news flash from the NFL: the biggest money flowing into the Tampa Bay area from Super Bowl XLIII next year won't come from the game itself.

"The real economic driver is all the other stuff that happens'' around it, said Frank Supovitz, the league's senior vice president of events, at the annual lunch in Pinellas County for National Tourism Week on Friday.

The game at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 1 will be preceded by a slew of public and private events such as the NFL Charities Bowling Tournament, Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, Taste of the NFL and Super Bowl Saturday Night.

About 150,000 visitors will converge on the area, though there are seats for only 75,000 or so, said Supovitz. "An awful lot of people,'' he said, "are coming just to have fun.''

The average visitor will spend $350 a day and stay four days. Corporations will spend about $20-million on parties and other hospitality. One independent study of spending at the previous Super Bowl in Arizona pegged the economic impact at $500-million, said Supovitz.

The NFL has reserved 14,631 room nights in Pinellas, which has a total inventory of about 30,000 rooms. That doesn't include lodging booked by visitors on their own or blocks of rooms already reserved for fans.

Hillsborough County has committed to supply the league with 31,200 room nights, with a similar-sized block set aside in the Orlando area.

Supovitz told a crowd of about 400 at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club that exposure from the Super Bowl will pay off in corporate meetings and conventions. "It's a legacy left behind of what your community is all about,'' he said. "This is an opportunity for you to glow before that audience.''

Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.

150,000 Visitors expected to converge on the region for Super Bowl LVIII next year.

$350 Amount the average visitor is expected to spend a day over a four-day stay.

$20M Amount corporations are expected to spend on hospitality.

$500M Economic impact to Arizona, host of this year's Super Bowl.

Super Bowl a big payday for Tampa Bay 05/09/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 24, 2008 1:40pm]
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