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Super Bowl gave nearly $4 million in contracts to minority- and woman-owned businesses

TAMPA — Two months after the final fireworks and confetti drop, the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee is about to shut down its offices at Raymond James Stadium.

The closing comes with a final announcement about the game's impact on local schools, business development and environmental programs.

Among the statistics released Monday: More than 130 local minority- and woman-owned businesses received Super Bowl-related contracts worth more than $3.96 million.

Curtis Stokes, chairman of the host committee's community outreach subgroup, said that in 2001, only 100 minority and woman-owned businesses won Super Bowl contracts worth $2.1 million.

"It's a whole lot better," Stokes said. "The best thing about it is when people like Rose Saxton from Urban Culinary Cuisine runs up to you and starts to cry because she got the opportunity to participate in the NFL Tailgate Party. That's awesome. That's what it's all about."

Stokes attributed the increase in minority contracts to a growing number of businesses that can handle the work.

Other bragging points:

• The NFL Environmental Program collected more than 34 tons of recyclable materials. More than $200,000 in office supplies, decor and building materials was donated to local nonprofit organizations, and 65,000 pounds of prepared food were collected from various Super Bowl events and donated to local food banks and charities.

• The NFL planted about 2,000 trees in 26 locations throughout the Tampa Bay area.

• More than 100 schools participated in the Super Kids Super Sharing program, donating more than 48,000 books and pieces of sports equipment. The items have been distributed to more than 55 schools and charitable organizations.

• The NFL donated $1 million to expand youth education town centers in East Tampa. The centers also received a boost with a $150,000 donation from the Glazer Family Foundation for a sports field and fitness trail, and a $100,000 contribution from the Patel Conservatory for music, dance, theatre and multimedia classes at the YET centers.

"The Super Bowl is a lot more than just a game," said Reid Sigmon, executive director of the host committee, and the only one of 12 staff members who will remain on board after today. "All of these activities show the impact the Super Bowl had and the legacy it will have, not only in terms of school outreach and environmental programs but also business development."

Sigmon said more than half of the host committee staffers had lined up jobs. But he doesn't know what he'll do next.

"I've had a few conversations," he said.

This marked Sigmon's first time as executive director for a Super Bowl. He came to Tampa from Cleveland, where he was director of stadium development and events for the Cleveland Browns. He was director of operations for Tampa's 2001 Super Bowl and vice president of operations for the game played in Jacksonville in 2005.

Janet Zink can be reached at jzink@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3401.

Super Bowl gave nearly $4 million in contracts to minority- and woman-owned businesses 03/30/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 2:46am]

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