TAMPA — Shunned at the Tampa site where its organizers wanted to play, Lingerie Bowl VI has finally found the perfect home: The Caliente nudist resort in Pasco County.
The event, to be held Jan. 31 and broadcast on pay-per-view during the Super Bowl halftime, features barely dressed women playing full-contact football. This year's Tampa Bay Breeze and Miami Caliente teams were hoping to play at a vacant lot at Rome Avenue north of Kennedy Boulevard, but neighborhood groups opposed the games.
The Tampa City Council also threw out a request from California's Horizon Productions to close streets in West Tampa for the event after learning the company didn't have the proper insurance.
Caliente Resort, however, welcomed the Lingerie Bowl with open arms.
"It's a venue that courted us for quite some time," Horizon Productions' Stephon McMillen said. "Certainly we're going to be the main attraction out there."
Horizon Productions and the Lingerie Football League has been "inundated with calls and e-mails" from people interested in attending the Lingerie Bowl, McMillen said, and shuttle service from Channelside is being organized.
The resort can accommodate about 5,000 people for the game, "but we are going to stretch those limits because we have become 'the' event for Super Bowl weekend," McMillen said.
Angye Fox, public relations director for Caliente, said she contacted Horizon after hearing the company was having problems getting the event off the ground in Tampa.
"In Pasco County, things are a little different," she said. "We are very excited to host it."
The Lingerie Bowl players won't have to worry about being overdressed.
"We are clothing-optional," Fox said. "The only place we require nudity is in our pools."
The resort also is the location of a Jan. 30 Super Bowl party called Jocks That Rock, headlined by retired NBA player Dennis Rodman and former Buccaneer Chidi Ahanotu.
Ticket information for that event is available at (813) 996-3700 and at www.calienteresorts.com.
Lingerie Bowl tickets range from $25 to $150, and kickoff starts at 9 p.m. Go to www.lflus.com for more information.
Emily Nipps can be reached at (727) 893-8452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.