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Lingerie Bowl request catches Tampa City Council attention

TAMPA — The Lingerie Bowl, which features scantily clad women playing full-contact football, is struggling to make it into the end zone.

The City Council on Thursday yanked from its agenda a request to close streets in West Tampa for the Lingerie Football League's national championship games during Super Bowl weekend.

Council member John Dingfelder said the item definitely caught his attention.

"Lingerie Bowl — I wasn't familiar with that as a sporting event," he said.

The council declined to vote on the road closure after learning that promoters hadn't turned in proper insurance documents and hearing complaints from a West Tampa business owner.

Spencer Kass told the council that the games could bring thousands of people to the neighborhood. Among other things, he worried about adequate parking and police protection.

The Lingerie Football League has been promising three days of red carpet receptions, national recording artist performances and games between the Los Angeles Temptation, Phoenix Scorch, Miami Caliente and Tampa Breeze on vacant lots transformed into a playing field.

The Breeze launched in September, with Playboy model Rebecca Reyes of Temple Terrace, better known as Reby Sky, named the team's quarterback.

City attorney Chip Fletcher said that because the league's events are scheduled for private property, the council doesn't have much of a say in whether they can go forward. The board can only rule on the road closure, he said.

"We will bring it back to you if we get that insurance certificate," Fletcher said.

Stephon McMillen, a spokesman for Horizon Productions, the Los Angeles company that owns the Lingerie Football League, said the road closures would help logistically, but aren't necessary for the games. He said the insurance issue would be resolved.

"Whether we have the full-scale production or something that is a version of that, we will definitely have a presence in Tampa," he said.

The Lingerie Bowl was played for four years in Los Angeles and offered live as a pay-per-view alternative to the Super Bowl halftime show.

"This year, because we're in Super Bowl's back yard, what we would do is tape it Saturday night for it to air on Sunday," McMillen said.

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

Lingerie Bowl request catches Tampa City Council attention 01/08/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:02am]
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