Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Minorities and women to get share of Super Bowl contracts

TAMPA — When the Super Bowl came to Tampa in 2001, David Espinola was among the local minority business owners tapped to contract with the National Football League.

Espinola, the owner of Espo's Food Service, fed 2,500 limo and bus drivers on game day at Hillsborough Community College across the street from Raymond James Stadium.

"They had a big screen set up in the gym over there so we could watch the game," he said. "You were kind of in the atmosphere. Even though you weren't at the game, you were kind of at the game."

Now Espinola is among 400 people signed up for a workshop Thursday for minority and female business owners interested in winning contracts for the Super Bowl slated to be played Feb. 1 in Tampa.

In 2001, about 105 such businesses received Super Bowl contracts worth a total of $2.5-million.

"Our goal is to make sure we do better than we did in 2001," said Curtis Stokes, who heads the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee's Community Outreach team and also serves as president of the Hillsborough County NAACP.

That shouldn't be difficult, said Frank Supovitz, senior vice president of events for the NFL.

Contracts with minority- and women-owned businesses reached $15-million when Miami hosted the Super Bowl in 2007. The year before in Detroit, the figure reached $10-million.

Supovitz attributed the high numbers to the launch in 2005 of a database of local minority- and women-owned businesses on host committee Web sites that NFL contractors can access in the spring before the Super Bowl.

Before the days of the database, the NFL's Emerging Business program, started in 1994, distributed the information in a printed guide in the fall.

Now, the league requires its contractors to search the database for subcontractors and they have more time to do it.

"It's a requirement to report back to us when they used it, how they used it, and what the results were," Supovitz said.

Businesses interested in being part of the database need to be certified through a city, county, state or federal agency.

Bonny Cropper, who coordinates certifications for the city of Tampa's Minority Business Development office, said she has had dozens of requests for information in recent weeks.

"There's a lot of services that they're going to have opportunities for," she said. "Some are for the actual Super Bowl event itself, some are for preparations prior to."

The NFL will be looking for caterers, florists, audio-visual suppliers, general contractors, printers and painters, among other services.

On Thursday, the first half of the NFL workshop will be open to everyone who registered before last week's deadline. Then, qualified vendors will meet one-on-one with NFL contractors.

Janet Zink can be reached at or (813) 226-3401.

.Fast facts

More workshops

Thursday's Super Bowl women and minority business workshop is full, but two more will be scheduled before the end of the year.

For more information, go to and click on the Emerging Business link.

Minorities and women to get share of Super Bowl contracts 04/14/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 24, 2008 3:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  2. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
  5. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101