TAMPA — Despite hosting multiple Super Bowls and being home to two national championship sports teams, Tampa does not leave much of a mark in the minds of most Americans, according to a pre-Super Bowl XLIII poll released Saturday.
Nearly 60 percent of those polled said they had no impression of Tampa, according to results released by national polling firm Competitive Edge Research. Most, 69.3 percent, said they do not intend to visit the city within the next year.
The annual survey aims to determine the impact Super Bowls have on the images of host cities. The firm has conducted the poll for six years. Previous surveys showed that Super Bowls had no effect on the images of Houston, Jacksonville and Detroit. But in 2007, the public's positive perception of Miami decreased after the game, likely because of inclement weather, company president John Nienstedt said.
Nienstedt said the Super Bowl broadcasters' take on the host city would likely go a long way toward fashioning viewers' impressions. "It depends on what happens during the game and how much they're chatting up Tampa and if that chatting up is positive," he said.
The poll results, gleaned from random interviews with 500 people Tuesday through Friday, will be compared with data gathered from different people after Super Bowl XLIII. Those results, which are expected to show whether the game affected national perceptions of Tampa, will be released Friday. Pollsters said the margin of error for the polls is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.