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Even if Bucs don’t win, Roger Goodell says Tampa Bay has turned heads

The NFL commissioner was effusive in his praise of the local organizing committee’s work in adjusting Super Bowl 55 in pandemic conditions.
NFL football commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at a news conference ahead of Super Bowl 55 on Thursday in Tampa.
NFL football commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at a news conference ahead of Super Bowl 55 on Thursday in Tampa. [ PERRY KNOTTS | AP ]
Published Feb. 5

TAMPA — He stopped short of making any promises about future games, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the work done by the local organizing committee for Super Bowl 55 will reflect favorably on Tampa Bay’s bids down the road.

Because the pandemic limited the number of people traveling to Sunday’s game, Tampa Bay enjoyed only a fraction of the expected economic impact on hotels, restaurants and other service industries.

“I think everyone knows the unique circumstances that we face this season, and they also know how extraordinary Tampa has been working through that,” Goodell said in his annual Super Bowl news conference. “I think that will be a big consideration in (owners’) minds when they do sit down and vote. We recognize it may not be the full extent of economic benefit, but in some ways this whole pandemic and the ability to work through this, is really going to be a reflection on this community’s can-do attitude and how they get things done.”

Owners will probably vote on the 2024 Super Bowl in the near future, but that game is widely expected to be awarded to Las Vegas. The 2025 Super Bowl will be played in New Orleans, which leaves the 2026 game as Tampa Bay’s next possible target.

“They never wavered moving forward with this game and they never said we want to have a game in return,” Goodell said of the Tampa Bay committee. “Those are the kind of people who make this world special and I think the NFL will recognize that going forward.”

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Tampa Bay Times Super Bowl 55 coverage

TIMELINE: How the Bucs and Tampa converged for Super Bowl 55

ATTENTION SUPER BOWL VISITORS: Here’s our guide to Tampa Bay’s socially distanced attractions

PARTY PLANNING IN A PANDEMIC: How to host a safe Super Bowl party

FANS IN TAMPA: A first look inside the Super Bowl Experience in Tampa

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