Buccaneers Senior Director of Business Administration Mike Newquist emphasized the team's total commitment to the Super Bowl bid
A bid to host the Super Bowl is only as strong as the community it represents and the support it receives from civic leaders and the resident NFL team.
Tampa's bid to host Super Bowl XLIII is very, very strong.
That proposal was turned in to the league office on Friday, along with those from the three other cities in competition for the big game in January of 2009 – Atlanta, Houston and Miami. On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Super Bowl XLIII Host Committee held a press conference at Raymond James Stadium to discuss the bid and their confidence in it.
Among those who spoke at the press conference were Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, Super Bowl Task Force Chairman Dick Beard and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Senior Director of Business Administration Mike Newquist. All agreed on the key points that make the Bay area's bid superior to its competitors: Tampa has the experience, the weather, the attractions, the accommodations and the leadership to produce an unmatched Super Bowl experience.
|"The bid is very competitive," said Beard, who considers Atlanta to be the Bay area's chief competition. "I think we've got a great chance. The NFL knows Tampa Bay. We've had three Super Bowls here and every single one of them brought new things to the Super Bowl experience. Each of them were done well, and so the people we're talking to know our city."|
Each host committee was required to fill out a lengthy set of documents concerning bid specifications as set by the NFL. Tampa Bay easily satisfied the requirements and, according to the committee, went above and beyond them in many areas. Houston hosted Super Bowl XXXVIII just over a year ago and Miami has already been awarded the game in 2007. And, in terms of sheer attractiveness of the location in January, it's unlikely Atlanta could claim an edge over the West Coast of Florida.
"Who wouldn't want to be in Tampa in January of any year?" asked Iorio. "But what will Tampa look like in January of 2009? We'll build on what we've already accomplished over the past three Super Bowls, but we'll have so much more to offer.
"From Ybor City to Channelside to the Westshore District to the beaches to Busch Gardens to the aquarium to every destination that we have that people love to visit, Tampa is the premier choice. The other cities are all great cities, but I think everyone in this room knows that Tampa is a special place on Earth, and all we have to do is make sure that the NFL owners know that. And they will know because they've been here before, and once we paint the picture of what Tampa will look like in 2009, I think it will be an easy choice."
Beard said that he sees no weakness in the Bay area's bid, including hotel accommodations, which were tricky this past January in Jacksonville. The Bay area has already met the number of rooms required in the bid documents and will add 7,000 more by 2009. The only potential aspect of Atlanta's bid that is not included in the that of the Bay area is a proposed renovation to the Georgia Dome, and Raymond James Stadium does not need renovations in order to be the perfect host stadium.
The Bay area's bid is strengthened immeasurably by the Buccaneers' complete commitment to the process. Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman, another host committee member, says that such support is necessary for a successful bid.
"You don't win a Super Bowl without having a first-class football organization in your community," said Norman. "I've seen how dedicated they are to our community and how hard they will fight. They will fight, they will call, they will do everything possible to win this thing for us. I'm proud that the Buccaneers are our lead team that will help carry the flag for this community to win the Super Bowl."
Now that the bids have been submitted, the four host committees will have roughly three weeks to impress their virtues upon the rest of the league owners, who will eventually make the decision. The committees will make formal presentations to the owners in Washington, D.C. on May 24, and the decision will be announced the next day. In the coming weeks, Buccaneer owners will work behind the scenes to fortify Tampa's bid.
"Right now, they are personally – Mr. Glazer and Bryan [Glazer] and Joel [Glazer] – making the calls to all the NFL owners. It's in the hand of the other NFL owners now. The Glazers are very busy contacting each owner personally, letting them know of all the attributes that we have in our bid and why we want to bring the Super Bowl back to Tampa. From the whole Buccaneer organization, we thank everyone involved with the bid and we will do everything we can to bring the Super Bowl to Tampa."
Those on the host committee know that such personal contact is critical to the success of a Super Bowl bid, and they're confident the Buccaneers' help will put Tampa over the top.
Said Beard: "The Bucs and the Glazer family are winners, and they'll get this thing for Tampa."