South Florida is preparing a bid for the 2016 Super Bowl, but a potential tourism conflict looms because the National Football League could move the game to Presidents Day weekend, when the five-day Miami International Boat Show has been held since the 1940s.
Local tourism officials previously have declined to pursue a Super Bowl if it fell during the weekend of the boat show, but this time they might not have a choice. The Miami Herald reported that the NFL is requiring for the first time that potential host cities agree to a Presidents Day weekend Super Bowl if they want to pursue the big game at all, said two people who have seen the NFL request for Super Bowl bids.
“There is not sufficient hotel inventory available in Miami that weekend to host a Super Bowl,” Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau president William Talbert told the Herald. “We have taken a close look at that weekend and it’s not physically possible in Miami to host Super Bowl during the Presidents Day weekend because of the boat show and the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. The hotel inventory is all being used for these two great events.”
The show, which debuted in 1941 and says it attracts roughly 90,000 visitors, does not want to share Miami with the NFL.
Show director Cathy Rick-Joule said attendance likely will drop if vendors and buyers must contend with Super Bowl room rates during boat show weekend.