New report provides details on Super Bowl attendance, spending
South Florida Business Journal - June 1, 2007 by Jim Freer and Tynisa Trapps
When organizers of the 2010 Super Bowl seek financial support and volunteers, they will have a report indicating about 112,000 visitors spent $280 million during this year's Super Bowl week.
"This allows us to provide some details, beyond saying it is valuable to have the Super Bowl in our backyard," said Rodney Barreto, who was chairman of the South Florida Super Bowl XLI Host Committee.
The report, by Sport Management Research Institute (SMRI) of West Palm Beach, also indicated the Super Bowl's total economic impact was $463 million.
That was the sum of visitors' spending and an estimated $183 million of "indirect spending" - money local businesses spent preparing for the Feb. 4 game and follow-up circulation of tourists' dollars.
Key estimates include an average household income of $222,318 for Super Bowl visitors and other data on their spending that can help South Florida's overall tourism marketing, SMRI CEO Kathleen Davis said. SMRI prepared the report under a contract from the host committee.
In January, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated the Super Bowl would generate about $195 million in tourist spending in South Florida. That was its highest estimate for the 10 years it has projected Super Bowl spending.
The accounting firm based its estimate on the host committee's reports on anticipated number of visitors, projected hotel room rates and details from the travel industry on spending at recent Super Bowls, said Robert Canton, a Tampa-based director in its sports, conventions and tourism practice.
PricewaterhouseCoopers does not do follow-up analyses on Super Bowls. Canton declined comment on why host committee estimates on tourist spending are almost always higher than his firm's projections and estimates of some economists.
The previous highest estimate for total Super Bowl spending was $397 million for the 1999 game at Dolphin Stadium, including $240 million spent by visitors. SMRI conducted that study. Outside South Florida, the highest estimated Super Bowl impact was $363 million for the 2003 game in San Diego, based on a report by that city's host committee.
SMRI based this year's estimates on 5,659 interviews. That included fans at Dolphin Stadium and other visitors at hotels, restaurants and airports, as well as visiting members of the media and South Florida residents
"This is my company's livelihood. I would be crazy to inflate the numbers," she said when asked about critics of studies that estimate the economic impact of sports events.
"We gave Kathleen no direction," Barreto said. "The numbers confirm what we have been saying all along: that the total impact would be in excess of $400 million."
SMRI also does economic impact studies for the U.S. Tennis Association, AVP Volleyball and the Homestead Miami Speedway.
SMRI's estimate that the Super Bowl attracted 112,403 visitors is based on the host committee's estimate that the number of visitors is about double the number of non-South Floridians who attended the game.
The research firm estimated the average stay was between four and five days, and average daily spending was $668.80, up from $401.12 in 1999. That included hotels, restaurants and other entertainment - but not game tickets.
Davis said the spending number was surprising, even considering inflation and an overall increase in room rates that included several new hotels.
"These are high-end people with disposable income," Davis said, noting that 87 percent of them told her firm they had a "very good to excellent impression" of South Florida.
Contact visitors for future events
Davis suggested that hotels and CVBs should be contacting Super Bowl visitors, offering packages for future vacations and help if they are considering South Florida for business events.
William Talbert III, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau , and Nicki Grossman, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau , said their groups have added Super Bowl visitors to their follow-up marketing programs.
"Fortune 500 companies are already our current customers," Talbert said. "They come here routinely and have meetings and vacation here regularly. We look forward to their return."
The Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB is in frequent contact with professional associations and corporations about incentive travel. Many of these include executives who attended the Super Bowl, Grossman said.
"It pays off for us year-round," she added. "The only sad thing about this is we won't have the Super Bowl for another three years."
Super Bowl XLIV will be played at Dolphin Stadium on Feb. 7, 2010. Three staff members from the 2007 host committee are based at the stadium, preparing for the 2010 game.
The committee's volunteer directors have not selected a chairman for 2010, said Barreto, who added he will remain a director. He is chairman of The Barreto Group , a Coral Gables-based real estate investment and development company.
Michael Kelly, the host committee's president for this year's game, has moved to Greensboro, N.C., as the Atlantic Coast Conference's associate commissioner for football.
The committee has not set a timetable for finding a paid president for the 2010 game, Barreto said.
SOUTH FLORIDA SUPER BOWL XLI HOST COMMITTEE
Web site: www.superbowlxli.org
SPORT MANAGEMENT RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Web site: www.go-smri.com
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