Minorities, women to be involved in Super Bowl planning

02/14/08 Mitch E. Perry
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The week of activities leading up to the Super Bowl are expected to bring millions of dollars into the community. Today, members of the City Council today told officials with the local Host Committee that they want to ensure that women and minority-owned businesses get a fair shot at some of those opportunities.

The Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee is partnering with the National Football League on what they’re calling "The Emerging Business Program" to educate and provide business opportunites to minority- and women-owned businesses.

Curtis Stokes is executive director with the Hillsborough County NAACP; he is also a member of the Host Committee. He says he’ll get word out to the interested parties by going on radio programs such as WMNF’s Empowerment Hour, as well as advertising in the Florida Sentinel Bulletin and La Gaceta.

But several council members wanted hard target goals from the Committee, and Stokes wasn’t prepared to give numbers.

Stokes said the Committee had identified the top 10 areas where the NFL spends money at a Super Bowl location. He said he was working with Tampa, Hillsborough County and School Board officials who have a database of those companies.

But Council Chair Gwen Miller said there were more vendors not listed on those current databases that might be missed.

Carolyn House Stewart, a Tampa attorney, said Stokes was missing out on the fact that there are plenty of minorities in Tampa able to provide other services.

Councilman John Dingfelder asked Super Bowl Host Committee Executive Director Reid Sigmon how green the Super Bowl would be.

The Super Bowl Host Committee will provide a status report to the City Council in May. For more information, go to Tampabaysuperbowl.com.

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