NFL commissioner, city officials tout benefits of Super Bowl

10/13/08 Mitch E. Perry
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In a little over 100 days, one of the biggest events in the world will take place in Tampa. Super Bowl 43 will be played at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 1.

Today in Tampa, local politicians and members of the business community crowded into a ballroom at the Marriott Waterside Hotel to boast about what the game will do for the Tampa economy and community.

The guest speaker was National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell fielded questions in front of a crowd of about 500 people.

He was asked how could people enjoy the Super Bowl in Tampa, considering that the tickets are extraordinarily priced. For last year’s game in Arizona, face value for tickets were between $700 and $900. Online tickets for the Tampa game are going for thousands of dollars.

Local politicians from both sides of the bay were on hand, as was Paul Catoe, the CEO of the TampaBay Convention & Visitors Bureau. He says bringing the game to Tampa will be a bonanza for the economy.

When asked to clarify how Tallahassee will benefit, Catoe emphasized that it be in the form of taxes from tourists.

Phil Porter is a professor economics at USF in Tampa. He disagrees with Catoe, saying only a few businesses should do well.

Over the years, Porter has been a leading voice of criticism when it comes to public subsidies for professional sports. He’s been criticized by some politicians and chamber of commerce types, for what they say is his relentness negative rhetoric about what sports can do economically for a community, whether it’s a new stadium or an event like the Super Bowl.

But Porter says his comments have proven true.

The Super Bowl takes place on Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m.

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