Barreto: Our Bid Was Well-Received By The NFL

Posted Apr 23, 2013

League heard details of Super Bowl plans in New York City.

With the clock continuing to tick on the chances of South Florida being awarded a Super Bowl at next month’s NFL owners meetings in Boston, the Super Bowl Bid Committee today gave a presentation in New York City to league officials that was well-received.

Committee Chairman Rodney Barreto and Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee were accompanied by other members of the committee and officials from Miami-Dade and Broward County and unveiled some details of a bid that can still be tweaked before being submitted for final approval on May 8th. This was a plan that has been worked on tirelessly since last August when Barreto and Dee were notified that South Florida would be a finalist for Super Bowls 50 and 51 and were advised of the new direction the league wants to go in terms determining a true epicenter for all of the activities rather than having them spread out.

“We met with the NFL this morning for about a four-hour meeting to discuss our proposal,” Barreto said in a conference call with the South Florida media. “We unveiled the core activities for Miami-Dade County and downtown Miami and it was well-received. Actually, they applauded it. They were obviously very impressed with the direction that we took with respect to the late in 2012 call I got from the NFL to design something different and design a core activity in Miami.”

A lot has changed not only on the NFL landscape but also in downtown Miami Dade and the surrounding areas since the last Super Bowl was held here in 2010. The ability to host large events and host multiple events simultaneously is something that was brought up this morning, in addition to reminding the league of how well-versed the Miami area is in hosting Super Bowls having hosted 10 of them before. That’s tied with New Orleans for the city to have hosted the most.

Dee took notice of the reactions of some of the officials in the room when these changes were pointed out and how the potential for a successful bid has been heightened because of it.

“I thought the presentation today particularly focused on the world class infrastructure that’s been created in downtown Miami in particular,” Dee said. “And a lot of this news was new to the people in the room. Even those people who have worked on previous Super Bowls in South Florida with the NFL weren’t aware of the new art museum and everything that’s going in Bicentennial Park and the new tunnel, the transportation system and the new airport terminal.”

Of course, central to the bid is Sun Life Stadium and the proposed modernization project that would place no burden on Miami-Dade property taxpayers. The plan is designed to bring facility up to par with the newer stadiums that have been and are being built. Two weeks ago the Miami-Dade County Commission approved the details and approved a resolution to set a public referendum for May 14th, eight days before the Super Bowl bid is voted on by the NFL owners.

A key component to the successful vote was the Dolphins’ commitment to repay the net proceeds of the County and State contribution, something that is unprecedented as far as sports facility partnerships are concerned. There is still action needed to be taken in Tallahassee before the current legislative session ends on May 3rd as far as authorizing the county to implement an additional 1 percent tourism tax and the $3 million per year state sales tax rebate on goods and services sold at Sun Life Stadium. Clearly, the league is paying close attention the outcomes on both fronts.

“I believe that we’re putting a lot of effort and a lot of energy into being successful but I think a lot of our efforts and energy are going to be hinging on the fact that that we get these improvements at the stadium,” Barreto said. “We emphasized that South Florida and Miami really are interested in hosting future Super Bowls and we want to be truly back in the mix. There’s a lot of competition out there and it was a clear message to us early in that, ‘we love coming to South Florida and to Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the beaches in Palm Beach. We love it down there and we love the weather, but you know what? You’ve got to stay competitive.’ And that message hasn’t changed.”

Thanks to the revelations in today’s presentation, that message now has an even narrower focus.

“I think the feedback was that you guys really have a world class infrastructure and you can check the box on world-class infrastructure on all of these facilities with one exception, and that is that we have a 27-year-old stadium.” Dee said. “One thing that nobody can dispute, this is the oldest stadium, non-renovated, that competes for Super Bowls. It’s also the only stadium that is multi-purpose in that it’s still a baseball-configured facility that competes for Super Bowls. We have a beautiful home with a rusty fence and I think it was made clear to us that it’s something that needs to be addressed.”