That’s why committee chairman Rodney Barreto will lead a group that includes Dolphins President/CEO Tom Garfinkel and Senior Vice President-Special Projects and Community Affairs Nat Moore for a trip San Francisco next week to attend Super Bowl 50.
During the visit, the Committee will be meeting with NFL organizers to attend their final production meetings as well as visiting a number of NFL-sponsored events, hotels and venues to better understand the league’s requirements and how to apply those to South Florida.
“We’ve been negotiating back and forth with the NFL,” Barreto said. “The main purpose of the trip to San Francisco is to see if we can learn anything new like, wow, that’s exciting. Let’s go see if someone is doing something different and let’s see how they’re putting their Super Bowl city together.
“You’re always going to learn. We’re always open to learn how we can make something bigger and better and that’s the purpose of this trip.”
South Florida was chosen as a finalist in 2015 to potentially host Super Bowl LIII and Super Bowl LIV. If chosen, the games will take place at the newly revamped Sun Life Stadium. Once complete, the $450 million project funded by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will feature a completely modernized exterior, shade canopy, four high-definition scoreboards, seating products unlike any stadium venue and numerous other enhancements.
Miami is one of four cities — along with Tampa, New Orleans and Atlanta — bidding for the 2019 and 2020 Super Bowls. Final bid presentations will be made April 15 and the two Super Bowls will be awarded when NFL owners meet in late May.
Miami was among the finalists for Super Bowl 50 and Super Bowl LI, which were awarded to Santa Clara and Houston, respectively.
Barreto, Garfinkel and everyone looking to bring the Super Bowl back to South Florida is confident the difference this time will be the renovations made to Sun Life Stadium, renovations that should be completed in 2017.
“We already have one of the best regions, one of the best places that you can come, one of the best geographic locations that you can come to host world-class events, maybe the best,” Garfinkel said. “We have a host committee that knows how to put on these events. From that standpoint, we’re as competitive as anybody. And now we will have a world-class venue that is as competitive as any venue in the world to host these events and do them for fans in the best possible way.”
Barreto unveiled at a press conference Friday morning artist renderings of a Super Bowl Park and a Tailgate Town that would be constructed in downtown Miami should Sun Life Stadium be awarded a Super Bowl.
The venues would host concerts and other NFL-sponsored Super Bowl activities.
Barreto said that the NFL now insists on having a centralized location for its official Super Bowl events, a change from the past when it wanted things spread out throughout South Florida.
Nikki Grossman, a member of the South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee and the president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, said there still would be plenty of events in Broward County outside of NFL-sponsored activities.
South Florida is tied with New Orleans for most Super Bowls hosted with 10, and the hope is to make it 11.
“There is nothing that South Florida can’t match, or even succeed, when it comes to delivering what the NFL, the owners and most important the fans are loking for,” Grossman said. “So bring it on, we’re ready for te Super Bowl our 11th time.
“The stadium is going to make the difference in our bid this year. We are a destination that knows how to host a Super Bowl with eyes closed. We’ve had a missing piece in that puzzle for a while and thanks to fellow Beach High graduate Steve Ross and the Miami Dolphins, that piece of the puzzle is now solid. We’re looking forward to welcoming the Super Bowl in either 2019 or ’20.”
Grossman indicated the South Florida Super Bowl bid includes hosting the Pro Bowl, as was the case following the 2009 season when the Super Bowl last was played at Sun Life Stadium.
“The committee has stayed together since 2010; we bid on several different Super Bowls and we weren’t successful,” Barreto said. “One of the main reason if you look around what’s going here with the stadium and the renovations, this is what’s really propelled us to now actively pursue additional Super Bowls for South Florida.
“That’s what allowed us to get back in the game. We were kind of cruising along there. We had a 2007 Super Bowl, a 2010 Super Bowl. Miami and South Florida were so expected to have Super Bowl and now it’s going to be a 10-year period to get back in the game, so to speak.”