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Home Business Super Bowl LIV: South Florida sees 200,000 visitors, $500M economic impact

Super Bowl LIV: South Florida sees 200,000 visitors, $500M economic impact

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San Francisco 49ers fans enjoy one of the many Super Bowl LIV events in South Florida this week. David J. Phillip / AP

Super Bowl 2020

By John Haughey | The Center Square

The game will culminate a week of events across South Florida that kicked off Monday with an interactive Super Bowl Experience in Miami Beach and Super Bowl Live at Miami’s Bayfront Park, among other events that have drawn more than 200,000 visitors to the area.

And they’re spending money, according to the Florida Retail Federation (FRF), although it doesn’t offer a local economic impact estimate, nor did Miami’s Super Bowl host committee. Most projections recycle the $500 million spent by visitors in Atlanta for last year’s Super Bowl.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumers plan to spend $17.2 billion nationwide in preparation for the game.

NRF data shows 19 percent of Americans plan to throw a Super Bowl party, while 27 percent plan to attend a party. Those watching the game will drop an average of $88.65 in preparation for the showdown – the largest total since 2007.

Digital short-term home rental platform Airbnb said Broward and Miami-Dade counties expect to house 70,000 visitors, generating approximately $26 million for hosts.

“These historic numbers indicate Airbnb has changed the game for big-event travel to South Florida,” Airbnb Florida Policy Director Tom Martinelli said.

As of Friday, Airbnb’s listings showed around 20 percent of available rentals are still available. The average daily Airbnb rate for listings is under $190, far less than the average price of hotel rooms in the area this week – about $500 a night.

In terms of security, so far, so good, law enforcement officials reported, with only minor incidents blotting an otherwise tense test for thousands of local, state and federal law enforcement officers tasked with providing security against a range of security challenges.

“There is no specific credible threat right now,” said Brian Swain, chief of the Miami Secret Service office and lead federal security coordinator during a stadium press conference. “I’m confident in our security plan.”

“Nothing is being taken for granted. It’s all hands on deck,” Homeland Security Miami Chief Anthony Salisbury said. “This is a high-profile event. It’s the same with every Super Bowl.”

The Super Bowl, the 11th in Miami and first in a decade, also will test the state’s newly adopted laws addressing human-trafficking, which, among other provisions, requires hospitality workers to be trained in spotting trafficking victims and how to report suspicions to law enforcement.

Not mentioned as a security concern but, nevertheless, an ambient worry with so many from so many places gathering in one place is some visitors arriving infected with the coronavirus spreading globally from China.

Miami International Airport is one of 20 airports nationally where the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention have expanded screening.

No cases have been reported in Florida, although 30 students and three teachers from The Benjamin School in Palm Beach Gardens were confined to their homes for several days in fear they were exposed to coronavirus at a four-day conference at Yale University last weekend. The conference adjoined prematurely after many, including Chinese students, came down with the flu.

Home confinement was lifted Thursday, although test results of the school group had not been made publicly available by Friday afternoon.

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