Dallas Cowboys and North Texas awarded 2011 Super Bowl by NFL

new_stadium_052207_330.jpgOn Tuesday we found out that North Texas will be hosting Super Bowl XLV in 2011.  

Jerry Jones made it very clear that this was a regional effort during his acceptance speech.  Also during the speech, Mr. Jones acknowledge the mayors of Arlington and Ft. Worth by name while the words "Laura Miller" were never uttered.

Listening to local sports talk, you would think that Dallas lost the bid.  I understand some of the curbed enthusiasm for fear that the city will wilt under the pressure of hosting the event.  But these guys get paid to be negative, and they obliged the listeners with plenty of negativity throughout the afternoon.

The shows did bring up some good questions about area's ability to host the Super Bowl.  I went back to the proposal that the bid committee made to the City of Dallas soliciting their support in the effort to land the big game. 

See the presentation from the Dallas City Council Briefing soliciting Dallas' support here.

A couple of interesting points stood out as I thumbed through the presentation: 

Six Cities were asked to participate in the regional effort – Dallas, Irving, Arlington, Grapevine, Ft. Worth, and Grand Prairie.

There are four "Signature Events" that will happen when the Super Bowl comes to town.  I'm hoping Dallas will land two of the four.   

#1 NFL Headquarters Hotel

The league requires that the NFL Headquarters hotel will provide 900 rooms in a single location.  I know that 4 hotels were submitted in the bid package, one of those being the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine which has 1,511 guest rooms.  I'm assuming the other three are Dallas' Adam's Mark (1840 rooms), Hilton Anatole (1,614), and Hyatt Dallas (1,122). 

#2 The NFL Experience

The NFL Experience requires 850,000 square feet of convention space (Dallas Convention Center has over 1,000,000 sq. ft.) The event is billed as "the most exciting continuous event surrounding the Super Bowl" with pro football’s interactive theme park offering games, entertainment attractions, kids’ clinics, and free autograph sessions.  The estimated attendance at the NFL Experience is over 200,000 visitors.

The other signature events are the Commissioner's Party (would be good for Arlington), and a Saturday Night outdoor concert and fireworks event (why not Lone Star Park?).

There we are some other interesting items in the presentation as well:

–  Each endorsing municipality must enter into an event support trust with the Host Committee to authorize the disbursement of funds.

–  Gross receipts derived from official NFL activities will be exempt from all state, county, city and other local taxes.

–  All fees for special licensing of official NFL vehicles will be waived.

–  Park and Ride shuttle must be operated during the NFL Experience and day of the Super Bowl at no cost to the NFL.

As Dallas council member Steve Salazar told the Dallas Morning News, "We're the 800-pound gorilla. Without us, there is no bid." And though the city is the butt of a lot of jokes when it comes to getting things done around here, Dallas is the big fish in this North Texas pond. 

The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau touts over 70,000 available hotel rooms.  When corporate/Hollywood types come to town, they'll be looking to stay at places like the W Hotel, Hotel ZaZa, Hotel Palomar, and the forthcoming Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin Oriental Hotels.

I was in Houston when the Super Bowl was held there in 2004, and there were tons of non-NFL related parties and entertainment events. I attended an Apple Bottom Jeans Fashion Show, a Hip-Hop Summit hosted by Russell Simmons, and hung out near a P.Diddy party for a while (I wasn't paying the $100 cover). 

I traveled down to Houston on Thursday, left coming home Sunday morning, and watched the game at home with a few friends that evening.  Most of the people attracted to the Super Bowl have no intentions of going to the game.

Today was a good day for citizens of Dallas and North Texas.  Because we are accustomed to competing with one another it will be hard for us to come together, but I believe we will. 

Besides…the walking, living, breathing P.R. nightmare Dallas calls a mayor will be gone by then.  The region already has a better shot to come off looking good.

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