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Friday, March 30, 2007

Reid Sigmon New Executive Director Of Tampa's Super Bowl XXXV Task Force

Super Bowl host committee chooses leader
Tampa Bay Business Journal - 8:48 AM EDT Friday, March 30, 2007

A Charleston, S.C., native with experience in Tampa Bay has been named the executive director of the 2009 Super Bowl.

Reid Sigmon, who served as assistant director of the Tampa Bay Final Four Organizing Committee in 1998 and as director of operations for Tampa's Super Bowl XXXV Task Force, will assume his new duties on April 30.

His responsibilities will include ensuring proper infrastructure is in place to produce this high-level event, coordinate hotels, transportation and security detail, organize numerous Super Bowl Host Committee special events, generate sufficient sponsorships, meet fundraising goals and ensure the community is prepared for the NFL to host Super Bowl XLIII.

"Reid Sigmon is an experienced pro that knows his way around a Super Bowl," said Frank Supovitz, senior vice president of special events for the National Football League, in a release.

For Super Bowl XXXIX, Sigmon served as vice president of operations for the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee where he focused on integrated aspects of transportation, parking and visitor movement, including ground, marine and air transport. Sigmon worked closely with the NFL to prepare Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and the surrounding areas to host Super Bowl XXXIX and ancillary activities. In addition, he worked closely with special events, business management and lodging accommodations.

Sigmon most recently was the director of stadium development and event operations for the Cleveland Browns.

Dallas City Council OK's North Texas Super Bowl XLV Bidding Committee's Plan

Dallas council OKs backing of Super Bowl bid
11:06 AM CDT on Wednesday, March 28, 2007
By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

The Dallas City Council on Wednesday morning unanimously approved two resolutions backing the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Bidding Committee's efforts to score football’s grandest game despite several weeks of council members peppering the committee with various demands and threats.

Council members spent just four minutes offering conciliatory messages about the region’s bid before voting. The bid aims to attract the 2011 Super Bowl to the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium under construction in nearby Arlington.

Many council members had previously argued that because Dallas would front about four-fifths of local resources for a Super Bowl, Dallas should receive guarantees of receiving the choicest ancillary benefits - pre-game parties, festivals, headquarter hotels and the like. But the language contained in the council’s resolutions is decidedly supportive, with few demands on the bid committee, which must present its proposal to the NFL by April 2.

“The due diligence we did was good. We were looking out for the taxpayers’ money,” council member Ron Natinsky said.

“We don’t need to nitpick this to death. The PR is unbelievable in what it would produce for the region,” council member Mitchell Rasansky said.

Mayor Laura Miller concurred.

“We’re all very excited to help you bring the Super Bowl to this region,” she said.

Dallas City Council To Vote On North Texas Super Bowl XLV Bidding Committee's Plan March 27th

Dallas City Council wants city stressed in Super Bowl bid
Members want NFL to pick city facilities for nongame events

06:46 AM CDT on Thursday, March 22, 2007

By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

It's all but certain the Dallas City Council will vote next week to support – financially and otherwise – the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Bidding Committee's effort to bring football's grandest game to Arlington in 2011.

Council members on Wednesday nonetheless pressured bid committee members to ask the NFL to funnel the cream of its ancillary benefits inside Dallas' city limits, be they headquarters hotels, promotional events or massive pregame parties.

"It'd be helpful if you could please us and please the effort at the same time. Make it clear that we want the events here," Dallas Mayor Laura Miller told bid committee members. "We'd like the main events in Dallas because we are the lead city. We don't want to jeopardize [the bid], but we want to make a point."

Said council member Steve Salazar: "We're the 800-pound gorilla. Without us, there is no bid."

Phillip Jones, president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, who is working closely with the bid committee, said he understands council members' concerns and remains confident that the group will support the efforts of the bid committee, led by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.

The bid committee must submit its proposal to the NFL by April 2. NFL owners are scheduled to award Super Bowl XLV to one bidder – Indianapolis and Arizona are also competing for the game – at their spring meeting May 23 in Nashville, Tenn.

Council member Maxine Thornton-Reese also asked for guarantees that the NFL, in hiring local contractors, would abide by the city's guidelines for women and minority business participation. Officials assured her that would be so.

And several council members expressed concerns that the bid committee preliminarily listed Grapevine's Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center along with three Dallas hotels the committee would recommend to the NFL for its Super Bowl headquarters.

Council member Ron Natinsky in particular suggested Dallas might withhold funding support for the Super Bowl effort – the city has tentatively promised about four-fifths of the financial support for the event – if the NFL scheduled major events outside Dallas' city limits.

"The question is: If the NFL picks the Gaylord or decides to put up a big tent and not use our convention center, what do we do as the city of Dallas with our 70, 80 percent participation?"

Mr. Jones noted that four area hotels fit NFL criteria for its four major operational bases, which include the Super Bowl headquarters, commissioner's headquarters, media facilities and team facilities.

"We need the Gaylord property to make the bid successful," Mr. Jones said, adding that the bid committee would craft language in its proposal to the NFL that reflected Dallas' desire to host most major events and Super Bowl facilities.

The game would be played in Arlington's $1 billion retractable-roof stadium, which is slated to become the Cowboys' home in 2009.

Although financial details aren't complete, bid committee representatives said, a leading funding model involves Dallas funneling incremental sales tax revenue – funds generated above and beyond sales tax estimates without the Super Bowl in town – to a trust fund managed by the state comptroller's office.

The trust fund, in turn, would distribute money to a Super Bowl host committee charged with coordinating the event. The state would account for 80 percent of the trust fund's funding, bid committee officials said. Dallas would be expected to provide 16 percent to 18 percent of the trust fund's balance, with other area municipalities contributing the rest, City Manager Mary Suhm said. Officials did not immediately quote an estimate of how much the trust fund would be worth.

Asked by council member Gary Griffith whether the event puts taxpayer interests at risk, Convention and Event Services Department Director Frank Poe replied the city's "costs would be covered."

NFL Super Bowl Policy Committee Does Not Meet In Arizona

Bid for 2011 Super Bowl put on NFL's back burner
Scott Wong
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 28, 2007 12:00 AM

Two months from now, NFL team owners will decide whether Dallas, Indianapolis or Arizona makes the better host for the 2011 Super Bowl.

But at the annual owners meeting at the Arizona Biltmore resort this week, any talk of the distant championship game took a back seat to discussions about harsher penalties for player misconduct, the adoption of a new revenue-sharing plan and other more pressing league issues.

Making his way into a spacious ballroom on Monday, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, who sits on the league's Super Bowl Advisory Committee, said he hadn't even thought about the 2011 bidding process yet.

And Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, a Home Depot co-founder, appeared skeptical when told that Arizona had thrown its hat in the ring for 2011.

Mary Owen, Wilson's niece and the Bills' vice president of strategic planning, said at this moment it was too early to look past next year's Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

"We're looking forward to the Super Bowl being here. It's a good-weather city," said Owen, who will be representing her uncle on the Super Bowl committee. Regarding the 2011 bid, she added: "It's more of wait and see."

The team putting together the Arizona 2011 bid said last week it had no plans to lobby owners during their meeting, which wraps up today.

But Arizona Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill, who was on hand Monday, said sometime in the near future he intended to speak with his counterparts throughout the league about Arizona's second Super Bowl bid in four years.

"I'm not planning on it immediately, but I'll be talking to some of them," Bidwill said.

The Arizona Super Bowl committee must submit its bid by next Monday. Owners will hear presentations in Nashville, Tenn. during their spring meeting, set for May 22 and 23 and could vote then to award the game.

Indianapolis Super Bowl 2011 Bid - Plan Sent To NFL Costs $25 Million

By Michael Marot
3:45 p.m. March 30, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS – Super Bowl committee officials are putting the finishing touches on the biggest sweepstakes in Indianapolis history.

The hard part is making sure they hold the winning ticket.

Bid committee spokesman Bob Schultz said Friday the group will spend this weekend finalizing details and ensuring that NFL requirements are met when the three-binder proposal is delivered to the league office.

“It will be hand-delivered Monday,” Schultz said.

Details of the proposal for the 2011 game were being kept quiet to prevent other cities from getting a competitive advantage, Deputy Mayor Steve Campbell said.

Getting the Super Bowl would add to Indianapolis' growing sports legacy. Included among recent championship events Indy has hosted are the men's and women's college basketball Final Fours, the NBA Finals and an AFC Championship game. It's also the only city in the world that hosts car races for the Indy Racing League, NASCAR and Formula One.

The city will rely on its attractive logistics to win over NFL owners. Bid officials say they have 7,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the stadium, even in inclement weather, thanks to the maze of skywalks in the downtown area. And Campbell hopes easy access for fans will help the city earn its biggest prize.

“The thing I got from Miami was that our blueprint became bigger because it took us an hour and a half to get anywhere from where we stayed in Fort Lauderdale,” Campbell said.

It appeared the biggest obstacle was financing.

The city estimated it will cost $25 million to host the NFL's biggest event and doesn't want taxpayers footing the bill since they're already financing Lucas Oil Stadium, the retractable roof field that will become the Colts' new home in 2008. They're trying to raise the money privately.

While Campbell would not say how much money has been raised, Colts owner Jim Irsay offered a $1 million pledge when the city kicked off the project Jan. 30. Ed Sagebiel, a spokesman for Eli Lilly & Co., confirmed the drug maker has agreed to contribute $2.5 million. That's the largest single contribution so far, Campbell said.

The owners meet to award the game in May.

“We're hopeful we'll have the money in hand by that date, not just pledged,” Schultz said.

The city might face bigger obstacles than financing. First, Indianapolis must make a strong enough pitch to bring the game to a cold-weather city.

Traditionally, the game has been played in warm-weather cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego and New Orleans, although both Detroit and Minneapolis have hosted the game.

The strongest competition is expected to come from Dallas, which is scheduled to open a new stadium in 2009 that has a capacity to seat up to 100,000 fans. Phoenix, next year's Super Bowl host, also may enter the fray.

The league's requirements create other concerns.

The host city must have 20,000 to 22,000 hotel rooms within 60 minutes of the stadium, two nearby indoor practice facilities – one for each team – and venues that can host a variety of off-field activities including the traditional Super Bowl parties.

For assistance, Indianapolis officials have turned to their suburban neighbors, including residents who are paying regional taxes to help fund the Colts' new stadium. Among the areas being asked to contribute are Carmel, Noblesville, Columbus, Bloomington and Johnson County.

“The regional tax is really unique and this bid is really the first manifestation of bringing that regional effort to the city,” Schultz said.

Finding practice fields is another matter.

Although the Colts' complex could be used by one team, finding a second suitable site may prove more problematic.

A solution would be to use the indoor practice fields at Indiana University in Bloomington or at Purdue in West Lafayette, both about an hour's drive from Indianapolis.

The backup plan could be refurbishing an existing structure or building a new practice facility, something Campbell said city officials have considered.

“Building something new is an option, but clearly we'd prefer to use something that exists now and converting it,” Campbell said.

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