During the pandemic, South Florida was one of the nation’s most desirable locations, whether it was for the migration of the financial and tech industries, or for vacationers keen to enjoy our sunny shores. It is to the credit of how our region has adapted and prospered in the face of unprecedented circumstances. As we continue to rebound, we can learn valuable lessons from the many successes our community has had over the past two years.
For example, we saw championship-level post-season football last January in Miami when the Orange Bowl Committee (OBC) successfully hosted the 87th Capital One Orange Bowl and spearheaded the host committee’s efforts for it. 2021 National College Football Playoff Championship, both at the spectacular Hard Stade du Rocher.
These two national sporting events, while scaled down to meet pandemic response requirements, demonstrate the impact that successful major events can have, when they take an approach that follows health and safety guidelines.
Hosting approximately 30,000 fans generated more than 20,000 hotel nights and grossed over $ 40 million in direct spending in South Florida. The games also delivered full publicity for Miami and South Florida, reaching over 26 million viewers, and there were no significant health issues thanks to careful planning and careful adherence to protocols.
Beyond the economic impact, there were also the positive community benefits of the events. For example, nearly $ 3 million in renovations transformed 23 South Florida school multimedia centers into technology-rich innovation spaces that will impact thousands of students for years to come.
While the start of a new football season has been greeted with fanfare and fervor with stadiums at full capacity, we cannot take for granted all that we have been through as we continue to tackle the challenges of the pandemic. . As a region, we must remain vigilant and flexible. This is not said as a platitude, but as a foresight from an organization that has been instrumental in organizing major community events for nearly nine decades.
South Florida Heritage
Since 1935, South Florida has become the premier destination for hosting premier college playoff football games. Our ability to continue to build that legacy rests squarely on community collaboration and partnership to host marquee events, and always focusing on what’s best for South Florida.
It is this commitment that we will make as we host the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 31 at Hard Rock Stadium. And that’s an area we’ll be looking at even more when college football management considers future post-season models. We are confident that this track record positions the Orange Bowl and South Florida favorably to maintain our level one bowl status in post-season college football and to host many other College Football Nationals over the years. future.
Likewise, as our region looks forward to a bright future for many major events, we must share the goal of ensuring that every event planner, convention planner or leisure traveler concludes that the south of the Florida knows how to provide its visitors with a safe, comfortable and entertaining experience. As evidenced by our successes since last March, we know South Florida will continue to raise its level of play.
Jack Seiler is president and chairman of the Orange Bowl committee and former mayor of Fort Lauderdale.