TAMPA, Florida – Tampa Bay and its hometown team are preparing for a Super Bowl that is second to none.
This week, downtown signs go up, the lights turn red, and the city welcomes the national spotlight and the likely visitors for the historic moment too.
“In what other city are there so many championship teams within a year? I’m proud to showcase all of the beautiful things our Tampa Bay area has to offer, ”said Karen Delgado.
She has her property listed for rent on Air BnB not far from the stadium for the Super Bowl weekend.
“I think it’s important in this market to be able to offer our visitors a safe and comfortable place,” she said.
However, the impact of the hometown team on travel is still not entirely clear.
“It’s a very different dynamic because obviously there are people living here who are now likely to be very popular with friends and relatives who want to be part of the experience,” said Santiago Corrada, President and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay.
He said hotels will have an impact on NFL staff, executives, and the media who stay in town, even though it’s difficult to predict fan turnout.
“Since it’s our hometown team, you know if you can support the tourism industry, it’s like you’re out of town, in town,” he said.
The experience is visible from the riverwalk to the airport, with signs and goods ready.
Tampa International Airport expects about 30,000 arrivals per day in the week leading up to the game. That’s less than the pre-pandemic daily average, but still from 10,000 to the 15,000 a day they’re seeing now.
“We obviously have less influence now as we only have one team that flies in instead of two. This is exciting news for the Tampa Bay area, but it also means fewer visitors are coming to the area, but we expect it to attract, ”said Emily Nipps, airport spokeswoman.
Nipps said they expect thousands of private jets to hit the area, more travelers from Kansas City, and more routes between there and Tampa.
She said that they expect the Monday after the game to be their busiest day.