Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Recent Super Bowl discussion proved that game was widely considered a failure
While the Super Bowl exceeded voting promises in respect to revenue, Arlington suffered a blow to its image that may hurt its long-term chances at future national events.
ARLINGTON In a discussion about the effects of Super Bowl XLV on Arlington this year, Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Mitchell Schnurman summarized the event thusly: In his view, the Super Bowl was a short-term gain for the city of Arlington that would show long-term shortfalls due to organizational mistakes and unforeseen weather conditions. He said he had "post-boredom" with the event.
Joining Schnurman was Wes
Juray Jurey, president and CEO of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, at a panel discussion hosted Tuesday night.
The Super Bowl, as you likely know, received mixed results due to insufficient planning, icy weather conditions, long waits, insufficient seating, and temporary seats that added to congestion at Cowboys Stadium.
The early gains for Arlington are an influx of revenue from visiting fans and sponsors, but even that was limited by circumstance. Icy weather conditions forced many potential patrons to remain indoors by preference or for safety concerns. This was especially problematic for Arlington businesses, which expected a period of high sales.
The media was less-than-kind to Arlington after the Super Bowl. Many outlets lambasted the city for the weather itself and questioned their suitability to host a national event, regardless of the fact that future Super Bowl locations such as Indianapolis and New York were suffering similarly to unusual winter conditions. This frosty media response may have been result of reporters trapped at the Sheraton Hotel by ice that was never salted and removed. For those able to leave their temporary lodgings in the DFW area, a lack of public transportation limited access to Arlington’s attractions.
While the Super Bowl exceeded voting promises in respect to revenue, Arlington suffered a blow to its image that may hurt its long-term chances at future national events. As Schnurman stated, “This ‘not ready for prime time’ image will haunt us.”
The Super Bowl was Arlington’s shot at national recognition; a chance to ensure future similar events. Jurey expressed concerns about how the Super Bowl projected an image of what Arlington “can handle.” In retrospect, Jurey sees Arlington’s lack of viable public transportation as a key obstacle to effective tourism. As surrounding cities fund public transportation and connect to the growing DART Rail system, it's possible that Arlington could find itself left out. Aside from transportation, Arlington also features no first class hotels for out of state visitors during such events.
Lacking from the panel was any hard data on exactly what the Super Bowl brought to Arlington in recorded revenue and overall cost. When asked, Jurey stated that determining the exact impact on Arlington was difficult to determine and that differing perspectives could show a positive impact, negative impact, or no impact at all.
The key concern to the panel was image of Arlington now that the Super Bowl has ended. After the stadium's construction and a successful bid for the event, the city now has to regroup and make up for what is widely considered a failure at the national level.
Pegasus News Content partner - The Assignment Desk, DFW
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