Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Super Bowl Spending Triple What City Expected; More Money for Security, Less from State Means City Will Pay Close to $8 Million

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Super Bowl Spending Triple What City Expected; More Money for Security, Less from State Means City Will Pay Close to $8 Million

Article excerpt

Byline: JORDAN RODACK, The Times-Union

Mayor John Peyton is putting roughly $5.2 million into the coming year's budget proposal to cover costs for February's Super Bowl.

That would put the city's total Super Bowl expenditures at close to $8 million -- about three times what the city initially agreed to shell out when it bid for the game in 2000.

When the city was trying to lure the National Football League to bring the Super Bowl to Jacksonville in 2000, the city agreed to spend $2.75 million.

But Susan Wiles, a top Peyton aide, said there are a variety of factors in giving more money.

Wiles cites costs associated with increased post-9/11 security, a downtown entertainment district -- called SuperFest -- which was not contemplated in 2000, and increased costs for sanitation and cleanup.

"Those are the things that were not and some would say could not have been anticipated at the time the bid documents were filed," Wiles said.

The additional spending comes on the heels of Gov. Jeb Bush's veto last month of $7.6 million, which the Legislature had approved to help Jacksonville pay for added Super Bowl security costs. Wiles said Peyton would still have requested money in the budget for costs associated with sanitation and SuperFest, neither of which would have been covered by the $7.6 million.

Peyton is still hoping for some additional state or federal aid to offset some of the costs.

"Naturally we're disappointed we didn't get help from the state," Peyton said, "but security will not be compromised due to budget constraints. We are going along as if we will have to pay the costs. Hopefully we will receive federal assistance."

The additional $5.2 million would come from the city's General Fund. The biggest expenses are $1.5 million for SuperFest -- of which The Florida Times-Union is the official sponsor -- and $2 million for Jacksonville Sheriff's Office overtime. …

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