Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags Want to Be Super Host

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags Want to Be Super Host

Article excerpt

WEST PALM BEACH -- The Jacksonville Jaguars took the first step

toward bringing a Super Bowl to Jacksonville yesterday when they

made inquiries to the NFL as to what it would take to bring the

1999 championship game to the city.

Although Super Bowl XXXIII is scheduled for San Francisco's 3Com

Park, complications involving stadium renovations could lead to

a change of site.

With that as a backdrop, Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver and

president David Seldin had discussions with NFL officials at the

NFL Annual Meeting about what it might take to be a candidate

should the game move.

The answer was simple -- more hotels.

In the end, the lack of quality hotel space in Jacksonville will

preclude the city from any chance to get involved in competition

for the next few years.

So, although Jacksonville Municipal Stadium would be ideal to

hold a Super Bowl -- because of the club seats, luxury suites and

the weather -- the lack of hotel space makes bringing the game to

town in the next five years almost impossible.

The league requires a city to have at least 41,500 hotels rooms

in the area -- 16,000 in the metropolitan area and 25,550 within a

60-mile radius for Super Bowl visitors.

The First Coast has about 30,000, according to a survey done by

the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce in November.

"It's not just numbers," said Jim Steeg, the NFL's executive

director of special events. "It's the size of the hotels as

well."

Steeg, who said the Jaguars expressed interest in any Super Bowl

that was open, said Weaver and Seldin showed -- in a non-formal

presentation -- the NFL some hotel information about the city's

60-mile radius.

Since Jacksonville doesn't have enough rooms for the 1999 game,

the first one the city could realistically target is 2001. …

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