While kickoff of the 2017 NFL season is still months away, Florida is already looking toward the Super Bowl — in 2020 and 2021.
The biggest game in professional sports will be back-to-back in Miami Gardens in 2020 and Tampa in 2021 — thanks to a construction delay in Los Angeles — and no matter which Florida team you support, the Sunshine State is getting some major NFL love.
For running a successful Super Bowl, preparations must start years in advance, and that’s the case in both Tampa and Miami. Both cities are considering millions going into stadium security and technology.
Recently, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross announced $450 million in upgrades at Hard Rock Stadium; Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium can also expect up to $150 million in enhancements.
In addition to teams and the NFL, cities are getting into the game, with planning the security operations required to host an annual event that consistently draws the largest television audience on the planet. For Super Bowl LI, for example, the city of Houston — working with the NFL — set up a five-block security perimeter, with concrete barriers stretching nearly 3,000 miles, as well as coordinating with 40 different federal agencies.
One company, Aviat Networks, also played a key role in 2016’s Super Bowl L, by setting up a communications infrastructure used by law enforcement to monitor and respond to threats at Levi’s Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For such a massive event, Aviat offered a critical public safety infrastructure, hosting a secure system for data and communications to move reliably among public safety personnel.
Aviat technology was also used in a fleet of portable cell towers — known as Cell-on-Wheels (COW) — to provide fans with superior 4G LTE and Wi-Fi service for millions of tweets, videos, posts, Snapchats, and selfies.
In all, Super Bowl L provided an estimated $240 million boost to the Bay Area economy, with similar numbers expected for Miami and Tampa in the upcoming years.
Which leaves only one question: Which Florida team will be playing those Super Bowls in front of a home crowd?