MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Super Bowl 54 is history and what a history-making event it was for South Florida.
“The direct economic impact is four to $500 million,” boasts Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
While the hard numbers are still being accessed, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau says hotels were booked solid.
Restaurants were busy all week and tens of thousands of tourists flocked, not only to Hard Rock Stadium but to the Miami Beach Convention Center for the Super Bowl Experience and Bayfront Park for entertainment.
But many drivers, especially those who live in South Florida, kept seeing red brake lights.
“The traffic, getting into the stadium, I think there are some things that we can do a lot better. But the NFL really takes over the event in a lot of ways,” said Tom Garfinkel, President and chief executive officer of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium.
The afterglow of the Kansas City comeback win over the San Francisco 49ers was still being felt Monday in Miami, where the handoff for Super Bowl 55 was made with Tampa Bay.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said he barely has had any sleep since his win.
“We all know it’s not a one-man show. It takes a team not just the players and coaches but everyone,” he said.
That sentiment was shared by Super Bowl MVP, quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“We’ve all strived to get this goal together. And it paid off,” he said.
Work behind the scenes paid off too.
The heightened security surrounding the Super Bowl went off without a hitch.
And other than the heavy traffic and delays, there were no major mishaps reported by police.
“We couldn’t have done this without the public and private sector,” said Rodney Barretto of the Super Bowl Host Committee.
Still, the host committee was left defending its decision of the number of incentives for the NFL and the teams playing in the Super Bowl, such as paying for their hotel rooms.
“Literally hundreds of millions of dollars worth of publicity for our community. You can buy it, but you’re going to spend a lot of money,” Barreto said. “We thrive on tourism. That’s what generates all the jobs in this community. Not all but most of the jobs.”
While the last bits of confetti are collected and the stands swept, there is talk of a 12th big game here and even making Hard Rock Stadium, Super Bowl Central.
“I don’t believe this is gonna be the last. It will be here every five or six years,” said Gimenez.