Super Bowl update

As I have reported (and I use the term "reported" in the loosest possible sense) before, Tampa is competing with Atlanta for the 2009 Super Bowl. Atlanta is widely regarded as holding the edge due to Falcon's owner Arthur Blank's negotiations for a $150 million improvement to the Georgia Dome.

The St. Pete Times has reported that the Bucs have received 2 bids for a new training facility to replace One Buc Place. The proposed training facility across from Raymond James would be ready by the 2006 season.

Plans for a new training facility give Tampa's Super Bowl bid a much needed shot of adrenaline. Both cities are evenly matched, and Atlanta has had the perceived edge with Blank's continuing negotiations with the Georgia Dome owning authorities for a new leasing contract in exchange for Blank paying for an atrium at the main entrance, additional luxury suites, and other improvements. One of the biggets knocks on the Bucs has been One Buc Place, which is generally regarded as a relic compared to the state-of-the-art facilities of other teams.

The decision essentially comes down to which owner does a better job at lobbying for his city. This involves a good deal of behind-the-scenes work, something the Glazers have excelled at. In the decade the Glazers have controlled the Bucs their only high profile moves have been the search for a coach that ended with Gruden bringing the Bucs to the promised land.

The snag here is that Malcolm Glazer has been occupied with his takeover of the Manchester United. This has undoubtedly left little time for Glazer to privately lobby the other owners on behalf of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl committee. Additionally, Blank has scheduled the premiere of the Falcon's popular highlights film at the Fox Theater for May 25, the day that the NFL announces which city will host the 2009 Super Bowl.

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