+ It might not be the matchup South Florida businesses had hoped for – New York Jets v. Minnesota Vikings would have been more lucrative, some say – but officials recognize they’d better be embracing this year’s Super Bowl teams, the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints.
And it might not be as slow as some worried, judging from a story Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau President Bill Talbert told my colleague Doreen Hemlock. A volunteer for the CVB was in New Orleans Sunday and reported to the CVB’s board meeting Monday that the Big Easy is excited about its team’s first-ever trip to the Super Bowl.
"They're all coming, whether they have tickets, whether they have a room,” Talbert said the volunteer reported. "This is a dimension you don't often see. This seems to have gone beyond football fans to the entire community. They all want to celebrate the ultimate victory at the Super Bowl... This is driveable. It's a short flight. It's off the charts."
Talbert added: "You better clear the roads: Here come the Saints."
+ Fans interested in snapping up AFC, NFC champion and Pro Bowl and Super Bowl gear can now shop at the NFL’s Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIV Store in parking lot 2 at Gate E at Sun Life Stadium. The store opened Monday morning and will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. It'll be open the same hours next week.
+ Meanwhile, at least one little Saints fan couldn’t be happier that Drew Brees is in the Super Bowl. Wesley Warren, 7, of Metairie, La., a suburb of New Orleans, won the NFL’s Play 60 Super Kid contest and will deliver the game ball to the officials on the field at Sun Life Stadium on Feb. 7.
Here’s part of Wesley’s essay where she explained which player inspires her to stay fit: “Drew Brees because he has done so much to help my city New Orleans. The Saints have made me realize how important team work is and how sometimes you have to work really hard for a long long long time to get what you want. My mom and dad think the Saints will go to the Superbowl and with Drew Brees I think so too. He is Saintsational (my mom told me to say that.)”
+ And just because you haven't heard about it officially since the Dolphins unveiled proposed renderings for Sun Life Stadium earlier this month, doesn't mean the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee hasn't been hard at work. The committee on Monday named former Miami Dolphin Dick Anderson chairman of the subcommittee exploring proposed stadium improvements. The committee also includes Talbert and his counterpart from the north, Nicki Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors' Bureau; Bruce Jay Conlan, chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; Beatrice Louissant of the Florida Regional Minority Business Council; and Adam Grossman, Dolphins senior vice president of public affairs.