Miami area hosts events during high season1

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MIAMI -- This area's winter is not only high season but also a time when major sports and cultural events take place.

What could be called this season's "Big 10" events, bundled between January and March, are headlined by Super Bowl XXXIII, to be played Jan. 31 at Pro Player Stadium in North Miami. The event's 76,000 tickets have long been sold out, and numerous hotel and motel rooms have been blocked for use by the National Football League.

The number of sports fans viewing the game in the stadium will be overshadowed by the 140,000 visitors expected to flock here for the general excitement during the week preceding the big game. The typical visitor is expected to stay five nights, according to the Super Bowl Host Committee, which has set up a hotel "hot line" to accommodate late-booking visitors. The number is (954) 969-6000.

Of the other Big 10 winter events, seven are sports-related. Two others are culture-oriented, featuring Art Deco architecture and major international films. Highlights follow:

  • Federal Express Orange Bowl Football Classic (Jan. 2). The 65th FedEx Orange Bowl will bring together two of the top college football teams in the nation. The Orange Bowl stadium is near downtown Miami, and many auxiliary events, including the Orange Bowl Parade, are planned.
  • Art Deco Weekend (Jan. 15 to 18). This tribute to Art Deco architecture will be staged along Ocean Drive, between Sixth and 14th streets, South Miami Beach. Planned are big band performances, shows of Art Deco artifacts, bike and trolley tours, lectures, street theater and events at area hotels.
  • Royal Caribbean Classic (Feb. 1 to 7). Senior Professional Golf Association Tour players will compete for $850,000 in this year's classic. The event, which kicks off the Senior PGA tour season, will be staged at Crandon Park Golf Course on Key Biscayne.
  • Miami International Boat Show (Feb. 11 to 17). Expanded exhibit areas and new features are planned for this year's event at the Miami Beach Convention Center. A custom boat builders' section, free boat rides on a variety of craft and an expanded sailboat exhibition on nearby Watson Island will be new features.
  • The 16th Miami Film Festival (Feb. 19 to 28). This is considered a major event because of the quality of its programming, its size and the diversity of the audience. The venue is the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Miami.
  • Doral-Ryder Open (Feb. 27 to March 7). Top golfers on the PGA tour tackle the Blue Monster course of the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami's western suburbs.
  • Marlborough Grand Prix of Miami (March 12 to 14). The major international event, staged at the Homestead Motorsports Complex south of Miami, includes top racers Al Unser Jr., Michael Andretti and Bobby Rahal.
  • The $750,000 Florida Derby (March 13). The leading horse-racing event will be televised on "ABC's Wide World of Sports" from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale.
  • Lipton Championships (March 18 to 28). The world's fifth-largest international tennis tournament features the world's top men and women players competing for $4.45 million in prize money. The venue is the Tennis Center on Key Biscayne.
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