Miami hotels have Super Bowl rooms

MIAMI -- Super Bowl XXXIII, which kicks off here from Pro Player Stadium on Jan. 31, home of the Miami Dolphins, will have no shortage of hotel rooms, according to the South Florida Super Bowl XXXIII Host Committee.

Although a mere 75,192 persons can sit in the stadium, the spectacle is expected to be viewed on television by 150 million persons in the U.S. and 950 million worldwide. As far as the hotels are concerned, however, the key figure is 140,000. That is the number of visitors the committee is estimating will come in the week before the event and stay an average of five nights. Many of these visitors will not even go to the game, according to Melanie Gomez, assistant director of the host committee. "They'll be here mostly for the excitement," she said.

To ensure rooms for them the host committee has set up a hotel hot line, (954) 969-6000, which will refer callers to properties that have available rooms. The hot line will operate around the clock until the Super Bowl, she said. It will offer information on room availability for agents and visitors, who are expected to make bookings directly with hotels.

The database includes more than 200 properties, Gomez said, located in Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County. Not many rooms are in the area's most visible properties. That is because their rooms, if not the entire inventories, have been blocked off by the National Football League and major corporations.

The Inter-Continental Miami, for example, will be the headquarters hotel for the NFL. The nearby Hyatt Regency Miami downtown has been commandeered as the press and media center. The Miami Hilton Airport has been reserved as home for one of the contending Super Bowl finalists. The Pier 66, in Fort Lauderdale, will accommodate the other team.

Operators manning the hot-line phones ask callers what price range they want, Gomez said. A computer program randomly specifies six properties in that price range, she said. The computer also can list properties in any of three counties, she added, but not in specific localities. However, one can request availabilities for a specific hotel. Gomez said the list of room availabilities is being updated on a weekly basis.

Hot-line operators do not make reservations but refer callers to the specific hotels, she said, as well as supply reservations phone numbers.

Although hotels in the database are spread across three counties, the distance to Pro Player Stadium is no more than about 50 miles from any place in South Florida. That is because the stadium is located midway between downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Visitors who come here will not have only the game to watch on Super Bowl Sunday. That is because the preceding week is packed with many special events. However, one commodity connected to the game is likely to be in short supply: tickets. These start at $325 for an end zone seat.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI