The Maxim party has been more than a year in the making, according to Jake Nussbaum of In the Know Experiences, the organizer of the event. He says his team was in Miami scouting locations even before kickoff of the last Super Bowl in Atlanta.
“It normally doesn’t happen like that,” Nussbaum says. “But Miami being Miami, we really wanted to get ahead of the game. We knew a venue would be a big differentiator between us and other events. This is [also] the earliest we’ve secured talent. Usually talent is secured in December.”
From the sound of things, there’s more excitement than usual surrounding the Super Bowl, which is now less than a hundred days away. It's now yet known which teams will face off at Hard Rock Stadium February 2, but knowing Super Bowl week will transpire in the Sunshine State is enough for many fans to make plans earlier than usual.
Hey, there’s a reason South Florida has been chosen to host the Super Bowl a record 11 times.
Bullseye Event Group’s Kyle Kinnett says his company began selling Super Bowl packages — which include a Super Bowl ticket, lodgings, game-day transportation, and admission to Bullseye’s tailgate party hosted by Guy Fieri — about two years ago. Kinnett calls Miami a much easier sell than other recent host cities.
“Miami brings a whole other level to it,” Kinnett says. “Two Super Bowls ago, it was 13 degrees on game day in Minneapolis. People were freezing their asses off when going event to event. Last year in Atlanta, it was very spread out. But now you have a beach and an entertainment district. Miami has a lot to offer that the Super Bowl hasn’t seen in a few years.”
On Location Experiences' Don Renzulli says his company made its Super Bowl packages available for purchase in April and has sold about 4,000 so far. Some come with perks, such as a pregame party with Dan Marino and postgame field access, but the main reason people buy packages is to eliminate the headache of planning, particularly finding a good hotel. Because On Location Experiences is the NFL's official hospitality partner, it automatically snagged coveted hotel rooms as part of Miami’s Super Bowl bid. Other rooms were reserved years ago.
"The Super Bowl ticket has been easy to come by thanks to StubHub and Vivid Seats," Kinnett says of more recent years. "The most difficult part is finding a good-quality hotel. Good hotels are more valuable than the ticket."
The Four Seasons Hotel Miami began receiving inquires for Super Bowl week the day after the big game in Atlanta and has only a limited number of rooms left, according to spokesperson Mikaela Vourtsis. (Still available: the Presidential Suite, which will set you back $50,000 a night.)
One benefit of staying at the Four Seasons (besides the luxe accommodations) is its location in Brickell, only a short drive from most NFL-hosted festivities, which will be more centralized than when Miami last hosted the Super Bowl in 2010. Media Row and the interactive Super Bowl Experience will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, and the NFL Honors awards show will happen at the Adrienne Arsht Center, just up Biscayne Boulevard from the Super Bowl Live fan village in Bayfront Park.
The village will offer free concerts, fireworks at night, and activities on the water. Miami Super Bowl Host Committee chairman Rodney Barreto says Biscayne Boulevard will be closed to traffic from the InterContinental Miami to Bayside Marketplace to accommodate the events and influx of people. They expect an influx of boats too. “We spoke to the owners at Watson Island, and they already sold out their docks,” Barreto says.
About 65,000 people will attend the game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens February 2, but Barreto estimates 200,000 visitors will head to South Florida for satellite parties and events. And you can expect more than a few of those visitors to be of the boldface-name variety. Famous faces such as NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, former NFL coach Mike Ditka, and sports agents Leigh Steinberg and Drew Rosenhaus are set to host Super Bowl parties, and plenty of other celebs will attend them.
“A lot of the time, they’re the ones reaching out,” Nussbaum says of the celebrity guests. “We don’t pay talent at all to come and never have. Once we figure out who will be in town, we make sure the ones we want to come get the invite. A lot of people’s plans don’t finalize until a couple weeks before the event.”
In other words, the VIP guest list is one of the few aspects of Super Bowl week that doesn't take shape months (or years) in advance.