Thursday, January 20, 2005

Jacksonville Super Bowl XXXIX Hotel Room Fiasco - Pt 8

Well it appears that this hotel room shortage problem started because Jacksonville had signed letters and not contracts claiming the 17,000 rooms. For evidence, read this article I found:

I learned today that in 2000, my competitors at Jacksonville's Super Bowl Bid Committee did not have hotels signed under contract, but simple letters of support and rooms from some of the hotels in the surrounding area. I and others (including the Bay Area Media) were led to believe that they had signed contracts, each 13-pages long, totalling 17,000 rooms.

The Oakland bid effort I led had about 7,000 rooms under contract, and a letter from the San Mateo CVB for 12,500 more. So, where I felt bad because we didn't have enough contracts, it turns out we had more rooms under contract at the time of our bid presentation on the morning of November 3rd 2000 in Atlanta, and yet Jacksonville won.

I remember Robert Gammon, who wrote for the Oakland Tribune at the time, as refering to the Oakland Super Bowl Bid as "failed." Well folks, we didn't fail. I didn't fail.

I believe to this day, we should have won -- the Super Bowl should be here in Oakland. But I do feel a high degree of personal vindication. Given what I had to put up with -- a less-than-supportive Jerry Brown, and no shortage of people telling me we could not do it -- I can officially say that I and the people that helped me with that bid did a hell of a great job. We can all officially say we got more hotels under contract than Jacksonville. We did what we didn't think we did.

Think the Oakland Tribune will report that? Hmm? Hmm?

Well, the other problem is a Jacksonville hotel gouging and reservations issue that may rank as one of the largest in sports events history.