By Brian Zhang

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have gotten to take home the Lombardi Trophy last Sunday, but Tampa Bay businesses were the true winners of Super Bowl LV. 

This year, the Super Bowl event played a prominent role on multiple levels, beyond just determining the 2020-2021 NFL champions. Due to the high anticipation for the game, it wasn’t just a night for the Buccaneers to pull off an incredible win, but for fans to spend cash and help boost struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Blind Tiger Café in Tampa Bay is one example of this economic flourish. The owner of the café stated his business was up 300% for sales on the weekend of the game in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times.

“I believe nobody understands how big the economic impact of the game will have. It’s going to have a ripple effect in Tampa forever,” he said.

Other local business owners in the region agreed, saying this previous week has brought such an engaging and exciting turn to the city.

“It’s a grand slam,” said an owner of a local clothing brand. “You can’t really get bigger than the Super Bowl and for a one-stop, one-man shop like me, the exposure is great.”

Even with the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, the future is brighter than ever. The event has given a lot of exposure for small businesses, and it gives them the opportunity of having people that travel often to boost these businesses and expand their name. By putting Tampa on the world stage, it has truly given the city important marketing aid.

Although we’re only a few weeks past the game, it’s safe to say the Super Bowl has brought drastic changes to Tampa and will continue to do so. This effect doesn’t come as a surprise, however, as this economic impact has become a trend for many cities that have hosted the yearly Super Bowl event. According to a report released by the Super Bowl Host Committee, last year’s Super Bowl and surrounding events in South Florida brought 4,597 full and part-time jobs and had a total economic impact of $571.9 million.

It could take a couple more weeks before the true numbers of the impact of this year’s Super Bowl are known. According to Business Insider, the big game typically brings their host city anywhere between 300 and 600 million dollars; however, economists believe quarantine and restrictions may cause these effects to vary. Nonetheless, the event has done more than enough for Tampa, and during the pandemic, something is certainly better than nothing.