MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Both the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs players arrived in Miami on Sunday, and hours later the Super Bowl LIV gear was up for sale in Miami Beach.
Four local mayors were at the Miami Beach Convention Center for the official kickoff of Super Bowl LIV week. The National Football League is co-hosting the daily Super Bowl Experience interactive theme park this week at the convention center.
“At a time in our country when we need so much uniting, this moment couldn’t have come sooner,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert were among the local leaders who also attended the opening of the event.
“I am the ‘G’ that actually sings. Mayor Gimenez is the 'G’ that raps. Francis is our breakdancer and Gelber is the student among us,” Gilbert said.
Gimenez said, “the four different mayors worked together very well."
Suarez said the benefits of hosting the game outweigh expenses. He also said the law enforcement community has upgraded security and is “doing things that have never been done before” in terms of safety.
“We have studied prior Super Bowls -- the last two in Atlanta and Minneapolis,” Suarez said. “And obviously, we monitor activities throughout the world to make sure that everyone’s time here in Miami has an enjoyable time.”
Dagyana Romero was working at the NFL store at the convention center on Monday afternoon. The store was so busy, she said, “it seems like everyone is coming from everywhere -- all 50 states.”
Although only about 65,000 fans will be going to the Super Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Beach authorities are expecting about 150,000 visitors per day this week.
Shopper Qyen Scriven, a San Francisco 49ers fan who lives in Taiwan, said that being in Miami-Dade County during the Super Bowl felt like “once in a lifetime opportunity.” Kristina Bertoni, a tourist from Pennsylvania who was also shopping, agreed with Scriven.
“It’s a win-win for everyone, for the local businesses, for people to experience the Miami lifestyle,” Scriven said about having the Super Bowl LIV in South Florida. “You don’t have to go to the Super Bowl to enjoy your time here in Miami.”