On February 3, 2005, Jacksonville officially became the smallest city ever to host a Super Bowl. To compensate for a lack of hotel rooms needed, five cruise ships were docked along the St. Johns River. City leaders and business owners envisioned Super Bowl XXXIX fueling rapid growth and 24/7 vibrancy.
During Super Bowl week, over 100,000 visitors filled downtown's streets with much fanfare. Despite the circus packing up and immediately leaving town after the game, community sentiment was that the momentum of successfully hosting this major event would quickly lead to great things and change the city's image from being backwater to a place of progress.
This upcoming week marks the 10-year anniversary of Jacksonville's dance with Super Bowl fever. A decade later, many of the dreams and hopes in 2005 remain outside of our reach in 2015. We're still talking downtown redevelopment game and have turned to new proposals like SouthEast Group's Laura Trio, Peter Rummell's Healthy Town and Shad Khan's interest in the Shipyards as our new "one-trick-ponies" to deliver the lasting vibrancy that Super Bowl XXXIX was supposed to. While we continue to wait for our downtown knight in shining armour, here's a few major developments that have come to fruition since the city's hosting of Super Bowl XXXIX.
Alfred I. DuPont Trust Headquarters