ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Orange County's Tourist Development Council is giving the green light to spend $3 million to try and lure the Pro Bowl away from Hawaii for the next three years. The vote was unanimous, even though Florida Citrus Sports President Steve Hogan could not provide an estimated economic impact to bringing the NFL's All-Star game to Orlando.
Hogan believes with the tourism community behind him, he can lure the game here starting in 2017, next February. “If you know me, I am bullish on Orlando, and I think with the venue we have now, and the tourist community they have, I’m confident we are going to win this thing, but its not up to me. It is up to the NFL, and I think we will find out in the next 30 days.”
The council was warned they may have to spend as much as $1.25 million in tourist taxes to keep that game here for the duration of the three-year contract. Hawaii, where the game is currently being played is offering $5 million in cash for a new deal.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is on the TDC board and was one of seven votes saying yes to the spending. He told us he has already met with officials from the NFL. “We’re the world’s most visited destination. I talked about the fact that we hosted an extremely successful NBA All-Star game. This is what we do is host events, so there is no place on the Earth that could do a better job of hosting the world than Orlando.”
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners has the final say on whether or not to spend the Tourist Tax money. They'll vote on the item May 24.