Alex Rodriguez is no stranger to Miami’s fever-pitch allure, what with dating Cameron Diaz here a decade ago, jettisoning their South Beach love nest for $30 million, inadvertently co-starring in Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman‘s steroid-licious documentary, Screwball, and gracing the cover of Architectural Digest, which profiled his utterly bonkers home (<– seriously, just click on that) in Coral Gables. So Miami is where he presumably still lives with his two daughters and soon-to-be wife, Super Bowl halftime dancing queen Jennifer Lopez, who also knows a thing or two about Miami if for no other reason than sharing an increasingly moist trunk ride with George Clooney in the forever-excellent Out of Sight.
So after a preceding week of enviable chaos, concerts and non-stop Miami sensory overload, it comes as no surprise that during last weekend’s Super Bowl LIV, A-Rod was overheard saying, “I feel like the Super Bowl should be in Miami every year. It’s just perfect.” Is A-Rod too lazy to commute to next year’s game in Tampa, or is A-Rod just right? The answer is, just like his taste in women and art and houses, Alex Rodriguez is 100% right.
It is indisputable. Miami is the most unique, and uniquely suited, game day city in the country. Here’s why.
Multi-Cultural Halftime Shows And Multi-Cultural Crowds
The much loved / much hated meaning-laden Super Bowl dance-a-thon Halftime Show expertly executed / perpetrated by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez is just the tip of the creative (melting) iceberg (eventually consuming) the Magic City. As a recorded music, live music, television production, movie production and fine art capital, there’s no shortage of talent presented by the likes of Art Basel, Sony Music, Telemundo, Univision, Hit Factory / Criteria Studios, The Fillmore at Jackie Gleason Theater and dozens more hubs. Mix Colombians, Puerto Ricans, Haitians, Brazilians, Venezuelans, Argentinians, Cubans and other spicy people into that talent pool and you’ve got not only unlimited guaranteed Super Bowl antics, but a city and stadium (at least partially, deliciously) full of foreign-tongued, pan-cultural peeps that Midwestern football fans don’t see at their local Sams Club. Many of them are hot. Many of them have the dreamy skin tones of an Iced Grande Almond Milk No Whip Latte With A Half Pump of Mocha. Their mysterious moves are more than mildly arousing. Miami would forever crush half times.
A Smorgasbord of Excellent Independent Restaurants And Breweries
Unlike the vast majority of America, which is tragically littered with Subway-infested strip malls, standalone TGI Fridays, greasy fast food joints, and gut-busting chain restaurants (see: Orlando, see: double Jack Daniels burgers), Miami has proudly emerged as one of the most vibrant, dynamic independent restaurant cities in the world. Yes, we have 3 of the highest-grossing independent restaurants in the country – Joe’s Stone Crab, Prime 112, and Komodo gross a combined $80+ million a year – but we also have hundreds, no thousands, of high-quality mom & pop and independent eateries in South Beach (Macchialina), Sunset Harbour (Sardinia), Bal Harbour (Carpaccio), Downtown Miami (Niu Kitchen), Edgewater (Sabor a Peru), Miami (La Camaronera), Miami River (Crust), Wynwood (Alter), Design District (Michael’s Genuine), Buena Vista (Mandolin Aegean Bistro), Coconut Grove (Ariete), Coral Gables (Christy’s), Little Havana (Casa Juancho), Hialeah (Stephen’s Deli), Westchester (Tropical Chinese), Kendall (Finka Table & Tap) and Homestead (Robert Is Here). Game fans traveling to Miami can truly taste the flavors of Miami and the rest of the world.
If that’s not enough, consider Miami is also packed with breweries like Wynwood Brewing, J. Wakefield Brewing, Concrete Beach Brewery, and Veza Sur. Nothing goes with football like swan diving into swimming pools of cold, local beer and drinking your way out.
Baller Infrastructure, From Luxury Hotels To Private Airports To Exotic Car Rentals
If you can afford $1,750 to $7,500 to $30,000 for Super Bowl tickets, you’re not only a 1%-er, you need to bathe yourself in that ‘Gram-worthy baller lifestyle during game week, full stop. And Shakira isn’t about to stay at a Holiday Inn. Miami offers no lifestyle compromise on luxurious hotels, airports, restaurants, and exotic cars, and this is particularly important for fulfilling the insatiable needs of thousands of current & ex pro athletes and celebrities who descend on any host city. And because Miami is world-class, this is easy: we have incredible 5-star hotels & resorts (Acqualina Resort, Delano South Beach, Mandarin Oriental, Fontainebleau, The Setai Miami Beach, 1 Hotel South Beach, Turnberry Resort, SoHo Beach House, Four Seasons, St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, et al); multiple private airports for private jet service (Opa Locka Airport, Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Miami International Airport, Kendall Tamiami Airport); luxury restaurants instantly recognized by the jetset (Zuma, Cipriani, Juvia, Estiatorio Milos, Novikov, Thomas Keller’s Surf Club Restaurant, Osaka Nikkei, et al); and exotic car & SUV rental outlets (MPH Club, Unique II Worldwide, Lou La Vie, et al). Besides LA and NY, no city in America has more baller infrastructure.
Unbeatable 24/7 Megaclubs and 5am Liquor Licenses
Consider these shit-tistics. Tampa bars close at 2:30am (Super Bowl 2021). Los Angeles bars close at 2am (Super Bowl 2022). Phoenix bars close at 2am (Super Bowl 2023). This isn’t just sad, it’s downright inadequate. That’s why Miami has 5am and 24 hour liquor licenses – because we’re party professionals. Super Bowl fans aren’t traveling here to go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6:30 – they’re here to balls-to-the-wall binge. After our 11pm dinner reservation at Scarpetta, we know we need more time to travel to E11even with Bud Light boxes full of singles to throw $50,000 into the stripper-verse at sunrise. People from Boise don’t know that. It’s not time travel, it’s reverse-engineering. Between Mac’s Club Deuce, LIV, Story, E11even, The Corner Bar, Tootsies, Scarlett’s and a thousand other places to get happy (read: wasted), Miami is the late night party capital of America and a Super Bowl vodka soda dreamland.
Yacht Service To Celeb-Stocked Parties On The Water
Atlanta? Landlocked. Phoenix? Uffffft. The violent Pacific waters off Los Angeles? Too great white-y. Oh, did you need transport to Star Island’s Big Game Big Give party with Jamie Foxx, Keegan-Michael Key, Karolina Kurkova, Michael Bay, Aaron Paul, and Jim Brown? Perhaps a 56′ Riva Rivale would do. After partying at Stella Artois’ Port de Stella takeover of The Wharf, did you need a balmy ride back to South Beach with Priyanka Chopra Jonas? We assume you hopped on a VanDutch while guzzling Belgian hops. And who could forget your yacht service to and from the Maxim Magazine Chainsmokers show on Virginia Key? Even Gaga rented a yacht to debut her new boyfriend. No other Super Bowl host city in America has bluer, cleaner, calmer waters to party hop, with even Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones getting in on the action from his $250 million floating palace tethered to Island Gardens. We stand alone. We are the king neptunes, the yachting capital of the world.
Incredible, Vibrant, Made-For-TV Backdrops
Miami has the best live shot locations and b-roll fodder in the country, from the Atlantic waters and sandy beaches of South Beach, to the neon-glazed Art Deco architecture of Ocean Drive, to our incredibly metropolitan downtown skyline, to the art-splashed walls of Wynwood. It’s a blimp, morning show and helicopter shot fantasyland. No other city in the country even comes close to Miami’s seamless, immediately proximate blend of tropical greenery, natural waterways, historic charm (read: Vizcaya in Coconut Grove), urban grit and gleaming, sky-kissing starchitecture. All this at a sunny 72 degrees umbrellaed by Windex-blue skies.
Cover photo: LARRY W SMITH/EPA-EFE