The city has opened its arms to legions of football revelers all dedicated to having serious fun, and spending serious money, which raises the question:
How does a city get to host the Super Bowl?
"There's a whole list of things," said Jim Steeg, vice president in charge of NFL Special Events. "I think the last time we counted, there's a 52-page set of requirements that we take them (officials from prospective cities) through."
Among the requirements:
Oh, and one other thing certainly doesn't hurt: a new stadium. The NFL isn't shy about the fact that having a new stadium may be the most important criteria.
"The commissioner is very strong that if it's (in) a city that can host a Super Bowl, it gets moved to the top of the list," Steeg said.
Tampa got to the top of the list when it built a new $168 million stadium in 1998. The payoff?
"The average person is going to spend $2,000-$2,500 to come to the Super Bowl," Steeg said. "That's airfare, hotel room, (and) not counting game ticket."
Multiply that by the estimated 100,000 people pouring into Tampa and you begin to appreciate the economic boost to the host city. It's a boost that Tampa Mayor Dick Greco appreciates, although its precise size is difficult to gauge.
"Well, there again, I've heard figures from all the way from close to $200 million to $400 million," Greco said.
Estimates may vary, but Greco said the game's value to the city goes well beyond the dollars it brings in.
"I think the real value to a community is you couldn't buy the publicity that we're getting, the last few weeks. I mean, for any price," Greco said.
It's publicity that is a lifeline for cities like Tampa, which depend heavily on tourism and convention business and getting people to come back again and again.
Ed Turanchik believes the Super Bowl will help the civic group he heads snag the big one for Tampa the 2012 Olympics.
"It really demonstrates your ability to do things and that's very positive. It does come back to people really enjoying themselves and saying, 'yeah I'd like to go back there, I had a good time there, this is a fun place to be,' " said Turanchik, who is part of the Florida 2012 group.