“One of the things we did that made a difference for us financially was we established an event fee because of all the expense that we knew we were going to incur. It varied by size of airplane, from $350 to $650, regardless of whether they bought fuel or not. People didn’t have a problem with it. The fees were reasonable enough. We collected it at the time they made the reservation.” That lesson learned, he says, came from the Glendale (AZ) Airport’s experience with the 2008 Super Bowl, which had a significant amount of no-shows. Glendale had not charged an event fee in advance.
“The fees represented $80-90,000,” says Botana. “That made a big difference for us. Signature didn’t take that approach; they were charging their normal ramp fees, but not in advance.”
The airport hired an independent ground handling company to help with departures, charging $30 per aircraft.
According to Botana, the greatest benefit from handling a Super Bowl came from the exposure received by bizjet customers, particularly for the relative newcomer at TPA.