MIAMI, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The Super Bowl crowds were leaving Jacksonville, Fla., Monday while city leaders worked on firming up any economic toeholds the event might have given them.
Mayor John Peyton already had begun wooing Robert Kraft, owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville reported Monday.
Kraft owns International Forest Products that already ships some products through Jacksonville. Kraft said he likes the city and is interested in more business.
"This is a great opportunity for Jacksonville to tell a great story," Peyton said. "This exposure allows us to begin the cultivation process."
Peyton and other leaders have been hoping the Super Bowl will result in more tourism, more relocations and general economic growth.
Critics, however, doubt that one event can have a long-term impact.
During the four years since the Super Bowl was awarded, the city has been preparing. A bond issue for improvements was passed and the city was generally spruced up.
Next year's Super Bowl will be played in Detroit where the mission will be to show that its negative reputation is not deserved.