Photo: Nick Garcia
Arts, Culture, Sports & Tech Highlight Region's Global Appeal
Two events this season will shine a bright light on South Florida’s global cultural appeal.
In December, thousands will descend upon the region — many by private jets — for Art Basel Miami Beach. The annual event showcases the work of leading global galleries and modern and contemporary art.
Two months later, Super Bowl LIV’s arrival — the record 11th game to be played in any location — will share the region’s combined amenities. Some 65,000 attendees will see the game in person, an estimated 200,000 others will tag along, and all will get a glimpse of the region’s cultural amenities.
South Florida has blossomed from culturally nonexistent less than a generation ago to a spot that can’t be ignored for arts, sports, and culture.
If media credentials are any indication of international interest, the Super Bowl owns global appeal. The 5,800 media seeking press passes hail from 25 different countries. Some 100 million people in 170 countries worldwide will view the global TV broadcast. And while advertisers reportedly will spend over $5 million for a 30-second spot, the value to local boosters of the almost three-hour game will be immeasurable.
“This has far-reaching implications for South Florida,” says Rodney Barreto, chair of the Super Bowl Host Committee and a longtime business leader and community proponent.
Local sports are also a global draw. Beyond the Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins, the Miami Marlins have significant appeal among Latino fans. Soccer star-turned-team owner David Beckham’s Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, or Inter Miami, is banking on the hemisphere’s love of the game.
The Miami Open, considered by some the fifth Grand Slam tennis tournament, continues to keep the spotlight on the region.
At the same time, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship draw thousands of investors and new businesses. This year, the eMerge Americas conference attracted 16,000 attendees from 40 countries to the Miami Beach event, says event president Melissa Medina.
In South Beach, developers are investing $67 million to transform Miami Beach’s iconic Lincoln Road pedestrian mall into a “thriving epicenter for arts, culture, dining, shopping, and entertainment,” says Timothy Schmand, executive director of the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District.
The Melo Group has developed thousands of residential units in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District. Developer Terra has built luxury condominiums and boutique residences in Miami Beach and the eclectic enclave Coconut Grove that appeal to buyers from the U.S., Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Developer Ugo Colombo’s CMC Group, widely considered a pioneering developer in the past 25 years, delivered Brickell Flatiron. Drawing on the iconic Manhattan building of the same name, the project will tap into the region’s broad cultural, business, and international appeal.
Neighborhoods like Brickell, Wynwood, Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas and FAT Village, as well as Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and West Palm Beach, have undergone transformations, fueled by area cultural institutions like the New World Symphony and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and NSU Museum in Fort Lauderdale, and the Norton Gallery in West Palm Beach.
Cultural promoters are also partnering with Virgin Trains, the high-speed rail that traverses the tricounty region, to encourage cultural tours.
“Miami is becoming a city known internationally more and more for culture and arts,” says Jorge Peréz, primary benefactor of the Peréz Art Museum Miami. “The museum epitomizes that. For that reason, it makes me very proud to help grow the significance of Miami beyond just fun and sun, as a place in which culture thrives.”