The opinions expressed in this feature are those of the author and not necessarily those of NightMoves and AAN
Today, January 20th is Inauguration Day, the day Joe Biden became our 46th President of the United States. Now what? After four years of undermining the departing president in any way they could, the Dems finally have their goal accomplished, but will it be the right one for a divided people of the United States? That is a question we may get the answer to very quickly once we see what direction this administration wants to go in. I heard all the right and promising words in his inaugural address, but actions always speak louder than words.
For me, I will give him his 100 days to convince me that he is the right man for the job who can, and will, turn things around, but I won’t lie, I am very skeptical. In 100 days will the Coronavirus situation be better or worse? In those 100 days will the “promised” stimulus checks be in the hands of the people? In those 100 days, will the unemployment begin to diminish? In those 100 days will there be more of a united country or a more divided one? In those 100 days will we see more or less of China being a major part of this country? In those 100 days will we be headed back to a more normal way of life? It is a tall order to be sure, but an order that must be done of Biden and his administration want to heal and unite this country. I hope he can do it and prove millions wrong. With a House and Senate controlled by the Dems, bipartisan working together to achieve that healing and being united is going to be almost an impossibility. I will say it again, I am very skeptical and feel we may be in for some darker, costly and disappointing days ahead. It has already begun with gas prices jumping anywhere from 20 to 30 cents a gallon since this morning.
Enough on that subject, now to another “Now what?” situation, that of the Super Bowl coming here to Tampa in a few weeks. Hopefully our Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be playing in that game.
All the preparations are in place, new hotels, new venues, a massive cleanup in the city, sprucing up Raymond James Stadium, new hotels and getting everything ready for all the activities the public can take part in during Super Bowl Week. However, the COVID numbers in the Tampa Bay area have been spiking upward the past few weeks, and that is not good. With hundreds of thousands of people from every corner of the country expected to descend on Tampa Bay, now what?
While all the preparation continues to take place, one thing has been glaringly missing. How many people will the NFL allow into the 65,000 seat stadium under the COVID protocol? How many people does Mayor Jane Castor feel is a safe number? We know it won’t be 50% or more so chances are it will be under 30,000, but how far under? With just 3 weeks to go, people have to make airline reservations, hotel reservations, car rentals, private home rentals and a lot more for t heir trip to Tampa. The longer the NFL and city delay announcing the number, the more all kinds of businesses, bars, clubs, restaurants, hair salons, barber shops, clothing stores and the list goes on. These businesses in Tampa Bay worry about the potential income they may, or may not, count on. They need to know so they can be better prepared for what this pandemic will allow. Then there is the numbers of people that will be all over the area at the different attractions and events that will be available for them to take part in. That will all have to be controlled in a way to insure the safety of the people at these events.
It will be very interesting to see how the NFL and the City of Tampa handle this, especially the number of people who will be allowed into Raymond James Stadium. We wish everyone good luck with putting on this very prestigious, worldwide event and expect it to come off without a hitch. But right now there many areas concerning this Super Bowl that are still up in the air. So again I ask, “Now what?”
Art Koch, National Features & DVD Editor, NightMoves Magazine and AAN