TAMPA, Fla. - For the fourth time in its history, Tampa Bay welcomed the Super Bowl to town. Outside of the thousands of visitors and the incredible economic impact derived, Tampa Bay enjoyed a historic week, which culminated with one of the most exciting and highest watched games in Super Bowl XLII.

NBC’s release of the Nielsen report shows the network averaged 89.9 million viewers in prime time (7 to 11 p.m.) during its telecast of Super Bowl XLIII from Tampa Bay. That marks the highest viewership for any network on any prime time night in people-meter history. Fans that watched the Steelers’ thrilling 27-23 victory against the Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium generated a 42.1 overnight rating and 65 share on NBC. Each rating point represents 1,145,000 households; the share means 65 percent of the televisions on at the time were tuned to the game. Recognition and attention from the millions of viewers worldwide are extremely helpful to an area like Tampa Bay. With a strong tourist infrastructure in place, the Super Bowl serves as an exceptional marketing tool to help showcase the area’s many treasures to these viewers.

The Super Bowl also gave the Tampa Bay community the opportunity to leave a lasting impression among the estimated 100,000 visitors that were expected to stay in town for the game. Publications reported that visitors found Tampa Bay friendly and fun, with great food and hotels. Fans were treated to more than just the exciting action on the field as the Tampa Bay Host Committee worked diligently to put together a number of high profile events involved with the game. The NFL Experience, a 850,000 square foot, pro-football interactive fan festival that annually precedes the Super Bowl was open to fans Jan. 24-25, Jan. 29-31. Also, the Ford Amphitheatre played host to award-winning musical sensations Rihanna, Enrique Iglesias, Fall Out Boy and Lifehouse who were showcased in the NFL Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Bash.

More than 4,500 credentialed media personnel arrived as well, marking the second largest media attendance for any Super Bowl in NFL history. Additionally, this year’s Super Bowl and the Tampa Bay area attracted more than 630 media outlets from 28 countries, both Super Bowl records.

Also highly noted was the involvement and embrace of the Tampa Bay community. “Tampa Bay showed again why it is such a great place to hold a Super Bowl,” said Frank Supovitz, the NFL’s senior vice president of events. “The participation of the entire community ensured that Super Bowl XLIII will be remembered fondly.” Community involvement shined when 6,400 volunteers answered the call in assisting with the event.

Sports Illustrated commented, “Great weather, great stadium and a veteran host committee that knows its way around a Super Bowl would be just three of Tampa’s strengths.” Countless publications praised the area and its host committee. The applause is necessary with a job this well done by the Tampa Bay community and all those involved.

It is easy to see the value of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee’s hard-work and dedication as they executed Super Bowl XLIII to perfection. This event was of the upmost importance to the Tampa Bay area and enough cannot be said about the success that the Host Committee helped to generate. “Reid Sigmon, Dick Beard, and the entire Super Bowl Host Committee did a fantastic job mobilizing the area’s hosting of our fourth Super Bowl. There is no doubt that their tireless efforts paid big dividends in scoring a huge win for our community,” said Rob Higgins, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.