The Everglades Foundation + Miami Super Bowl Host Committee
Celebrate Ocean to Everglades Initiative with Tailgate Party
at Virgin MiamiCentral Train Station
With the theme “Florida: The State of Play,” the event drew attention to the importance of Everglades restoration
and water quality to Florida’s future as a sporting paradise
MIAMI, Fla. (October 4, 2019) – The Everglades Foundation, in partnership with the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and Brightline, celebrated the 2019-2020 football season at a special tailgate party in the Virgin MiamiCentral Select Lounge in downtown Miami. The event, held on Thursday, October 3, 2019, drew more than 200 VIPs from across the tri-county region – many making their way to the event aboard Brightline, soon to be Virgin Trains, from downtown West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale – to watch the Los Angeles Rams play the Seattle Seahawks.
The event highlighted The Everglades Foundation’s role as a key partner in Ocean to Everglades (O2E), the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee’s environmental initiative for Super Bowl LIV. Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation, chairs the O2E Committee, whose members include representatives from the Host Committee, NFL Green and Ocean Conservancy. O2E will shine the Super Bowl spotlight on South Florida’s unique natural environment. The O2E partners will continue to work together to host events and create awareness of South Florida’s environmental challenges and opportunities.
The night’s theme, “Florida: The State of Play,” drew attention to the crucial link between Everglades restoration and Florida’s reputation as a sporting paradise – a place that attracts golfers, anglers, equestrians, SCUBA divers, boaters, and of course, professional and amateur athletes, from across the globe. Virgin Trains was chosen as a partner because the company’s vision for transit interconnectivity in the tri-county region mirrors the Everglades role as a natural corridor connecting the various ecosystems of South Florida to the ocean.
“Our recreation and tourism industries collectively contribute $67 billion to Florida’s economy each year, and all of that depends on clean water,” said Eikenberg. “If we’re going to maintain our status as the boating and sports fishing capital of the world, and continue to attract world class athletic events like the Super Bowl to the region, then we need to protect our lakes, rivers, estuaries, shorelines and fresh water aquifers. Restoring the Everglades, and restoring the flow of clean freshwater from Lake Okeechobee all the way to the Florida Keys, is a critical component to the overall environmental equation.”
Added Shannon Estenoz, COO of The Everglades Foundation, “Florida is indeed a ‘State of Play,’ but unless Congress fulfills its commitment to Everglades restoration, our days as a recreational paradise could be numbered. We’re thrilled that Miami was selected to host the Super Bowl this year, and the economic impact on our region will be tremendous. Just imagine being able to host a Super Bowl here every year – that’s the potential economic impact that full Everglades restoration, between the jobs created or preserved, as well as the environmental crises averted – could have on our region.”
“Our team at Brightline shares the mission and vision of the O2E campaign driven by the Everglades Foundation, NFL and Super Bowl,” said Patrick Goddard, President of Virgin Trains. “Our service will offer greater connectivity for fans visiting South Florida to enjoy game festivities and also remove cars off the road. We are really looking forward to kickoff.”
Guests enjoyed the state-of-the-art facilitates at Virgin MiamiCentral, which proudly features Florida Power & Light SolarNow trees that provide emissions-free power for the grid and shade for guests, during the tailgate party. Each solar tree is capable of producing up to 3 kilowatts of solar energy, enough to power an electric vehicle 15,000 miles per year. Brightline’s partnership with FPL extends to its trains as the company’s official biodiesel fuel provider, allowing each trainset to meet the highest emissions standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since its inception, Brightline has reduced CO2 emissions by 15 million pounds, removed 750,000 fuel gallons from the road, and saved time-strapped commuters a cumulative 76 years.
Wearing 3-D printed bracelets made out of 100% recycled plastic by Unis Brands, guests enjoyed cocktails and bites from local sponsors including Pernod Ricard (Absolut, Glenlivet and Campo Viejo Wines), Bulla Gastrobar, Pisco y Nazca Gastrobar and Seasons 52 Fresh Grill & Wine Bar. Other sponsors included Oliva Cigars and Imperial Dade.
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About The Everglades Foundation
The Everglades Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to leading efforts to restore and protect the greater Everglades ecosystem. Since its founding in 1993 by a group of local outdoor enthusiasts, the Foundation has become a respected and important advocate for the sustainability of one of the world’s most unique ecosystems. For more information about The Everglades Foundation, please visit EvergladesFoundation.org.
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