Like the Kansas City Chiefs, private jets didn’t fare well against Tom Brady and his hometown Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to data from Argus TRAQPak.
This year private jets were up against both the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and having the home team playing in the Big Game. It was the first time the host team played the Super Bowl in its home stadium. The 1985 Super Bowl, won by the San Francisco 49ers, was played at nearby Stanford Stadium. In 1980, the Los Angeles Rams lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
From the Monday prior to the Super Bowl through game day, the three principal airports in the Tampa area saw 679 private jet arrivals.
Tampa International Airport garnered the most significant share with 383 private jet arrivals. St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport had 228 arrivals, while Tampa Executive Airport saw 68 landings.
Last year’s match-up between the Chiefs and the 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami drew 1,946 arrivals over a similar period. Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, closest to the stadium, saw 593 landings.
In total, private aviation arrivals dropped by 65% for this year’s Super Bowl.
Assuming double the number of actual arrivals had there been two visiting teams, the case in 2020, wouldn’t have helped. Private aviation traffic would have still been 30% below Super Bowl LIV.
It wasn’t all bad news for the local private aviation industry. There was an appreciable bump over regular activity. Monday after Brady won his seventh Lombardi Trophy, there were 166 departures from Tampa International. That compares to 29, 24, and 34 departures on the previous three Mondays.