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Merchants vie For Super Bowl business

Bahamian merchants intend to capitalize on one of the country’s biggest adopted sporting events, the Super Bowl, with one merchant targeting 3000 customers on game-day Sunday.

Fans likely have already decided on whether they support the Green Bay Packers or the Pittsburgh Steelers, but if they want to go out and watch the game, the lines may also be drawn between Bennigan’s and Mario’s. Persons hosting Super Bowl parties face similar choices as grocery stores vie for Super Bowl enthusiasts too.

“We expect this to be one of our biggest crowds here for the year,” said Marketing Manager for Mario’s Bowling and Entertainment Palace Odette Carey.”Last year was a huge success, with thousands here for the NBA National Basket Association games. We’re hoping for at least 3,000 patrons for the Super Bowl.”

Mario’s has two events planned, with a 3:00 p.m. grill-off to get things started. Attendees will consider the best offerings in jerk chicken, pork and hamburgers. Mario’s will provide the meat, but the skill, the grills, and the secret sauces will be for contestants to provide. The winner will take home$500 and will see his or her creation featured as a signature dish at Mario’s.

The Super Bowl party will take place afterwards, with the main party outdoors and featuring drink specials, a junkanoo group, live entertainment and fireworks. A 40-girl bikini contest is planned for half-time entertainment and there will be giveaways of beer to 300 persons.

Not too far away, Bennigan’s will be having its big backyard party. General Manager Tenecia Wood toldThe Guardianthat the promotion should yield good results for the restaurant.

“We definitely expect an increase in sales. It’s something we’ve never done before–it’s usually indoors, but we are expecting such a large number of participants, we’ve moved it outdoors and hope to make this an annual event.”

Bennigan’s will also host a grill-off and will provide all the ingredients. Winners will get to see their burger creation on Bennigan’s menu this year and can walk away with a complete grill set with accessories.

The’Budweiser Girls’will be out for a dip in a swimming pool to be set up for the tailgate party. Live entertainment, a half-time show, a pre-game show hosted by Geno D, and giveaways are all features fans will enjoy.

Some persons will want to avoid the big crowds, therefore many food stores will host parties of their own. Nicky

Simmons, marketing manager at City Market, said that the food store chain was very excited about this year’s promotions for the Super Bowl, and added that stores in New Providence and Grand Bahama were fully-stocked, decked out in team colors, and ready to meet customer needs for the event.

Simmons said that the 24-hour shopping experience at some of the company’s stores is expected to benefit customers who may be busy on Saturday, expanding the window of time they have to make purchases. The 24-hour shopping option is available at the Cable Beach, Sea Grapes, Harbor Bay and South Beach stores.

In addition to specials on food, Simmons said that with 24 hours notice, the store’s delis are ready to do much of the food preparation for customers.

“If it’s a big party and you don’t want to be in the kitchen the entire time, City Market can help you,”she said. Its delis will offer specials on meat balls, chicken wings, grouper fingers, cheese platters, ribs, and more. Simmons said that the prepared food offerings are not exclusive to the Super Bowl, but are a part of a long-term plan which includes the hiring of meat specialist Leon Lajat to improve deli offerings.

Robin Hood, another food chain, has advertised a number of food specials and is also promoting deli Super Bowl tailgate packages featuring hero sandwiches, chicken wings, and barbecue ribs.

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