© 2021 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Local / State
WUSF's coverage of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Feb. 7, 2021.

St. Petersburg Mayor Calls Out 50 Cent For Super Bowl Party

Image of social media post about a Super Bowl Party
Twitter
/

In addition to the 50 Cent concert, TMZ also reported about parties Thursday and Friday night at the Godfrey Waterfront Hotel on Courtney Campbell Parkway.

Updated: Feb. 12

A pre-Super Bowl concert hosted by rapper 50 Cent in St. Petersburg that appeared to violate local COVID-19 safety rules has led to problems for the company renting the space where it was held.

On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Times reported that the city terminated the lease of the aircraft maintenance company Sky Addict Aviation. The company has six months to vacate.

Last weekend, Mayor Rick Kriseman on Twitter called the event "stupid" and shared a story TMZ published about the concert held in a private airplane hanger at Albert Whitted Airport.

“This isn't how we should be celebrating the Super Bowl. It's not safe or smart. It's stupid,” Kriseman said Saturday. “We're going to take a very close look at this, and it may end up costing someone a lot more than 50 cent.”

TMZ reported that tickets for the concert that included Tampa’s DJ Fresh cost between $85 to $7,000. Guests were asked to wear masks and practice social distancing, but pictures TMZ published show few masks and people close together. The entertainment website also reported a second party was scheduled to take place Saturday night.

While local officials have discouraged large events like these, the private parties have continued despite the pandemic. In addition to the 50 Cent concert, TMZ also reported about parties at the Godfrey Waterfront Hotel on Courtney Campbell Parkway.

Law enforcement officers are among those criticizing how Super Bowl and local officials are allowing these events to take place as the number of cases of coronavirus continue to be a serious public health concern.

The Tampa Police Benevolent Association issued an open letter criticizing the NFL and Super Bowl officials for what they say is irresponsible and “putting dollars over officer lives and safety.”

In addition to sanctioned events requiring officers to patrol, the group also points to 90 unofficial events, featuring celebrities and entertainers. It’s been exasperated by having the hometown Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the game, the letter said.

“We are not sure what message it sends when you ask our officers to do even more in this pandemic when they are already maxed out covering events that have been in the works for over a year,” the letter said. “To be clear we recognize that our management have their hands tied and are doing the best they can to make sure we stay safe. Weren’t we just asking people to cancel or limit their Thanksgiving and Holiday celebrations less than a month ago?”

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.