‘Incredibly disappointing’: Tampa police respond to big Super Bowl party

The Big Game

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Police Department on Saturday expressed its dissatisfaction with a Friday night Super Bowl party featuring a performance from American DJ Steve Aoki.

In a news release sent earlier this week to promote the event, the WTR Bar & Grill at The Godfrey said Aoki would spin “throughout the night” at one of several parties planned at the venue for Super Bowl weekend. The party, which was the official event of Barstool Sports and E11EVEN Miami at WTR, was hosted by internet celebrity and blogger Dave Portnoy.

“While this is the first major national event since COVID-19 essentially shut down the world in 2020, we’re still taking safety and precautions very seriously,” said Mike Piper, founder of Pied Piper Productions. “We’re looking forward to getting back to somewhat of a sense of normalcy and providing an entertainment venue for people to safely party at.”

According to the news release from WTR, guests were required to walk through “safe entry stations.” If a guest required further screening measures, COVID-19 antigen and PCR testing were available. Team members were also required to social distance, wear gloves and face coverings, and would clean and sanitize “continuously.”

However, pictures posted by TMZ.com show there was very little concern for social distancing and COVID-19 precautions at the party.

Tampa police told 8 On Your Side the agency is unhappy with the turnout and lack of concern shown at the event.

“Scenes from WTR last night and a few other clubs were incredibly disappointing. The city spent the better part of a year educating residents on precautions due to the pandemic and have recently put a mask order in place for both the entertainment and event zones to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors to our great city,” a statement from the police department read. “When the governor lifted the capacity restrictions and opened bars, we turned to the tight-knit hospitality community to reopen safe and sound but there’s a level of personal responsibility that must be followed or risk getting shut down.”

Rapper 50 Cent also took part in a “wild” party Friday evening in the City of St. Petersburg.

Mayor Rick Kriseman expressed that “this isn’t how we should be celebrating the Super Bowl.”

In a press release, WTR mentioned it will have performances from hip hop group Migos from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and then a performance from Diplo and 50 Cent starting at 9 p.m.

The event spot will also continue to host events Sunday “following the sunset” as the big game takes place.

Trending