City of Tampa Streamlines Special Events Permitting Process

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Over the last year, the City of Tampa has streamlined its Office of Special events in order to maximize customer services and improve efficiency.

“From Gasparilla to the Republican National Convention, Tampa is a big events city. We know how to coordinate, plan, and showcase our city,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “By streamlining the permitting process, it’s easier to hold an event in one of our beautiful parks.”

Each year the City of Tampa Office of Special permits 300 events per year throughout the City of Tampa. That number is anticipated to grow in 2015 as Water Works Park begins to host major events.

Most events are held in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park with a minimum of 245,000 people attending one of the 51 events in the park in the past year.   Al Lopez Park hosted 46 events last year, with a total of 27,000 attendees.

The improvements to the Special Events permitting process include:

  • Upfront payment processing so that taxpayers are not left “on the hook.”
  • Standardized fee structure for 5k and parade events.
  • Centralized billing done by the Office of Special Events, instead of ad hoc by each department.
  • Centralized operations within the Office of Special Events including issuing all Special Use for Temporary Alcoholic Beverage permits.
  • Line item costs reviewed by Chief of Staff prior to client notification.
  • Decreased review times due to efficiency.

In addition to streamlining the permitting process, the Office of Special Events facilitates all events that are cosponsored by the City of Tampa. The City of Tampa cosponsors 59 events per year, with 22 of those events being city-produced, including the Mayor’s River O’Green, Downtown on Ice, and Police Memorial Run to name a few.  27 cosponsored annual events occur in downtown Tampa, and 16 cosponsored events occur in historic Ybor City, and with other signature events, such as the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Day parade and Conga Caliente, occurring throughout the city.