"Sometimes you need a break from the sun," said Nicki Grossman of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Everybody all over the country has weather. And you don't have to shovel anything that has fallen on us."
Even so, the less-than-Super weather -- daylong rain blanketing the region -- stirred unpleasant memories of the last time the NFL's championship game came to town three years ago. That was the first time rain fell on a Super Bowl, and it continued throughout the game, chasing away some fans at halftime and sending others into concourses to watch on television as the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears.
Although this is the middle of South Florida's dry season, steady light rain also fell during Sunday night's Pro Bowl in Miami.
The Colts and Saints landed Monday and were greeted by their Pro Bowl teammates -- seven from Indianapolis and seven from New Orleans -- who watched the all-star game from the sideline. One Pro Bowl player was Manning, who said he didn't mind making the trip the day before most of the Colts arrived.
"I got to fly on a private plane with six of my best friends and teammates," Manning said. "We had Ruth's Chris Steak House food on the plane, took a private escape down to Miami, shook a few hands, did a wave, did one interview and made $45,000. I can think of some worse things to put yourself through."
The forecast called for a 30 percent chance of showers Tuesday, prompting the Media Day switch. And there's at least a slight chance of rain every day the rest of the week, with a 20 percent chance Sunday.
Media Day will, however. Instead of conducting interviews on the field at Sun Life Stadium, the NFL will hold them in an indoor concourse on the club level.
"This should not be a major problem," NFL spokesman Michael Signora said. "It just will look different."
Rain also affected preparation of the playing field, Signora said.
"I wouldn't say anything is delayed," he said. "I'd say work continues, and weather is one more factor built into the preparation."
The weather made South Florida's daunting traffic even more sluggish. The team hotels and practice sites are separated by drives of up to an hour -- sometimes more -- and while the Colts and Saints are whisked about with police escorts, getting around is more arduous for fans, volunteers, league officials and the media.
"We're a regional effort, and we need to spread it around," said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the South Florida Super Bowl host committee. "It'll be judged afterward whether it really works out."
Tourism officials said the wet weather didn't tarnish the Pro Bowl, which was moved from Hawaii as a one-year experiment and drew the largest crowd for the game since 1959. But the stadium was half empty by the third quarter.
"They're saying, 'Your whiskers are getting a little long,'" Barreto said. "I don't think we ought to fall asleep and sit on our laurels. We should take a good look and see if there is some way to partner with the Dolphins and figure out how to get something done."
South Florida leaders are expected to seek public money for the project. But at the moment, Barreto said, they're focused on praying for some sunshine.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press