Tampa International Airport receives 65,000 name submissions for giant flamingo sculpture

Tampa International Airport officials have plenty of possible names to choose from for the 21-foot flamingo sculpture – 65,000 options to be exact.

The "Name the Flamingo" contest closed Tuesday, with airport officials saying they are both excited and overwhelmed at the possibilities.

The floor-to-ceiling sculpture greets travelers in the main terminal and – if they aren't running late for the flight – many can't resist stopping and snapping a selfie with the Florida flamingo without a name.

As part of the christening of TPA's "fabulous feathered friend," the airport held a Name That Flamingo contest, where members of the public were invited to submit suggestions. The contest lasted for about a week.

Artist Matthew Mazzotta created the flamingo as part of an exhibit called ‘Home’.

Artist Matthew Mazzotta created the flamingo as part of an exhibit called ‘Home’.

Now, the naming committee will narrow down the submissions to three finalists. Public voting will begin Dec. 12 at NameTheFlamingo.com.

The winning name will be announced Dec. 16.

The winner of the contest will take home the following prizes:

  • 4 nonstop, round-trip tickets for themselves and three companions on Silver Airways
  • A VIP Experience package to Busch Gardens, including 4 single-day admission tickets, 4 All-Day Dining passes, 4 Quick Queue Unlimited passes, and preferred parking
  • A chance to "bask in the limelight" at a reveal event for the flamingo's new name in TPA's main terminal

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The iconic sculpture by artist Matthew Mazzotta is formally titled "HOME," but both the artist and the airport agreed that the flamingo needs a name of its own. With metal panels and lighting attached to the ceiling, it gives the illusion of being underwater while gazing up at the flamingo, which appears to be poking its head beneath the surface.

For more information on the contest, click here.