The Super Bowl's economic impact on Arizona

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by Fields Moseley

Bio | Email | Follow: @fieldsmoseley

azfamily.com

Posted on October 12, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 29 at 1:44 PM

PHOENIX -- Arizona and the city of Glendale will host Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.  Team owners voted Tuesday in a race between Tampa, Florida and Phoenix.
   
The host committee has been making a pitch for another Super Bowl for the past four years.  Arizona Cardinals President, Michael Bidwill said there was no controversy, just a chance to high-light what the Phoenix area has to offer the Super Bowl crowd.

“It's a huge statement that we can move forward and start focusing on bringing events back to Arizona and getting economy going again,” said Bidwill.

A lot of money changes hands when 100-thousand guests show up, but cities have to keep the crowds in order and that requires up-front costs.  The city of Glendale lost about 1.8 million preparing for the Super Bowl in 2008.

The 2008 Super Bowl attracted tens of thousands to the valley with many of them converging on city of Glendale for the game itself.

“You look and say what can bring 500 million dollars to a community?” asked Julie Frisoni, spokesperson for Glendale.  “What can bring 100 thousand visitors to a community?”

Frisoni said they received an estimated $26-million in publicity.  But in actual dollars, they ended up in the hole after paying for public safety equipment and man-hours.

“Our experience and what we've done and some one-time expenses that we had in 2008 that we don't have in 2015 that we'll able to certainly narrowed that gap,” she said.

Frisoni said they will again partner with other cities where guests stay and spend money.  They also have places for corporate parties that didn't exist in 2008.

“It felt like to me, we needed a win,” said Mike Kennedy, Chairman of the Super Bowl Host Committee.

Kennedy led the effort to get another Super Bowl and came up short three out of the last four years.

He said major venues come with costs, and mega-events like a Super Bowl cost more.  But he believes the economic benefits are real and not just limited to the communities around the stadium.

“At the same time, I agree, we need to find as a state some mechanism,” said Kennedy.  “Be it state legislation or whatever, to make sure we have an equilibrium so that there is a relationship between cost invested and benefits received.”

Other states have found ways to pool money for cities hosting huge events.  The idea being, the whole area is benefitting, so one city should not have to bear all the costs.
 

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