Glendale businesses hope bowl games bring big bucks

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Businesses in downtown Glendale hope big bowl games will mean that big bucks are headed our way. But business owners say it makes a difference which game you're talking about.

For the Fiesta Bowl, local merchants say they don't imagine many Arizona Wildcat fans will be shelling out much money to stay at hotels. But for the Super Bowl, even if the Cardinals make it, they believe there will be plenty of out-of-town visitors spending money, everywhere.

As businesses light up their "open for business" signs, they’re preparing for big business starting in less than a month.

"When all the visitors come in, they actually have more sales,” said Lulu Rodriguez, who owns "Bitz-ee Mommas."

"A lot more, and it really helps the economic downtown area,” said Dave Campbell, owner of The Astrology Store. “My store really increases a lot due to this event, and the restaurants and local stores around here do, too."

But Teresa Outzen, owner of the Gaslight Inn, is being a little more cautious with her expectations.

"It's going to depend on Westgate, because they're going to do their job to keep people there, but there are many people in one area (and) people get tired of being over there, so hopefully they seek out other areas. And downtown Glendale obviously should be a prime location for them," says Outzen.

Outzen says she doesn't expect to see a huge number of Wildcats staying the night in Glendale for Fiesta Bowl week.

"But you've still got Boise, and we'll get a lot of Boise," says Outzen.

But she says the Super Bowl could be a different story. "Super Bowl just brings a ton of people, and I think the people that go to the Super Bowl are the people that go every year," says Outzen.

The City of Glendale believes that’s the case, whether the Arizona Cardinals play or not.

“I think there's a natural curiosity when a big mega-event is in town,” said Joe Hengemuehler with the City of Glendale. “They might say ‘Let’s drive over to Glendale and see what Tanger is all about, what Westgate entertainment district is all about. I think there's a lot of opportunity for people to discover what's in their own backyard.”

Staffers with the City of Glendale said they've already been getting calls from people coming to the Fiesta Bowl and Super Bowl, asking for information packets so that they know what places to check out once they get here.

The Fiesta Bowl has generated over $1 billion in the past five years, and this coming Super Bowl is expected to bring in an estimated $500 million.