After months of preparation and research by Arizona's Super Bowl Bid Committee, Arizona was awarded Super Bowl XLII in 2008 by a vote of NFL owners today in Chicago. The game, expected to be played in February of 2008, will take place in Glendale at the Cardinals new stadium that will open in 2006.
Arizona was one of the three finalists running for the 2008 Super Bowl bid, along with Tampa and Washington. Cardinals Vice President and General Counsel Michael Bidwill presented a compelling case for bringing the Super Bowl back to Arizona to the owners before the meetings, and apparently his speech helped with a decisive vote in favor of Arizona.
"Arizona won convincingly," offered NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. "All three presentations were extremely strong. They were extraordinary, each with strong attributes."
It will be the second Super Bowl to be hosted by Arizona. Super Bowl XXX was played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona in 1996 when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17. Getting the Super Bowl back to Arizona hinged upon plans for a new stadium, which came to fruition through the passing of Prop 302 in November of 2000 and then finally the selection of the site in Glendale in August of 2002.
"The team (Cardinals) and the public sector (Arizona) have been working hard on a new stadium for years," said Tagliabue. "We said we would be responsive at some time if there was a new stadium and Arizona has displayed persistent leadership."
Bidwill couldn't have been more pleased with the results from today's vote.
"Thank you to the NFL for awarding Super Bowl XLII to Arizona," said Michael Bidwill. "The fact that this is a publicly-funded stadium is important. The league is giving back. Now it is time to get to work to make this the best Super Bowl ever."
It is projected that the game will provide an economic impact of $400 million to Arizona. The Super Bowl also attracts more than 800 million people worldwide who watch the event each year, including 130 million viewers in the United States, which will give Arizona a chance to showcase the new state-of-the-art stadium and its unique architecture.
"Everyone in Arizona won today," shared Cardinals President William Bidwill. "It is going to be better than 1996."
"We are just delighted with the NFL's decision to make Arizona the 'The State In 2008," added Arizona's Governor Janet Napolitano, who served on the Super Bowl Bid Committee. "It will be an opportunity for the world to see the new Arizona and all the things going on in our vital and vibrant state."
With today's decision by the NFL, sites for the next five Super Bowls have been determined:
Super Bowl XXXVIII Houston, Texas February 1, 2004
Super Bowl XXXIX Jacksonville, Florida February 6, 2005
Super Bowl XL Detroit, Michigan February 5, 2006
Super Bowl XLI Miami, Florida February 4, 2007
Super Bowl XLII Glendale, Arizona February, 2008