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Arizona Goes After 2012 Super Bowl


After putting on Super Bowl XLII in February, the Arizona Super Bowl host committee is bidding for the 2012 game next week.

By Tuesday afternoon, NFL owners will have decided where the 2012 Super Bowl will be played – with the choices as Indianapolis, Arizona or Houston.

Conventional wisdom makes Indianapolis, which lost out to Dallas by just two votes for the 2011 Super Bowl, the favorite.

But the Arizona Super Bowl host committee carries to the NFL owners meetings in Atlanta a confidence after a successful Super Bowl XLII just a few months ago. Now they wait to see if that helps get Arizona another Super Bowl.

"As (ESPN's) Chris Berman would say, 'That's why they play the game,' " said Bob Sullivan, the president of the Arizona Super Bowl host committee.

The three committees will present their cases to the NFL owners Tuesday morning.

By way of cultivating optimism, Sullivan brought up the last time Arizona was given a game. The 2008 event was voted upon in 2003, and Sullivan said everyone expected Washington, D.C., to get that bid. Instead, it went to the new stadium in Glendale.

This time, Arizona's previous Super Bowl will have been played just four years previous. And Indianapolis was so close for the 2011 game because of its brand-new stadium, in which the Colts will begin playing this year.

"There is no question there is a history of Super Bowls being awarded to new stadiums," Sullivan said. "That said, we have advantages they don't have."

The biggest is the recent Patriots-Giants Super Bowl, a memory fresh in the minds of the NFL owners. When Arizona bid for the 2011 game last year – coming in a distant third behind Dallas and Indy – Super Bowl XLII had yet to be played.

Now that it has, both Sullivan and committee chairman Mike Kennedy believe it will boost Arizona's stock.

"We did a good job confirming this is the best place in the universe to have a Super Bowl," Kennedy said.

Nevertheless, Kennedy acknowledged that Indianapolis is a force to be reckoned with. Colts owner Jim Irsay told the Indianapolis Star he was encouraged after last year's near miss, saying that multiple owners told him "You have to bid again. You guys have a great chance of getting this."

Unlike Indianapolis, Houston has a Super Bowl history. The city, which failed in a bid for the 2009 game that went to Tampa, Fla., hosted Super Bowls in 1974 and 2004.

The 2010 game will be held in Miami.

The Arizona committee must hope their efforts for February's game have an impact; because they wanted to concentrate on hosting that game, the group did not begin to form the 2012 bid until mid-February. It was officially due April 1.

"This isn't a process where you can come in (for Tuesday's presentation) and surprise people," Sullivan said.

Contact Darren Urban at Posted 5/16/08.

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