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Doing Their Part


The Cardinals have played a big role in hosting Super Bowl XLII -- aside from lending the league their stadium for Sunday's title game.

At a Super Bowl's foundation, the "home" franchise is crucial and necessary by definition alone – any Super Bowl bid must be initiated by an NFL club.

Once a city is awarded a Super Bowl, however, the help better extend much further.

"I think it is impossible to do a Super Bowl without the host team being solidly behind it," Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said.

The Cardinals are heavily invested in Super Bowl XLII, financially and otherwise. It is most easily explained this way by Arizona Super Bowl host committee chairman Mike Kennedy: With the less than 1,000 Super Bowl tickets the host committee is allotted, it must raise $17 million.

Some things are a given for the Cards, such has hosting the NFC champion Giants at the team facility.

Bidwill also serves on the host committee board, helping raise money. As one example, the Cardinals donated a loft at home games to the committee so they could entertain sponsors.

Host committee Bob Sullivan said just last week, there was a "snafu" in one of the galas planned. He called Bidwill, who not only helped iron out the problem but also ended up brainstorming with Sullivan some more fundraising ideas.

Meanwhile, the organization has lent its expertise and manpower in other places, Bidwill said. Executive vice president and chief business officer Ron Minegar and vice president of marketing Lisa Manning have each had prominent roles. Entertainment coordinator Wendy Cooley is working with the NFL for the game day production. The media relations staff is working at the NFL's media center downtown.

That doesn't include the trainers, equipment managers and video crew that are helping the Giants. Even media relations assistant Nate LoCascio has a spot, helping provide the "crowd noise" for the Giants during practice by working a portable sound system.

"The host team is integral," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "There are many elements where the league is working with the club.

"For the game, they will be using a blueprint from Cardinals home games and custom fitting them for the Super Bowl."

Bidwill stressed the importance for the franchise to make such an event happen, emphasizing that for the $17 million raised the Super Bowl will generate close to a half-billion dollars of economic impact for the state.

Those are among the same reasons the Cardinals will likely look to spearhead the process again with another Super Bowl bid.

To have a Super Bowl, "Sullivan said, "the host club has to step up and say 'We want to do this, we have to do this.' " * * * Contact Darren Urban at Posted 1/31/08.

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