The Super Bowl is coming, and for those who helped bring it to Arizona, it's important to make it for everybody in Arizona.
"This time around there was a real intention of making this a regional effort," said Jay Parry, the president and CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. "We want to make sure whether you are a visitor or resident you feel like you are at Super Bowl. that was a focus for us and the NFL."
Parry joined Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill and Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority president and CEO Tom Sadler for a Super Bowl LVII panel on Tuesday, moderated by the Phoenix Business Journal and held at Heritage at Sportsman's Park next to State Farm Stadium. In front of a select audience, the trio talked about the importance of bringing big sporting events to Arizona not only for the economic impact but also for the way it showcases the Valley.
Not only is the Super Bowl due at the end of this season, State Farm Stadium will also host the NCAA men's basketball Final Four in 2024.
The conversation covered the process of getting a Super Bowl to a city, an effort that includes not only the three organizations represented but the business community as a whole.
Bidwill said that the most recent Super Bowl in Arizona, following the 2014 season, created an economic impact of $719 million, according to numbers from the Arizona State University business school. That year, they also hosted the Pro Bowl the week before the Super Bowl.
"This has got a chance to exceed those numbers," Bidwill said. "Don't quote me, although I guess everybody just did. I think it has a chance to do very well."
The economy can benefit beyond that, Bidwill said. Part of the Super Bowl Host Committee's agenda is also to host CEOs from companies interested in expanding or moving their business, a sort of free agency process that the local community wants to capitalize on. Bidwill said at the most recent Super Bowl, 50 such CEOs were hosted, and 20 ultimately moved into the Valley.
"I think we have a compelling story now," Bidwill said.
Sadler said the Valley and State Farm Stadium had been involved early in the process to be one of the cities to host some World Cup games in 2026 when it is held in the U.S, Canada, and Mexico. But that effort ended, Sadler said, when FIFA wanted to add language to contracts that was unacceptable to Arizona (and some other potential sites as well).
The chase of other events will continue, however. First comes this season's Super Bowl
"We've been in sort of a spotlight (in Arizona), a lot of political stuff, a lot of negativity, a lot of angst, a lot of controversy and things like that," Bidwill said. "What we have is an amazing opportunity to put our best foot forward as a community and tell our story."