Super Bowl XLIX is a little more than a year away and already the Valley is buzzing with anticipation for its third chance to host the NFL’s most prestigious event.
It seems however, that anticipation hasn’t exactly equated to preparation when it comes to the host city, Glendale.
the USA TODAY published an article suggesting that the league was miffed by a general lack of leadership on the part of Glendale officials and planned to move all non-game events to nearby cities if major details — including additional access to thousands of parking spaces around University of Phoenix Stadium and guaranteed room prices at local hotels — weren’t shored up quickly.
“[The NFL Experience] will not be in Glendale,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told USA TODAY Sports. “It will be in Phoenix. We have not announced details of its location, but I can confirm it will not be in Glendale. Same goes for the media center.”
Other events still on the table are the Super Bowl Tailgating Party and the nationally-televised NFL Honors award show. However, Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, who also serves on the Super Bowl 2015 Host committee, didn’t seem too optimistic about Glendale keeping those events, either.
“Glendale still hasn’t resolved those issues,” Bidwill told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Monday. “Even though we raised this back in August, they still don’t have their hotels in the room block. They still haven’t resolved their parking problem. And they’ve lost events consequently. Super Bowl 49 is only 14-and-half months away. It’s going to be around the corner here before you know it. I think the other cities are really stepping up and doing a great job.
“We’re going to have terrific events in Phoenix and in Scottsdale and throughout the rest of the Valley. I’m excited about it. If Glendale chooses not to participate for whatever reason, that’s fine. It’s still going to be a terrific game. I’m hoping the Cardinals can be the first ever team to participate in a home Super Bowl.”
In October, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers admitted in a prepared statement that the city was partially to blame for some of the organizational issues that have arisen regarding Super Bowl XLIX events, although he reiterated that the city is ‘committed to fulfilling all of our responsibilities that were spelled out in our Super Bowl bid.’
Bidwill, though, doesn’t seem so sure.
“I’m very concerned,” said Bidwill. “They’ve made more decisions out there that have sort of charted the city on a course to where they’re not participating. We brought it to their attention back in August. I can’t explain some of the decisions they’re making at City Hall. They’ve chosen to take the course they’ve taken.
“They say that they’re ready. Well sure, their police cars, fire trucks and things like that are ready. But they still don’t have any of the hotels in that area, in the hotel room block. They still don’t have resolved about 2,220 parking spaces that they’re short, that they should have had nailed down for the NFL three years ago.”