CRONKITE SPORTS

Super Bowl coming back to Arizona in 2023

May 23, 2018, 6:42 PM
The last time the Super Bowl landed in Arizona was 2015. A study suggested an economic impact of $7...
The last time the Super Bowl landed in Arizona was 2015. A study suggested an economic impact of $720 million by Super bowl XLIX. (Aimee Cash/Cronkite News)
(Aimee Cash/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – For the fourth time, the Super Bowl is coming to Arizona.

The NFL announced on Wednesday that Super Bowl LVII, to be played in 2023, will return to the Arizona Cardinals’ home field, University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. It will be the third time the venue has hosted the event.

The decision came as a surprise to many who thought Las Vegas, which is building a stadium to accommodate the Raiders’ move to the city, would be awarded one first.

The proposal was approved by unanimous vote by the league’s owners and was the first time the league utilized its new process for awarding the Super Bowl, where the NFL “approaches a prospective bidder to put together a proposal” instead of putting multiple markets through a traditional bidding process, NFL.com reported.

“We’re thrilled by the unanimous vote,” Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill told NFL.com. “And we look forward to making this the most fan-friendly Super Bowl in the history of Super Bowls, and bigger and better than any Super Bowl. So we’re excited to host it.”

Arizona last hosted the event in 2015, when the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24, in a game remembered for Patriots’ defensive back Malcolm Butler’s iconic interception late in the fourth quarter.

Arizona native and ASU alumnus Zach Miller was a member of that Seahawks squad. He told Cronkite News this week that having the event return to his home state “is great.”

“As often as it can be here … it makes sense,” he said. “It’s a great city. You see that with all the spring training fans that want to come here. It’s awesome to see as a player.”

The 2023 game will be the fourth time the Phoenix metropolitan area has hosted the Super Bowl (in addition to the 2008 and 2015 games in Glendale, Super Bowl XXX was played at the Cardinals’ former venue, Sun Devil Stadium, in Tempe in 1996). Only the Miami, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Tampa metropolitan areas have hosted the game more times. No market will host the game more often than Phoenix between 2008-2023.

“It is a testament to the stellar reputation that our community has earned for staging world-class events and there are none bigger than the Super Bowl,” Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman David Rousseau said in a statement on azcardinals.com. “We clearly have the facilities, the infrastructure and most importantly the people to execute an event that has proven to have such a profoundly positive impact on our region.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey spoke at the Wednesday press conference announcing the decision, calling it “fantastic news for the state of Arizona.”

The two most recent Arizona Super Bowls have made significant impacts in the area’s economy. The 2008 game generated over $500 million in “direct and indirect spending by visiting fans and organizations.” according to a study performed by Arizona State’s W.P. Carey School of Business. The 2015 game earned $720 million in economic impact for the Phoenix area, according to another ASU study.

“This is a tremendous economic impact for the state of Arizona,” Ducey said. “We look forward, from food service to restaurants and culinary experiences and hospitality, to pull out all the stops and make this the best possible Super Bowl that Arizona has ever hosted.”

Miller, a graduate of Desert Vista High School who played eight seasons in the NFL after an All-American career at ASU, said the Phoenix market is a favorite among NFL players.

“There’s a reason so many guys in the offseason train here,” said Miller, who retired after the 2014 season. “Guys like the city. I’ve had teammates move here who aren’t even from here.”

Miller also said the game helps grow the sport locally at a grassroots level.

“As a kid, you are going to know the Super Bowl is in your town,” he said. “It creates a good hype for your city that as a player you definitely notice in high school or Pop Warner or youth.”

The 2023 Super Bowl will be the third hosted by the Cardinals since Bidwill became president of the franchise and is the first Super Bowl proposal the state has won since Ducey became governor.

“I want to say how grateful I am to have a leader like Michael Bidwill in the state of Arizona to be a partner in showing what Arizona is to the entire world,” Ducey said.

Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers believes the announcement was a product “of the hard work and dedication of the many different community and business leaders coming together to present the NFL owners with an attractive Arizona package.”

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