By all accounts, Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona was a smashing success.
According to a study by Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, the event generated $719 million in total economic impact on the greater Phoenix area.
The game was pretty good, too. The New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24, clinching their fourth Super Bowl title in the closing seconds when cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted a Russell Wilson pass in one of the most memorable finishes in the game’s history.
The man in charge of the league was impressed, too.
“As a Super Bowl, we couldn’t be more pleased with the experience we had last year,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told Doug and Wolf Friday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I think we’ve had two since the stadium opened up and that community just did an extraordinary job — they made all of our guests feel welcome. I think they demonstrated how vibrant and how wonderful that community is.
“We look forward to coming back.”
Goodell will be in Glendale Sunday night as the Arizona Cardinals host the Cincinnati Bengals in the 100th game at University of Phoenix Stadium. All 100 have been sellouts. Goodell points out that the presence of the stadium, which opened in 2006, has made a big difference in the Valley’s profile as a viable NFL market and Super Bowl host.
But it’s not only about the venue, he adds.
“The most important thing is leadership and that community has demonstrated that leadership,” he said. “For me it starts with (Cardinals president) Mike Bidwill. I think his leadership has been extraordinary — not only in that community, but within the NFL and his fellow owners respect him a great deal.
“I rely on Mike a great deal. He’s got a position in the NFL that people admire and respect. And obviously, he was able to work with community leaders to build a stadium that is extraordinary.”
This year’s Super Bowl will be held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. NRG Stadium in Houston will host in 2017 and the yet-to-be opened US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis will host Super Bowl LII the next year.
No update on Daryl Washington
It’s been almost two full years since linebacker Daryl Washington has suited up for the Arizona Cardinals. The former Pro Bowler has been suspended since May of 2014 for a second violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
His status is still in limbo and the commissioner didn’t have much light to shed on the subject.
“Well, I can’t say much about it. As you know the NFL substance abuse program is something that is collectively bargained with the player’s association as part of the CBA,” he said. “A very strong tenet of that agreement is the fact that the program remains confidential and circumstances surrounding it stay confidential between the various parties.
“We have professionals that work on it. They make determinations. They work with individuals who are in the program and they make recommendations to both the NFLPA and the NFL. I am not directly involved with that, but I am aware that his status is unchanged and will remain so until the professionals are prepared to move that forward.”
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