Arizona prepares to host Super Bowl XLIX

Feb 12, 2014, 10:21 PM | Updated: 10:46 pm
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LISTEN: David Rousseau, AZ Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman

It was decided in October 2011 that Arizona would host the 2015 Super Bowl. Now less than a year away from the game David Rousseau is going into GM mode on draft day.

“We’re finally on the clock,” said Rousseau, Chairman of the Super Bowl host committee.

Rousseau and some of the committee went to MetLife Stadium this month for the latest Super Bowl to get a scope of how the biggest football game of the year is handled from a business perspective.

“The NFL did a great job of promoting the idea of ‘we will see you in Arizona next year’,” Rousseau told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I think we just have to capture that momentum and make the most of it and finish up our fundraising over the course of the next 60-90 days and then we’ll have one job of executing it.”

The trip to New Jersey included bracing for a predicted cold patch of weather that was abnormal for the Super Bowl and gathering prospective ideas for the third time Arizona will host the game.

“We felt like we needed to go and expose a cross-section of our staff and our sponsors to what is the latest and greatest from a NFL delivery standpoint on a Super Bowl,” Rousseau said. “Their predicted weather was sort of the story and I think as a result it kept a lot of otherwise interest that would normally percolate around a Super Bowl from happening.”

While it’s almost a guarantee that Glendale will be a warmer Super Bowl spot than East Rutherford, the committee is not looking away from possible problems regarding transportation and temperature.

“I think they did a great job on many fronts on managing transportation issues, at least from our perspective,” Rousseau said. “Unfortunately folks that were encouraged to take the train home after the game were met with a couple hour wait, but they were waiting in much milder temperatures than they anticipated.”

Rousseau was not involved in the host committee when the Super Bowl was last played in the University of Phoenix Stadium in 2008, however he praises his predecessor, Mike Kennedy, for showcasing Arizona’s assets. The chances of the Super Bowl returning were strengthened by upgrades to state-wide transportation, helping Arizona to be picked over both Tampa and Miami.

“That game set records at the time for the most watched television event ever,” Rousseau said of Arizona’s last Super Bowl. “The effort was successful in securing the bid for the 2015 game on the strength of investments that have been made in the Valley. Those have been regional investments including the Convention Center in downtown Phoenix and the light rail system that have since been installed since 2008.”

Eleven months away from kickoff in Glendale, tickets for the game have already been added to many people’s wish lists, but acquiring them is easier said than done. Rousseau says there simply aren’t enough tickets.

“Cardinals’ season ticket holders get to participate in a lottery for tickets and the NFL has its own lottery that runs through June,” Rousseau said. “I think the best thing we can all do to improve our chances in that lottery is to hope for another successful season for the Cardinals because as a participating team they would be the beneficiary of a big chunk of additional tickets.”

Training camp hasn’t even started yet and OTAs are at least two months away, however if the Cardinals were to make the Super Bowl, it would be the first time in NFL history that the host team would play in the game.

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