So….got plans for Sunday?
While Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium hosts the game itself, the entire Valley and state stand to benefit from an influx of thousands of visitors, domestic and international media coverage and economic activity that can only be described as, well….super!
As I looked at the face being put on Downtown Phoenix last week in preparation for all the events taking place at what’s being called Super Bowl Central, I couldn’t help but marvel at the transformation our downtown and our community as a whole has undergone since the last Super Bowl here in early 2008.
Then, the Convention Center and Valley Metro’s light rail were still under construction. The Convention Center – which hosts the NFL Experience and other events this week – is now three times the size it was in 2008. CityScape now stands where Patriots Square Park was, and the Sheraton and Westin have added to our high-end hotel space. Arizona State University‘s downtown campus is a beauty and a spark for innovation and knowledge. This $4 billion investment in our infrastructure, attractions and transportation will pay off this week as our visitors, the country and the world see a landscape that is the envy of the Southwest and a model for a modern metropolis.
Since the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 17-14 on February 3, 2008, our economy has made a long, slow recovery and communities throughout the Valley and the state have made similar gains and improvements and stand poised to take advantage of the opportunities to come. This time around, there will be more visitors spending more dollars and making even more of an impact during Super Bowl week. Those visitors will also tell more people about the great time they had in Arizona, and that will help enhance our image around the country and the world.
So whether you’re watching the game from stadium seats, at a party with friends, or just from your couch – or whether you’re one of the more than half a million people who will attend the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale this week – you’re a part of something special. Enjoy it. And know that because of the hard work of our business community, Arizona is definitely back in the game.