2015 Super Bowl in Arizona: What’s Different This Time?

by Sue Kern-Fleischer

Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee

Photo courtesy of Slingshot Photography/Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee

Arizona will be in the global spotlight leading up to Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, which many hope translates to a boost in our economy. A lot has changed since we hosted Super Bowl XLII seven years ago, when the economy was declining. “Downtown Phoenix doesn’t look anything like it did in 2008,” says Jay Parry, president and CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.“When visitors walked out of the Hyatt, the Phoenix Convention Center and Valley Metro light rail were both under construction. Now, we are operational, and in the case of the Phoenix Convention Center, it is three times the size it was back then, so those are significant investments that will be showcased.” Since 2008, $4 billion has been dedicated to revitalizing and energizing the infrastructure, hotels, restaurants, transportation and parking enhancements in Downtown Phoenix. CityScape and the Westin and Sheraton hotels are also new.

The statewide economic impact for just the week of Super Bowl is anticipated to be in excess of $500 million, resulting from the estimated 100,000 visitors coming to experience the festivities and Arizona. Additional economic impact is expected from hosting Pro Bowl 2015, the week preceding Super Bowl. “From a foundation standpoint, we are able to give back more than $2 million to nonprofits in Arizona through our Legacy Grant Program in partnership with Host Committee sponsors and the NFL Foundation. Those funds support regional nonprofits focused on education, youth health and wellness, sustainability and overall community enhancements,” Parry says. “In addition to the financial boost, there will also be increased community pride as a result of being a part of something as big as Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.”

The Big Game’s host city, Glendale, has budgeted $2.1 million in support of the Super Bowl, compared to $2.8 million spent in 2008. Since the last Super Bowl, Glendale has added more than 90 new company locations or expansions, attracted or retained more than 11,000 jobs, and absorbed or constructed more than 6.3 million square feet, which is the equivalent of adding more than five Arrowhead Town Centers. After the last Super Bowl, it was reported that Glendale lost $1.8 million, but Jean Moreno, Glendale’s Super Bowl project manager, says that number came from using the City’s economic impact study number in comparison to actual expenditures. “The intent was to provide some general information, but such a comparison cannot be relied upon in terms of accuracy because it is not comparing apples to apples,” Moreno says. “It is impossible to determine actual revenue increases that result from an event because the data cannot be isolated and there are too many confounding variables. But in general, hosting an event like the Super Bowl is certainly an economic driver for the entire business community, ranging from hotels and restaurants to private transit providers, event planners and mom-and-pop shops.” However, $500 million is the figure generally recognized as the revenue Phoenix’s previous Super Bowl brought to the state.

In addition to the direct economic benefits of hosting the Super Bowl, Arizona is looking forward to increased exposure to a wide variety of markets and visitors. Glendale’s marketing department tracked media contacts and stories during the 2008 Super Bowl and estimates that, in the week before the game, Glendale alone had more than 3,000 broadcast stories, which equates to approximately 350 million impressions at an estimated publicity value of $16 million.

Looking Back at 2008

When Phoenix hosted the Super Bowl in 2008, it generated revenue of about $500 million. The revenue projection for the upcoming 2015 Super Bowl is based on that figure. Other findings of economic impact studies include:

Phoenix Lodging Performance


(Jan. 31 – Feb. 3)
Change from 2007
(same period)
Average occupancy 83.4% + 18/3%
Average daily rate $306.12 + 108.6%
Average revenue per available room $255.47 + 145.9%

Source: Smith Travel Research

Super Bowl Visitor Profile & Economic Impact

Visitors Average Number
of Nights
Spending Per
Person/Per Day
Ticketed 3.5 $765 $269.8 million
Non-ticketed 4.6 $367 $78.6 million
Total direct 3.9 $617 $218.0 million
Induced $130.4 million
Indirect $152.2 million
Total with indirect and induced $500.6 million

Source: Super Bowl XLII Economic Impact Study by the W.P. Carey School of Business

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