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Sharper Point: Will Arizona’s next Super Bowl be a win, a wash or a loss?

(Facebook Photo/University of Phoenix Stadium)

The Super Bowl. 

The name itself gets the football part of my brain all tingly. 

Now, the logical (non-tingly) part of me says I really shouldn’t get that excited about Glendale hosting Super Bowl LVII in 2023. I mean, we’ve already hosted three Super Bowls. It’s so — yawn. 

Except for the fact that (cue some gladiator music and give me some reverb) IT’S THE SUPER BOWL!

I guess it’s pretty obvious at this point that you should never put me at a negotiating table with the NFL. 

Problem is, nobody really negotiates with the NFL to land a Super Bowl. 

You basically beg the NFL for a Super Bowl. That’s why they use the term “award” when they talk about which city gets to host it. 

But is it a prize to be awarded?

That depends on whom you ask. 

There’s no denying the numbers are big. 

Nearly 122,000 people came to Arizona for 2015’s Super Bowl (XLIX for those who speak Roman numeral), and they stayed an average of four nights. 

One million people visited the Verizon Super Bowl Central in downtown Phoenix, and another half-million showed up at events in downtown Scottsdale. 

But how many of them were Arizonans? Arizonans who would’ve spent their Arizona dollars in Arizona anyway? 

But, we’re told, one has to look past the immediate economic benefits: Hosting a Super Bowl isn’t just about the people who are here at game time; it’s about the people who may come here at a later time. 

Super Bowl XLIX was the most-watched television program in the history of the U.S. 

It was broadcast in more than 100 countries and in nine different languages. 

More than 5,000 media people (from 23 countries) descended upon the Valley of the Super Bowl — er, Sun. That’s a lot of chatter on a lot of channels about how awesome Arizona is, right? 

Hmmm — I dunno. 

If I were an editor, a news director or any boss of a reporter that I spent limited resources to send to a Super Bowl, I wouldn’t be very happy if I found out that they’re checking out the Grand Canyon or Casino Arizona. I might order up one fluff piece on the gunfight show at Rawhide, but I sent them to cover the dang game. 

And if you live in an Arizona town where nobody from the media will visit — or talk about how great it is there (like my hometown up on the Utah border) — then the tax dollars you contributed are a loss for you. 

I say, let’s negotiate for our next Super Bowl instead of begging for it. 

And you know what demand number one should be? 

The Cardinals are automatically declared NFC champs and play in the Super Bowl, no matter what. 

I think that’s reasonable. It’s not like we’re asking to win. 


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