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Valley economist says impact of Super Bowl is legit — and could be huge

Super Bowl T-shirts and souvenirs are displayed for sale, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. The Seattle Seahawks play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, Feb. 1. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

PHOENIX — A Valley economist said there is no reason to be skeptical about the potential payoff of another Super Bowl in Arizona.

The state can expect a huge windfall when Super Bowl LVII is held at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale in 2023, Jim Rounds of Rounds Consulting Group told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona Morning News on Thursday.

“The Super Bowl is quite different and that’s why we are seeing these huge numbers — and they’re real. … It’s such a large number and it’s such a fun story,” he said.

Estimates for the potential economic impact on the area ranged from $700 million to $1 billion.

“The difference with the Super Bowl is you have people coming in from out of state, so they would have been spending their money in their home state and now they’re spending it here,” Rounds said. “That’s what makes the impact so large.”

A study by Arizona State University found the 2015 Super Bowl had a $720 million economic impact on Arizona.

Having events like the Phoenix Open at the same time as the Super Bowl can only help, Rounds said, because visitors would be more likely to stay in the area longer and spend more money than they otherwise would.

“That person that might of maybe stayed in another city for three days might be willing to stay for a week or two here, so I think they build off one another,” he said. “I think it’s one of those things where a rising tide lifts all ships.”

On top of that, Super Bowl travelers include business owners who could see all the state has to offer and perhaps be convinced to relocate their companies here.

“Every medium or small business that pays decent wages, we’re adding another $100 million in economic impact, maybe $200 million,” Rounds said. “We potentially could double the economic impact just from bouncing around, promoting how great the state is.”

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