Super Bowl XLIX is nearly a year away from coming to the Valley, and one local mayor is already getting in the hosting mood.
This Sunday, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will be hosting a Super Bowl viewing party starting at 2:00 p.m. MST on the third floor of the Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix.
“I’ve made a commitment to the people of Phoenix, I will not be wearing a Speedo this weekend,” Stanton told KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos Friday. “With that being said, we’re going to be having several wonderful people there, including former members of the Cardinals.”
While the party offers Stanton and opportunity to meet and greet with some of his constituents, the Phoenix Mayor noted that it also serves as just another illustration of how the city can offer fun in the sun any time of year.
“This party is a polite reminder to the people that are going to be in frigid weather in New York — and we don’t wish ill weather on anyone — that when they come to Phoenix next year, it’s going to be beautiful,” said Stanton. “Make your plans right away.
“The Super Bowl is coming to the Phoenix area, and we are going to throw one heck of a party. Phoenix will show that we can be the very best host of massive events like the Super Bowl in the entire country, maybe in the entire world. New York is going to put on a good show this weekend, and we’re going to put on an even better show next year.”
Technically, the city of Glendale will be hosting Super Bowl XLIX, as the representatives from the AFC and NFC will meet inside University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb. 3, 2013.
Still, Stanton believes it’s incumbent on every Valley city to take ownership of their role as respective hosts.
“There should be some friendly competition,” said Stanton. “Every city in the Valley needs to up its game when it comes to being the very best host community for major events like the Super Bowl. Here’s the difference between the last time the Super Bowl was here and this time. Last time, downtown Phoenix was under construction. It wasn’t nearly what it is now.
“We’re so blessed now to have an awesome downtown with new hotels, convention centers, a light rail, things to do and great restaurants. Next year, downtown Phoenix is going to be the host of much of the action associated with the pre-game events. I want all the other cities in the Valley to have huge success when it comes to hosting the Super Bowl, as well. All I know is that Phoenix is ready to roll out the red carpet and be the very best host for a major event like the Super Bowl.”
The Valley’s ability to host a major event like the Super Bowl came into question earlier in the week, as Cardinals president Michael Bidwill called out Glendale officials for “acting selfishly” and showing signs of “shortsightedness” as it relates to planning for the big game.
When asked about it Friday, Stanton elected to punt. Instead, he focused on how Phoenix’s showing could go a long way towards securing future events.
“I can’t speak to the particularities of Glendale,” said Stanton. “All I can say this: Phoenix, not just the government in Phoenix but including the government in Phoenix, all of the downtown businesses, the small businesses, the entrepreneurs, the art community, we know the eyes of the world are going to be on our city next year. And so, we’re ready to put on an incredible, spectacular show.
“We know the better we do with the Super Bowl next year, other events [will follow] — the College Football Playoff Championship the year after, we’re vying to host a Final Four and we want both the Democratic and Rebublican National Convention to come to Phoenix. We want to be known as the very best host city in the country.”