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Don’t worry, Congress won’t be canceling Arizona’s Super Bowl

PHOENIX — There’s a rumor story going around the Internet that a congressional failure could cause Arizona’s Super Bowl to be canceled.

Could it be true? Could Congress force the cancellation of one of the year’s biggest parties, an event expected to pump millions into Arizona’s economy?

Not a chance, Pro Football Talk reported.

We asked the NFL. And here’s what the NFL said: “The Super Bowl will be played.”

To get to the heart of the matter, we need to go back to 2002, when the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act was signed into law.

Designed to help insurance companies cover the costs of terrorist attacks, the TRIA established a risk-sharing program between those companies and the federal government. Basically, the U.S. will pick up a portion of the bill if the total insured losses from a terror attack top $27.5 billion. About 60 percent of large businesses, including professional sports leagues, have some form of terror coverage.

Rumors started circulating about the Super Bowl being canceled when it was noticed TRIA expires Dec. 31. Without the federal government’s backing, insurance companies would, theoretically, be on the hook for all claims resulting from a terror attack. Rather than continue to cover businesses, some insurers may opt to cancel those they feel have a higher terror risk, like a Super Bowl.

If it sounds convoluted, it is. There is no guarantee insurers would halt coverage because of TRIA expiring. There are two bills moving through Congress that would extend TRIA another five or seven years. Congress could also temporarily extend TRIA to buy some time. Basically, there are a lot of solutions to one problem.

There’s also that pesky NFL official who told Pro Football Talk the Super Bowl will be played, TRIA or no TRIA.

See you in Glendale on Feb. 1, 2015, everyone.