Cardinals in the Super Bowl could be bad news for Arizona economy

Nov 4, 2014, 6:07 PM

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Arizona Cardinals fans have been busy recently, wearing their red and applauding their televisions, as their team has the best record in the National Football League.

Experts say the Cards, which are 7-1, have a real chance to play in this year’s Super Bowl, but not all Arizonans are rooting for that possibility.

Business leaders are concerned hosting the Super Bowl in Arizona while also having the state’s team participating would actually decrease the amount of revenue generated by the game. Many say less people having to travel to support their team would mean less hotel rooms booked, less airplane tickets sold and less shopping done by those who can just drive back to their homes after the game.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, ASU economists estimate that last time the Super Bowl was hosted in Arizona, it generated about $500 million. If both teams are from out-of-state, more than 100,000 people would likely come to Phoenix, economists said.

But if the Cardinals are playing, that number will be greatly reduced.

But the news isn’t all bad, Cards fans.

Ray Artigue, president of the marketing firm Artigue Agency, told in-state tourism is something businesses should consider.

“I think there absolutely would be interstate tourism, where fans from Flagstaff and Tucson and around the state would come to cheer their team, the Arizona Cardinals,” he said.

Ben Bethel, the general manager of the local Claredon Hotel and Spa, also told businesses shouldn’t underestimate the number of business and press travelers.

“It’s not just the two cities that we’re getting people coming from for the game,” he said. “It’s an enormous amount of press, which I think is one-third of the people who come for the Super Bowl,” Bethel said.

Regardless of what happens economically, most agree having the Cardinals in the Super Bowl would propel their brand beyond Arizona, as a recent map by The Atlantic showed their following ended strictly at the state lines.

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Cardinals in the Super Bowl could be bad news for Arizona economy