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Super Bowl drew record breaking crowds to Phoenix

PHOENIX — Downtown Phoenix had recorded breaking crowds due to the Super Bowl last weekend. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said out-of-town fans put the city’s employees to the test.

“This was the biggest event that we have ever held in Phoenix,” Stanton said

Mayor Stanton said public safety employees were tested Saturday night when a section of Verizon Super Bowl Central reached max capacity.

“We were as prepared as could possibly be for crowds of this size and magnitude and we are ready to do it again,” he said.

Here is a look at some of the city’s record-breaking numbers from Super Bowl Weekend:

• Valley Metro’s light rail doubled its previous record of most passengers in one day. 126,000 people rode the trains on Saturday which topped its previous high of 66,000. That was set December 7, 2013 when a Beyoncé Concert and ASU game caused a spike in travelers.

• The Phoenix Convention Center had 177,000 visitors over the weekend for the NFL Experience. The previous record was set in 2010 when 110,000 people visited the center for a Major League Baseball event.

• Sky Harbor estimated nearly 200,000 passengers were at the airport Monday due to a large number of Super Bowl fans leaving the Valley. The airport averages 100,000 passengers per day.

• There were more than one-million social media hits for “Phoenix” during Super Bowl week.

• Rental Car Companies in the Metro-Phoenix area had three times the average amount of rental car customers returning vehicles Monday.

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee is confident that the super-sized numbers translate into real difference locally, helping businesses and residents.

“We absolutely believe that the economic impact and the media impact of Super Bowl XLIX is… you almost can’t put a price on it,” said Jay Parry, President and CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. “Because it really does position us well for the future and being positioned as that world-class destination.”

With hundreds of thousands of visitors in the Valley, Stanton said he is extremely proud of the city and he believes every event related to the Super Bowl went according to plan.

“We as a city and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee were prepared for crowds that we had estimated up to one-million throughout the four nights of Verizon Super Bowl Central so I think that we were prepared,” he said.

KTAR’s Corbin Carson contributed to this story.

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