PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : Arizona Plots Game’s Legacy

Associated Press

If the Super Bowl influences Arizona the way forecasters are predicting, the dollars left behind after next weekend will seem like a drizzle compared to the downpour the state will feel in coming years.

In addition to the $187 million local economists expect to be dropped in Arizona during Super Bowl week, there will be other tangible goodies: $1 million donated by the NFL for a new youth center, $4 million in charities raised by Super Bowl related events, improvements to Sun Devil Stadium, not to mention an estimated 15 tons of leftover food.

However, if Arizona falls in line with past Super Bowl locales, the real legacy will be in exposing its development boom to the eyes of the world.


“To be honest, there are a lot of people who still think Arizona looks like Saudi Arabia,” said Rich Warnick, a Phoenix tourism and real estate consultant. “The benefits Arizona sees in January 1996 are not the issue. Our belief is that the Super Bowl will create significant long-term benefits.”

“It’s reached a new status,” said Don Weiss, executive director of the NFL from 1977 until he retired in 1994. Weiss has worked at every Super Bowl since the first, 30 years ago at the Coliseum. That game, which featured Kansas City and Green Bay, involved three weeks of planning and $12 tickets.

Today, it takes 2 1/2 years to plan a Super Bowl and tickets officially cost $200-$350; unofficially, scalpers say they’re running from $1,200-$4,000 apiece.

A legacy some Arizona Cardinal fans hope the Super Bowl will leave is a newly charged enthusiasm for football.

Cardinal owner Bill Bidwill has launched a public campaign for $200 million for a new dome, saying Sun Devil Stadium isn’t sufficient for an NFL team. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said last month that Arizona’s shot at another Super Bowl “will depend in part on what happens with a stadium here.”