By Mark Carlisle
Glendale wants to bring the Super Bowl back in 2023.
The Glendale City Council voted unanimously Tuesday, March 27 to declare support for the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee’s efforts to have Glendale host Super Bowl 57 in 2023. Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium where the Cardinals play hosted Super Bowl 42 in 2008 and Super Bowl 49 in 2015.
A decision on the site of 2023’s big game could come as soon as May 23-25, during the NFL’s league meetings in Atlanta.
Phoenix passed a similar declaration of support a week earlier, and Glendale officials hope other regional cities will join in similar shows of support.
“Participating as a regional partner with the state, other cities in our region and the host committee supports the mutual desire to create opportunities to enhance the economy, attract visitors and increase commerce for the benefits of all Arizona residents,” said Jean Moreno, executive officer of strategic initiatives and special projects during the March 27 meeting.
An Arizona State University study found that the 2015 Super Bowl in Glendale had a $172 million impact on the state.
The resolution approved by Council commits the city to providing “all reasonably necessary governmental services at no cost.”
Different this time would be that the state, not Glendale, would be responsible for providing public safety and Glendale hopes and expects to host more events surrounding the big game. City officials hope these changes would make the game more profitable for the city.
The 2023 Super Bowl is the soonest NFL championship not already claimed by a host stadium. The NFL will also select Super Bowl hosts in a new way beginning this year. Rather than cities presenting time-consuming, high-profile bids to NFL owners, who choose among the bids, the league will select which city it wants to host and begin negotiations with that city. The process is intended to give the league more control of site selection.
The text of the agenda item presented to Council acknowledged the new selection process but noted it would not change the criteria the NFL requires of a host city. The resolution stated that the NFL requested a declaration of support from Glendale.
For the past two Glendale Super Bowls, many of the marquee events surrounding the big game have taken place in Phoenix and Scottsdale. This time, Glendale officials aim to land more of those events in the city.
Councilman Bart Turner of the Barrell District mentioned that since the last Glendale Super Bowl in 2015, the city has added more amenities such as hotel rooms, restaurants and retail stores and will add more by 2023.
“So, we will actually have increased dramatically the number of opportunities for visitors to the area to stay in Glendale, spend their money in Glendale and therefore to supply tax revenue to the city,” he said. “So, I’m not in favor of having taxpayers subsidize professional sports, and I actually think, hope, pray that by 2023 when the Super Bowl comes, we’ll actually be making money this go-round.”
Written into the resolution was an intent to negotiate with the host committee, a private, non-profit corporation responsible for leading the state’s efforts to land the Super Bowl, to ensure Glendale gets a fair shake for the free services it provides for the event.
“New for this particular resolution is a commitment that the host committee intends to negotiate a marketing agreement with the city of Glendale that would account for the city’s in-kind and monetary contributions in exchange for mutually agreed-upon benefits,” Ms. Moreno said.
The biggest change from past Super Bowls is Glendale won’t be responsible for providing all public safety for the game. The resolution states that the Arizona Department of Public Safety will be officially charged with providing public safety inside the stadium and in parking lots controlled by the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority during events. Glendale is responsible for public safety throughout the rest of the city.
The Glendale Fire Department is similarly charged with providing fire and emergency medical services throughout the city while AZSTA is responsible for those services inside the stadium and in AZSTA-controlled parking lots.
The reduced responsibility for public safety was one reason Councilwoman Joyce Clark of the Yucca District, which contains the stadium, voted yes. Ms. Clark voted for a similar resolution for the 2008 Super Bowl and against the resolution for the 2015 Super Bowl.
“The host committee, the city, the Cardinals, we all seem to be working well together, and I believe that there are opportunities for the city of Glendale to participate in activities surrounding the Super Bowl that we did not enjoy during the last hosting. And that is valuable to Glendale in terms of recognition,” Ms. Clark said.
The 2019-2022 Super Bowls, respectively, will be in Atlanta; Miami Gardens, Florida; Tampa, Florida and Inglewood, California. The 2022 Super Bowl will take place in the new stadium of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, which is currently being constructed.
Among Glendale’s competition for 2023 will be the Dallas Cowboys’ 100,000-seat AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and the Las Vegas stadium in Paradise, Nevada currently under construction where the Raiders will play next season and beyond. Both cities have also expressed a desire in recent months to host 2023’s big game.
In addition to hosting two Super Bowls, University of Phoenix Stadium has also hosted college football’s Fiesta Bowl including three college football every year since 2007, three national football championship games, the NFL’s 2015 Pro Bowl and men’s college basketball’s Final Four last year. The stadium opened in 2006.
Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe hosted Arizona’s first Super Bowl, Super Bowl 30, in 1996.
Mark Carlisle can be reached at 623-876-2518 or firstname.lastname@example.org.