Super Bowl XLIX brought an economic boom to Arizona

GLENDALE, Ariz. – 114.4 million people tuned into Super Bowl XLIX, making it the most-watched television program in history. It was a colossal hit on television, and it was just as big a hit for the state of Arizona.

A recent study completed by the Seidman Research Institute, W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, determined that Super Bowl XLIX, the 2015 Pro Bowl and other events related to the games brought in a gross economic impact of $719.4 million to the region.

It’s the largest economic impact of any special event ever held in the state of Arizona, as well as the highest for any Super Bowl in which publicly released figures are available. To put it in perspective, Super Bowl XLII – played at University of Phoenix Stadium in 2008 – had a gross economic impact of $500.6 million (2008 dollars), based on research gathered by the W.P. Carey School of Business.

“This is tremendous news for our economy and a strong testament to the exceptional work of everyone involved,” Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said. “The eyes of the world were on Arizona, and we delivered in a big way. I look forward to our state hosting many more successful championship games and major events in the future.”

The study – commissioned by the Arizona Commerce Authority in partnership with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee – was centered on a nine-day period from January 24th through February 1, 2015, coinciding with the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl, which were also played at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 25th and February 1, respectively.

The gross economic impact is defined as the direct amount of spending by visitors and organizations arriving from outside the state to participate in or create events directly related to the Super Bowl, as well as the indirect and induced impacts of those expenditures, often described as “ripple effects.” Resident and local business spending was not included.

On-site surveys were conducted at events around the Valley over the nine day period by teams of trained individuals from the W.P. Carey School of Business. Data was collected from out-of-town visitors who stated that the main reason for their visit to the Phoenix Metropolitan area was for the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl and/or associated events. The data was collected across multiple days at multiple sites to sample diverse socio-economic and demographic groups.

Here are some of the findings from the Seidman Research Institute at W.P. Carey School of Business report:

  • An estimated 121,775 visitors came to Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX and/or the Pro Bowl. Those visitors stayed an average of 3.99 nights.
  • An estimated 5,033 out-of-town media members came to Arizona and stayed an average of 7.1 nights (up from 4.1 nights for Super Bowl XLII in 2008).
  • The $719.4 million economic impact for Super Bowl XLIX represents a 30.8% increase over Super Bowl XLII in Arizona (adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index inflation calculator, which expressed that the 2008 economic impact dollars have the same buying power as $550.1 million in 2015.)

Here’s some more proof that Super Bowl XLIX was a smashing success:

  • More than 1 million people visited Verizon Super Bowl Central in downtown Phoenix, and 500,000 people enjoyed events in downtown Scottsdale during the week.
  • Verizon Super Bowl Central was the first reduced waste event of its size at a Super Bowl. The Kick the Waste Initiative resulted in 73% diversion rate from landfill to recycling.
  • 177,000 people attended the NFL Experience, a record attendance at the Phoenix Convention Center.
  • On the day before Super Bowl XLIX, 126,000 people rode Valley Metro Light Rail, doubling the previous single-day high. Throughout the week, Light Rail ridership totaled 389,500 – also a record.
  • Sky Harbor Airport served 175,000 passengers the day after Super Bowl XLIX – a single day record for the airport.
  • Super Bowl XLIX was televised live in more than 170 countries and territories. More than 23 countries provided on-site coverage from Arizona, and the game was broadcast in nine languages from University of Phoenix Stadium (Mandarin Chinese, Danish, English, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish).
  • Arizona was the first host community to offer a website and social media in Spanish and to create cross-border partnerships with Mexico business and tourism entities.
  • More than 100 stations broadcasted live from Radio Row at the Super Bowl Media Center in downtown Phoenix.
  • Legacy Grant Funds in excess of $2 million were awarded to 27 Arizona non-profits to benefit over 400,000 kids. This was made possible by sponsors of the Super Bowl Host Committee, the Arizona Cardinals and the NFL.


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