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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Super Bowl XLII - Arizona Super Bowl XLII Host Committee Gets Ready For 2008 Game - AZCentral.com

Glendale prepping for Super Bowl XLII
Scott Wong

The Arizona Republic
Feb. 7, 2007 12:00 AM

MIAMI -When the clock hit zero Sunday night at Dolphin Stadium, and the Indianapolis Colts were crowned the NFL champs, planning efforts for Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale kicked into high gear.

This time next year, more than 175,000 visitors will flood the state in a span of a week. Hotels, restaurants and local attractions will be brimming with out-of-towners.

And game-related festivities, from an National Football League interactive theme park to swanky VIP parties, will extend to every corner of the Valley, making the region the hub of the football universe.

To pull off the colossal undertaking, organizers from the Arizona Super Bowl XLII Host Committee will need a solid foundation: an estimated $15million in public and private sponsorship and an army of 10,000 volunteers.

"There's no question, it's massive. And every day, the energy ramps up," committee President Bob Sullivan said earlier this week over the chatter of dozens of sports radio hosts broadcasting from the floor of the sprawling Media Center in Miami Beach. "It's daunting but it's calming, because (being here) allays some of the anxieties.

"The unknown becomes the known."

Sullivan is part of an Arizona contingent of more than 60 tourism, transportation, law enforcement and other officials that has been in Miami since last weekend. They've been scrutinizing everything from airport security and shuttle routes to jerk-chicken skewers at a media party.

Those are just a couple of the thousands of details that go in to planning for a weeklong extravaganza that attracts America's wealthiest executives and celebrities, is beamed to television sets in more than 230 countries and is expected to give a $400 million boost to Arizona's economy.

"Everybody wants a piece of the action," said Jack Clary, a former reporter and Super Bowl media consultant from Boston who has attended all but the first two bowl games. "It's grown from a media event into a business event."

Arizona organizers will tackle the mega-event by breaking it down into parts: media relations, hospitality, transportation, security and special events, among others.

The host committee's more tangible efforts include staging up to three exclusive media parties and organizing football clinics for 20,000 youths.

Also in the works is a downtown Phoenix block party, similar to the one held along Mill Avenue when Super Bowl XXX came to Tempe in 1996.

Carrying lessons from Miami, Arizona organizers also will draw from last month's Fiesta Bowl and BCS National Championship Game, both held at the Glendale stadium.


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