Super Bowl XLIX adds $205 million to Phoenix region

30 January 2015 3 min. read
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Each year the unofficial holiday known as “Super Bowl Sunday” kicks off in the US, and is globally known to be most watched event in America. This year is expected to be no different, with the 1st of February slated by PwC to be another winner, this year for the Greater Phoenix Area, with an estimated $205 million touchdown in Direct Spending. This is the first of a number of high profile events to be held in the Arizona.

The Super Bowl every year creates considerable excitement among people from all over the world. In America it holds the record for the most watched television event, with 111.5 million tuning into to the 2014 event. This year the contest between the rival football ‘conferences’ (formally rival football leagues), the AFC and NFC, to decide the National Football League (NFL) will take place in at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Super Bowl

In an economic impact analysis of the event by PwC, the benefits of the event on the Greater Phoenix Area has been estimated to touch down at a near record high of $205 million. The number includes direct spending by businesses, visitors, and media. The breakdown of the spend is on lodging, transportation, food and beverage, entertainment, business services, and other hospitality and tourism activities. The analysis is “proprietary” in so far as it reflects the unique characteristics of the year’s event, including participating teams, local market attributes, national economic conditions, and scheduled corporate and other ancillary activities.

The positive effects of the event for the area will in reality be considerably larger since the analysis does not take into account “multiplier effects,” producing “indirect” impacts from, for instance, company's purchase of goods from local producers and manufacturers, and “induced” impacts, which involves the income increase of workers, which is circulated through the local economy.

“This year’s projection is the second highest on record, however the inflation adjusted result is approximately 2% lower than our estimate for Arizona’s last Super Bowl in 2008; the market benefiting that year from pre-recession spending levels and a slightly higher profile game matchup involving a New York market team and the Patriots attempt at a perfect season,” says Adam Jones, director, sports and tourism sector, PwC US.

Super Bowl - Estimated Direct Visitor Spending

Events in Arizona
The Super Bowl is only the start for the Phoenix market, with an “unprecedented series of mega events” to run over the coming three years. The series of events includes the CFP Championship in 2016 and NCAA Final Four in 2017. These events signal, according to PwC, that the “Arizona’s coming of age as a special event destination capable of hosting not only its recurring annual calendar of activity, but rotations of the country’s most high profile events.”

Jones further notes: “This year, Super Bowl week will offer a unique test of the market’s maturity as it also hosts the annual Phoenix Open golf tournament over the same week, an event that has continued to increase in scale and impact since the market last hosted the Super Bowl in 2008.  While crowding or displacement effects are possible, their effects are likely to be mitigated by the market’s increased hotel supply, air access, light rail system, dispersed geography, and other attributes associated with a well-established winter tourism destination.”