SBD/October 3, 2013/Events and Attractions

Glendale Shoots Down NFL's Concerns Over City's Inability To Host Super Bowl Events

Glendale Exec Communications Dir Julie Frisoni said that the city is “well-positioned to play host" to Super Bowl XLIX and that "concerns about the city’s ability to do so are misplaced,” according to Paul Giblin of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. NFL execs had warned that “without significant progress by city officials on a number of fronts, the game may be the only NFL-sanctioned event staged in the city.” City leaders “plan to meet with NFL executives, sponsors and VIPs as well as tour Valley facilities in November.” Frisoni and other “top administrators outlined the city’s preparations to date, noting that planning has been under way for some time.” Frisoni also "questioned whether the NFL Experience truly was stripped from Glendale, since the mega-event has been staged indoors and miles from stadiums where the Super Bowl has been played in recent years." She said that Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee members "championed the idea of clustering more Super Bowl events in downtown Phoenix when they submitted their bid for the game two years ago, so the NFL Experience probably was headed to Phoenix all along." But NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy "disputed that suggestion." He said that the Host Committee "submitted a proposal that included provisions for the attraction near the stadium in Glendale." Giblin noted the proximity of the NFL Experience to the stadium "is made on a case-by-case basis each year." Glendale City Councilman Gary Sherwood said that NFL execs "could be stating concerns about parking as a way to bolster" Cardinals President Michael Bidwill’s "longstanding desire for a parking garage near the stadium." Sherwood: “They’ve been after parking and that might be an ulterior motive." But McCarthy said that NFL execs' concerns about parking "solely are related to the Super Bowl" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/2).

IT'S UP TO YOU, NEW YORK: A panel at the '13 CSE Sports Marketing Symposium this morning focused on plans for activation and engagement around Super Bowl XLVIII in New York/New Jersey, the first cold weather Super Bowl. While the weather could pose challenges, NFL Senior VP/Events Frank Supovitz said the league “wanted to make sure we’re prepared for winter, but we also want to put our arms around it and really embrace the winter.” The most unique attraction of Super Bowl Boulevard, which will stretch down Broadway Ave., will be toboggan rides. Supovitz said the league “made a decision very early on that we were not going to sell retail merchandise or sell food and beverage on the boulevard so the local businesses could do that.” In addition, the local Macy’s is going to have a full-scale Super Bowl retail store on its fourth floor. In terms of sponsorship, New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee President & CEO Alfred Kelly said the roster as of this morning boasts about 106 partners, and the committee has raised “in the neighborhood” of $60M for the event. Kelly also said the league and the Host Committee are creating "bus programs for all of our big sponsors" to ease transportation concerns. He added, "That’s going to take care of 15,000 people that go there, and we’re creating something we’re going to call the "Fan Express," which is going to be where we’re going to set up scheduled bus stops in Manhattan and different parts of New Jersey" (Jillian Fay, Staff Writer).
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