Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

February 2, 2009


Host: Ted Simons

Cardinals Super Bowl

  |   Video
  • For the first time in their history, the Arizona Cardinals went to the Super Bowl. What kind of an impact did the run have on our economy? Ted Simons talks with Ray Artigue, executive director of the Sports Business MBA program at Arizona State University.
Guests:
  • Ray Artigue - Executive Director, Sports Business MBA program at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: Arizona Cardinals,

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
It was one of the wildest Super Bowls ever. After taking the lead with under three minutes left, the Cardinals had saw the dreams of a Lombardi trophy vanish when Santonio Holmes got the touchdown pass for the Steelers with 35 seconds left in the game. The excitement may have generated some dollars with our hurting economy. I'll talk to an expert in sports economics with that but first the Cardinals got a warm welcome home today. [Cheering and applause]

Girl 1:
Yes, yes, I cried like a baby yesterday.

Girl 2:
Welcome home, boys! Whew-hoo!

Ken Whisenhunt:
Wow, wow, this is really special! It's really hard for me to find the words to thank everyone for coming out here today. After playing such a tough game last night and not coming out with a victory, this makes it so special to come home and see our fans support us like this. [Crowd chanting "let's go, Cardinals. Let's go!"]

Kurt Warner:
I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate you guys coming out here supporting us today. Obviously there was disappointed after the game yesterday. I'll tell you what, I couldn't be more proud to be part of a football team, football organization a football community than I was this year here in Arizona. I'll tell you what. I'm so proud -- so proud to call myself a Cardinal! [Cheering and applause]

Ted Simons:
And here to talk about the impact of the Cardinals on the economy is Ray Artigue, the executive director of the sports business MBA program at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. Good to have you here. I don't know if we'd get you or anyone else involved with anything sports wise tonight because everyone was exhausted after last night's game.

Ray Artigue:
Indeed. The state collectively just poured their hearts in the contest leading up to it these past two weeks and certainly the four-hour extravaganza that it was unfolding and we came just --

Ted Simons:
Yeah.

Ray Artigue:
-- That close.

Ted Simons:
Sure did. Economic impact of the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl. The economic impact here in Arizona. What is it?

Ray Artigue:
It well, it could be measured so many different ways. Really in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLIII, those playoffs games, having Atlanta here and then Philadelphia, games that otherwise wouldn't be played had the Cardinals not been in the playoffs. They bring their fans, their teams, coaches, media and all of that drives room nights, restaurant transactions and it stimulates spending in our marketplace where otherwise it would not take place so that's a boost at a time when we need it most even before we get to Super Bowl Sunday.

Ted Simons:
Is there a difference, a measurable difference -- would there have been a difference if the Cardinals had won the Super Bowl back here in Arizona?

Ray Artigue:
I think that the difference is very, very small. Where it would have been felt most is in merchandise sales. There was so much of that leading up to the Super Bowl game itself. And everybody loves a winner. It's the best marketing strategy out there. Had the Cardinals won yesterday, you wouldn't be able to find a piece of merchandise and they'd be continuing to manufacture it and send it into this marketplace selling it quite easily so those kinds of things are driven by victories.

Ted Simons:
In terms of numbers that could be measured, compare and contrast the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl with the Diamondbacks winning the World Series.

Ray Artigue:
Well, again, the World Series is a situation where the Diamondbacks played four of those seven games here in this marketplace. The other thing is we've got fans of the Yankees in that case coming to the market here. And so the Super Bowl is one of those events that take place on a neutral site, and it's not going to impact the participants of the game quite like the World Series or the NBA finals.

Ted Simons:
I would guess the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl this year was nowhere near the local economic impact of having the Super Bowl here last year.

Ray Artigue:
Well, that's right. Last year, we estimated that the gross economic impact of Super Bowl XLII was just a little bit over $500 million and that’s incredible. No single sporting event generates that kind of impact. So, no. This year, it's some percentage of that, but again, spending and positive impact that wouldn't have taken place had the Cardinals not played over these last several weeks and this past weekend in Florida.

Ted Simons:
I remember in years' past when we were still trying to get sports teams out here, one of the arguments always was, every time you open a sports section and there's a story about a game involving the Phoenix this or the Arizona that the by line says "Phoenix" and "Arizona" and that in and of itself is the promotion. Does that line of thinking still hold up? What are some of the ancillary benefits of having professional football teams, a, and successful professional teams.

Ray Artigue:
There’s a benefit to that. Yesterday I was post card sent around the world for Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona's blazing on the jerseys. The state flag. That's the kind of exposure via the broadcast that all the chambers of commerce combined couldn't afford to purchase in terms of exposing this marketplace around the country and the world. Now that impact is something that can't be measured immediately. It's indirect and it will unfold over months and really years as people maybe come into this marketplace for a vacation because they saw the blue skies and the mountains and some of these vignettes that NBC played over the four or five hours. They may come out for a conference or business meeting. In some rare cases, even relocate a business here because they were here for one of the playoff games, again from Atlanta or Philadelphia and it may have been a first-time exposure for them to our wonderful valley.

Ted Simons:
To that extent, do you think the FBR Open and spring training, how do you quantify what that means when people look at that golf tournament and they're in snowy, you know, in western Pennsylvania, for example, and they look at that golf tournament and go, gee, that doesn't look so bad?

Ray Artigue:
Absolutely. Yesterday on CBS, people, again, seeing our blue skies and the mountains and the trees swaying and people in short sleeves out there in the TPC enjoying this great weather. That does have an impact and it becomes -- it becomes a marketing tool for our conventions and visitors' bureau, the chambers of commerce. Spring training preceded much of everything else that we're talking about many decades ago bringing people out to the valley watching their team from a city where they reside and coming here to stay for weeks on end generating positive kinds of economic impact.

Ted Simons:
Ok, last question very quickly here, um, as far as an economic impact, how do you measure that? What do you do to measure the numbers?

Ray Artigue:
It’s all about room nights, how long people are here, how much their average daily spend is and very much becomes simple multiplication then to see how many people spent how much money while they were here and people, again, that normally wouldn't be here. That generated interest, excitement, exposure and spending.

Ted Simons:
I wish we could have won the doggone thing. Seems like the valley won any way. Thank you for joining us.

Ray Artigue:
You’re welcome.

Leonard Downie Jr.

  |   Video
  • Former Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie, Jr., has been hired to teach at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. We talk to Downie about his new post and his recently published novel, Rules of the Game.
Guests:
  • Leonard Downie Jr. - Professor, Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of journalism and Mass Communication and former executive editor, Washington Post


View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Leonard Downie Jr. worked in the "Washington Post" during the heyday of the American media, the Watergate scandal. He's now a teacher at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite school of journalism and mass communication. He also published a new book "The Rules of the Game" a novel about corruption and intrigue in the nation's capital. Here to talk about his new job and book is Leonard Downie Jr. Good to have you back on the program.

Leonard Downie Jr.:
Very nice to be back.

Ted Simons:
Ok, let's get to the novel, right? We talked about journalism while we were -- you were here last year. Why did you decide to write a novel?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
In the 2000 election, I felt I really wanted to bring everybody into the country into how you Washington works and the moral ambiguities of choices you have to make when you're dealing with power, the relationships between journalists, politicians and lobbyists and members of depress.

Ted Simons:
And there are pretty strong leaderships in this book. There's seedy stuff as well. With fiction, you can go overboard with things, correct?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
You can exaggerate things to make your point, involve the reader in what you want to say.

Ted Simons:
How long did it take you to write?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
Because it was my hobby, because I was running a newspaper at the time it took about five years.

Ted Simons:
We had Jim Lehrer on the program, a novel writer that wrote many books and his number one point to writing fiction was sit down and do it.

Leonard Downie Jr.:
Right.

Ted Simons:
Is that what you felt as well? Did you have to kind of almost force yourself?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
I guess I’m not as talented as Jim is but, no, I didn't have to force myself at all. I wrote when I felt like it. It was my hobby. I came to inhabit this world and these characters doing these things and I would wait until it weld up inside me and I had to sit down and write that better part of it. You know what happened -- it would happen during long walks it would happen late at nights sometimes. I had to get up out of bed and start writing.

Ted Simons:
When people say, don't wait for the muse, you say, go ahead and wait for the muse.

Leonard Downie Jr.:
In my case it worked that way.

Ted Simons:
As far as writing a novel, some folks say you’ve got to outline, you have to know where you’re going. If you're driving a car, you have to know where you're going. If you write a book, you have to know what you're going to write about. Others say don’t outline let the characters develop on there own. What do you say?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
Something happened to me, scenes and ideas would occur to me I would write those out. Then I would wait until I got to the part of the book where that scene took place. I can't tell you why that particular scene formed itself in my mind and was there waiting for the right time.

Ted Simons:
It’s almost like a form of discovery about you?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
It is, it actually is inhabiting somewhere inside yourself.

Ted Simons:
Point view, omnition. Why not the first-person?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
Because I’m a journalist. None of the characters are based on me in the book. Because I wanted to give different view points. I wanted people to feel that the President of the United States or the lobbyist as a chief character was just as important to understand as the young woman reporter was.

Ted Simons:
The comparisons with Sarah Palin with one of your characters, the comparisons to a young woman as a running mate to an older presidential candidate, who unfortunately later on meets a different fate, which is fine for us, but not for the character. But was that was thought of before Sarah Palin?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
Five years before I ever heard of Sarah Palin. I wanted to have a woman president in the book. I decided the way it would happen is the older senator would be nominated and surprise the country by picking a charismatic and inexperienced young senator woman to run with him. She was attack dog against the other tickets. The difference in real life -- as turned out in real life -- is that they won in this case. And he did not survive his term and she became president of the United States.

Ted Simons:
When the Palin pick was made public and it all happened, were you excited because now my book may click with some people or will -- were you thinking, oh no, they might think I’m a copycat.

Leonard Downie Jr.:
They couldn't have thought was a copycat. The book was out for printing already. Actually it was a little eerie for me. I know John McCain a little bit. I was worried for John McCain.

Ted Simons:
Considering the character doesn't make it. Do you have folks that come to you now and say you son of a gun, that’s me in that novel, isn't it?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
Not yet. There's one person in the novel who is based a real-life character. That's the editor of the paper who's got a small role in the novel. I based that on Ben Bradley because he was my mentor and I wanted to pay homage to him in a novel.

Ted Simons:
Were some of the characters, though, a compilation of people you’ve known?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
Yes, yes, yes. Obviously you pick traits from different people and ideas from different people you know. They meld together over time in your imagination. Sometimes they take on new traits you didn't even realize were going to be there but as you're writing, they become something a little different from what you thought they were going to be.

Ted Simons:
Indeed. There's so much in the way of gamesmanship, intrigue and chess matches going on in the book, you have to ask, are there any more Mr. Smiths or Jimmy Stewarts anymore in Washington?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
Not exactly, among other things because I don't think Jimmy Stewart could get elected now. You have to raise money. You have to navigate the right wing and the left wing and the media and everything and the internet and blogs and so on so that’s why I tried to explore that in the book. Not many people in the book are really bad in their motivations or are angels this their motivations but they're somewhere in between. They trying to make things better. They're trying to do their jobs right, but sometimes they feel they have to cut corners in order to do it. So the question is when you break the rules, are you breaking them? How seriously are you breaking them? What are the consequences for you? What are the consequences for the people you're with?

Ted Simons:
It’s so important to follow the money and follow the rules that are broken, etc. You're going to be teaching at ASU journalism students. How do you feel about that?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
I’m going to be teaching that subject in the spring semester of 2010. I'll be teaching journalism and decision-making. I'll go over some of the things in the novel. What kinds of relationships do you have with your sources? When do you make decisions about publishing the private lives of public figures? What do you do when the President of the United States says please don't publish that story because it'll harm national security?

Ted Simons:
Do you feel like now is the best time for you to enter academia?

Leonard Downie Jr.:
Yes. I've retired as executive editor of the "Washington Post". I wanted to devote some part of my life to help out the future of journalism.

Ted Simons:
There you go. Great book. Great to have you back on again. Thank you so much for joining us.

Leonard Downie Jr.:
Thank you.

state Budget Update

  |   Video
  • state lawmakers approved a budget for fiscal year 2009 over the weekend. We talk with House Majority Leader John McComish about the cuts made and what might be in store for the 2010 budget.
Guests:
  • John McComish - State house majority leader
Category: Legislature

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Hello. Welcome to “Horizon.” I’m Ted Simons. A new state lawmaker was named today. Tolleson Vice-Mayor Anna Tovar was named by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to replace Democratic representative Steve Gallardo in district 13. Gallardo quit the post last month after being reelected in November. The 34-year-old Tovar is a lifelong resident of Tolleson, she’s a Democrat, and a former school teacher and has been the city council there for eight years. State lawmakers worked until 2 am on Sunday to hammer out a budget fix on the current fiscal year budget, which had a nearly 1.6 billion dollar shortfall. The budget was made by hitting education the hardest. K through 12 educations took a $133 million hit. Universities were cut by $141 million. Community colleges suffered a $9 million rollback. Health care was also hit. Access targeted for $39 million in cuts. The Department of Economic Security was cut by $90 million. Corrections suffered a nearly $22 million loss in funds for the fiscal year that ends in June. Cuts totaled close to $600 million, nearly $600 million was made up by funds transferred and the rainy day fund and lawmakers are expecting $500 million from a federal bailout. Here to talk about the budget fix is house majority leader John McComish. Good to have you back on the program. Thank you for joining us.

John McComish:
Thank you, Ted. Nice to be here.

Ted Simons:
Um, health care, universities, k-12 education, big, deep cuts why so big? Why so deep?

John McComish:
Why so big? Why so deep? It's necessary. The constitution says we have to have a balanced budget. We were $1.6 billion in revenue behind what our projected expenses were so we had to find cuts and reductions otherwise to get there.

Ted Simons:
There was some thought some criticism there was a rush -- it seems there was a are rush by Republican leadership to get this done especially with the idea that a stimulus package might be on the way to help matters more than already anticipated. Your response.

John McComish:
That’s a fair comment. The background is had we waited beyond February 1, it would have cost us $160 million in potential savings we could have had we waited beyond that to enact. That gave us the incentive to push ahead and actually we've been looking ahead from our appropriations chairs and our joint legislative budget committee for several months. While it seems like we're moving quickly -- and we, in fact, did -- it was very necessary to get done by February 1 and we did.

Ted Simons:
And yet so many vital programs have been cut. Some are saying that the programs have been cut setting the state back four years. Again, your response.

John McComish:
Again, I have a similar response to your first question that we can only spend money that we have and, yes, some of the cuts were difficult and there are things that most of us would rather not have had to face but that's what we must do. What we tried to do in many instances to make them as palatable as possible and working with the stakeholders was for example in both k-12 and university education as well as with some of the state agencies, we tried to give them ultimate flexibility rather than saying, "You must cut this program. That program. The other program." We gave them lump-sum cuts and said, you're the experts. You're running this agency or whatever and you need to figure out best how to do it. We did the same thing with personnel. Instead of saying you have to cut x number of personnel, we said, "ok, you figure out the way. Is it furloughs? Is it reductions? Just how do you want to do that?" Understanding it's difficult we tried to give them as much flexibility within that.

Ted Simons:
You mentioned we can't spend money we don't have. What about finding money by way of a tax increase?

John McComish:
Ok, a tax increase, if we implemented a tax increase today, it wouldn't have any effect on this fiscal '09 budget. That's one thing. Thing two is that it would be very -- it takes a 2/3 vote of the legislature and the Governor would have to sign it and that's a pretty big mountain to climb for a tax increase. In addition there's the philosophical issue. Is it wise -- with the tax increase, is it wise to take money out of the economy when our residents and our businesses need all the money they can to promote our economic well-being.

Ted Simons:
The philosophical question being do you get that money over to the businesses as opposed to taking that money which is happening now to education and health care?

John McComish:
Yes, yes.

Ted Simons:
Do you blame the Governor for this?

John McComish:
Governor Brewer? No.

Ted Simons:
No. [Laughter]

John McComish:
[Laughter] Yes, Governor Napolitano has some culpability in my opinion in that we've known for quite awhile that this day of reckoning was coming. The Governor refused to recognize that. She kept hoping against hope that this was going to be a little bump in the road and was reluctant to take real cuts. You know had you taken more of a cut a year ago, six months ago, then that's less of a cut we would have had to have taken today so, yes, I put some of the blame at her feet. Certainly the economy is the biggest issue.

Ted Simons:
But what does that say about Republican leadership if the Governor and so many lawmakers are putting a lot of blame -- the Governor included with a pretty direct statement towards the previous administration. What's it say about G.O.P. leadership that Democratic Governor could do so much "damage" with both house and senate? Pretty rock solid there.

John McComish:
Yes, that's an interesting question and it is -- it -- what we say in the legislature is that it takes 31-16-1. The 31 and the 16 obviously are the members of the house and members of the senate and the Governor only has to negotiate with herself while we have to negotiate with -- we have 60 representatives, 30 senators and you have to try to appease all of that group and the Governor being only the one only has to satisfy herself so she's a little strong in the negotiating position because of that.

Ted Simons:
You mentioned all of the people that need to be appeased. There's also a line of criticism that says the Democrats were, a, shut out of the process and, b, there were secret meetings in the end to which Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans didn’t know what was going on.

John McComish:
My response to that is the Democrats were certainly included. I was in meetings where the Democratic leadership was kept up to date on exactly what was going on step by step. If they failed to pass that along to their members, then that’s on their shoulders and, yes, things were moving fast as we said before out of necessity so at times, it wasn't -- the process was not as, um, transparent to the public as we would have liked for it to be but it was because of the speed we had to move.

Ted Simons:
That should change for the '10 budget, too? The 2010 budget?

John McComish:
That’s absolutely our plan. Because we don't have it over our heads on the February 1 date, we’ll be much more transparent. It'll be much more of a process that goes one step to the next step to the next step.

Ted Simons:
Last question, Arizona is traditionally -- and we're not talking about construction spending here -- but per pupil spending is always pretty far down the list.

John McComish:
Uh-huh.

Ted Simons:
How do you change that? I mean, this is obviously not going to help matters at all. When is Arizona going to get passed ranked in the 40-something in per pupil spending?

John McComish:
That’s interesting again. One time we had three different sets of figures that showed we were ranked 49th. Not sure which it was. It depends on whose numbers you look at. Usually the statistics you're talking about don't include for capital expenses, Arizona being a growing state, we have considerable capital expense where an established state doesn't. If you look at total expenses, money and capital, we're in about the middle of the pack.

Ted Simons:
Is that good enough to be in the middle of the pack?

John McComish:
No. No. I think we ought to be -- we ought to strive for excellence certainly in performance. I don't know that we need to strive to be in the middle of the pack but we're not in total spending per pupil -- we're not at the bottom when you count total, total spending as we've been accused.

Ted Simons:
Thank you for joining us here.

John McComish:
Thank you.

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