Ted Simons: Arizona's bid to host the 2015 Super Bowl is in. The state will be competing with Tampa for the big game. And here to talk about Arizona's effort is Mike Kennedy, chairman of the Arizona Super Bowl host committee. Good to see you again. Last time we talked it was right after the last time Arizona hosted a Super Bowl.
Michael Kennedy: It was, Ted, and we were celebrating.
Ted Simons: Yes we were.
Michael Kennedy: It went well.
Ted Simons: First of all, Phoenix and Tampa; how did it get down to those two?
Michael Kennedy: The NFL has modified the process a little bit--streamlined it. And actually, we had some input into that process. There were just too many players. And the NFL agreed; they've revised the process a little bit, and three months ago, almost out of the blue, they let us know that the two finalists for 2015 were Tampa and Arizona.
Ted Simons: And what does the league look for—what is the NFL looking for in a city to host a Super Bowl. Obviously a lot of things, but bottom line?
Michael Kennedy: The bottom line is they’re looking to maximize the enjoyment, the entertainment value, the dollars with their partners. So they have specifications they continue to fine-tune--things they want, and that's the cost of partnering with the NFL to host a Super Bowl.
Ted Simons: And when they tell you what they want, that's part of your bid and then some, correct?
Michael Kennedy: Exactly. There are specifications. We submitted a notebook last Friday that arrived Monday at the NFL in New York, and it outlines all the areas where we agree to comply with the bid--a guarantee, basically, and then there are a few things that aren't logistically possible, but we have to call those out.
Ted Simons: Give us an example. What are the—I mean a big folder like that has got to have a lot of specifics. Give us a couple.
Michael Kennedy: Well it--stadium access for several weeks before the game, after the game. Payment for -- well, private security, public safety. All sorts of specifications. Hotel rooms: must have 19,000 hotel rooms committed. 35,000 parking places. So it's all of the things that go into hosting an event like this, and this will be the 49th time. They know --
Ted Simons: They know. I’ll bet they do. When you say committed hotel, what does that mean? If I have Ted's hotel, do I have to basically say—what do I do?.
Michael Kennedy: There is a specification: a minimum number of nights that you agree that three nights you'll commit certain banquet space to go along with the rooms, and there’s a rate structure, and all the things that we did for 2008 have done a couple of different times for bids since then that were unsuccessful.
Ted Simons: Interesting. So okay, who decides? I mean is it some grand pooh bah somewhere? Is there a smoke-filled room? Who decides?
Michael Kennedy: Somewhere--a combination I guess of all of those: it is a room—it’ll be a room in Houston--the owners meeting in October, and the owners decide. So all of the owners vote, and we’ll make a five-minute presentation. Michael Bidwell and Bill Bidwell will make a presentation as well. The NFL staff will have scoured the bid and pointed out the pluses and the minuses and do a comparison between us and Tampa.
Ted Simons: How much more comfortable are you doing this knowing that you've done it before?
Michael Kennedy: It really helps a lot; it helps at every level, and the approach to the partners here, be it Glendale or the state or city of Phoenix --and they've been great partners—ASK was a great partner. And often overlooked is the role that the Cardinals play in this process, and Bill Bidwell and Michael just absolutely have their fingerprints everywhere here and are very important to the process and to the success of the process.
Ted Simons: Now, did Arizona –because I don't remember this—Did Arizona try to get the 2014 Super Bowl?
Michael Kennedy: We tentatively began -- well, we began the process, and we backed off. We backed off for two reasons: 14, 15 months ago, economically, the cities were talking about layoffs in the public safety area; it just didn't feel right. You might also remember at that time, New York and New Jersey were given a special weather exemption, and there's quite a precedent for a new stadium hosting a Super Bowl. So the combination of those two factors, it just didn't feel right to proceed, and as it turned out, I think -- I think that was going to be New York's Super Bowl. And there are a lot of reasons that makes sense, and it make sense for us: we touted that in 2003 when we were making our bid for the Super Bowl.
Ted Simons: I know some folks in Glendale are concerned that they spend a lot of money as far as security and all sorts of other things, and no one else in the community gets a benefit from the Super Bowl. Being here helps them out. How do you see that?
>> Well, I think this is a collaborative effort, and I think you can't look at it that sharply. There are costs that they incur, but Phoenix helps on the public safety side with SWAT teams for example. I think all of those rise with this event, Ted. I mean the economic impact of 2008 Super Bowl XLII was about $501 million. Everyone benefits: the people from Glendale, the small businesses in Glendale benefit. They recognize that, but in tough economic times, it is not irresponsible to look at the front-end costs of having to host this. I don't -- I don't -- I'm not critical of that, but I believe that the tangible --not even measuring intangible benefits--far outweigh the cost that you have to invest to have an economic engine like this come to your town.
Ted Simons: And one thing that struck me—and obviously 2015 is far in the future here—but you’ve got Westgate with some trouble out there right now. We don’t know. There could be dust devils and all sorts of things blowing through the streets. And the Coyotes who may be a memory by 2015. Was that a concern for you?
Michael Kennedy: Well, it is, but I don't think it's going to impact our bid; I don’t think it’s going to interfere with our success, and it underscores how much Arizona and Glendale need a win. We need a win here.
Ted Simons: Yeah.
Michael Kennedy: And I think that if we bring back the Super Bowl in October, I can't chart the course for how it will help those situations, but I know it's better for Westgate to address its problems with a Super Bowl on the horizon than if there weren't a Superbowl on the horizon.
Ted Simons: Last question: When people say Super Bowl--I drive to and from work—the Superbowl doesn’t mean much to me. How much does it really mean to the valley?
Michael Kennedy: Two things: Economic impact; it’s not a precise number but the magnitude is at half a billion dollars. The second point is we put our best dress on; we -- it's the pride. It’s the sense of “We can do this; we live in a great place.” And I think that the sense of this is a great place to be, and we all bond and group together as partners. I think that's really valuable for a community.
Ted Simons: All right. Mike, good to have you here. Thanks for joining us.
Michael Kennedy: Great to be here.