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August 4, 2011

Host: Ted Simons

2015 Super Bowl Bid

  |   Video
  • Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman Mike Kennedy talks about Arizona’s bid to host the 2015 Super Bowl.
  • Michael Kennedy - AZ Super Bowl Host Committee
Keywords: sports, football, super bowl,

View Transcript
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.

Medicaid Enrollment Freeze Hearing

  |   Video
  • Arizona has capped enrollment for childless adults in the state’s Medicaid program known as AHCCCS. Meanwhile, a challenge to the enrollment freeze was heard this week in Superior court. Arizona Republic Reporter Mary K. Reinhart talks about what went on at the hearing.
  • Mary K. Reinhart - Arizona Republic
Category: Medical/Health   |   Keywords: medicaid, freeze, hearing,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: A hearing was held yesterday to determine the legality of a freeze on new enrollees in Arizona's healthcare plan for the poor. Here to tell us how the hearing went and to talk about the case is Mary K. Reinhart of "The Arizona Republic." Thank you for joining us. Good to see you.

Mark K. Reinhart: Good to see you too.

Ted Simon: What happened yesterday.

Mark K. Reinhart: well, attorneys for the state and AHCCCS back in court and Judge Mark Brian's—Brains’s excuse me—courtroom with facing off against attorneys for folks who either are already on AHCCCS or new plaintiffs who have been denied in the last few weeks since the freeze was put in place on for the program for childless adults; adults with either no children at all or no young children in the home.

Ted Simons: This was the same judge that did not allow the injunction, yet at the time this is different because now you've got patients actually affected, correct?

Mark K. Reinhart: Correct and one of the things that came out of yesterday is that all of the parties agreed they had standing, as you recall, before this all took effect and as Tim Hogan and these attorneys for public interest law firms were trying to get a freeze--an immediate halt--temporarily restraining order to this new cut, the judge at the time was like, “I'm not sure these people already on AHCCCS and aren't going to lose their coverage themselves, they effectively do something, don't fill out the proper paperwork, I'm not sure they have standing.” Now we have four new people, both sides, the attorneys for the state agree does have standing. She’s a woman whose child just turned 18, so that eliminates her from this program altogether; she no longer has healthcare coverage as of a few weeks ago. They hashed over the several arguments we’re heard before over the past couple weeks, what available funds mean, which is a key phrase that attorneys for the state are focusing on. It says if you force us to fund this population of people that voters said they wanted have funded back in 2000 under proposition 204, then you're effectively doing the job of the legislature. So they’ve made an argument that it's a separation of powers argument that the court has no business intervening and telling the legislature how to spend its very limited amount of money.

Ted Simons: The other side is basically looking at two different things: the voters by way of initiative wanted to expand and include these people, A, and B, the constitution, the Arizona constitution says once voters say something, the legislature can't come around and change it.

Mark K. Reinhart: That's right. I mean the key point is that proposition 204 passed by voters in 2000, expanded coverage to this group of people to anybody earning less than 100% of the federal poverty limit, but secondarily, voters also approved, a couple of years earlier, something called the voter protection act which, angry at the legislature for tinkering at things that the voters passed, and said, “No more: you can't change what we've done.” Tim Hogan and the attorneys for the AHCCCS plaintiff says that's what the legislature’s just done. This essentially--effectively wipes out proposition 204.

Ted Simons: You mentioned the separation of powers and the idea not being able to do the legislature's job is something that the state talked about. Did they also bring up—because we talked about this an awful lot--the idea you would supplement these funds with available monies, and the governor's office and the state were basically saying the state has no monies; thus, we have to put the freeze in. Was that mentioned?

Mark K. Reinhart: Oh, sure. Yeah, the world "available" was mentioned all the time in the hearings, and again it was yesterday.

Ted Simons: Ok.

Mark K. Reinhart: The -- what is interesting, though, that – is that phrase was put in there after a whole lot of other language that says you shall supplement. If this source of funding runs--the tobacco funds runs out, the proposition 204 says the legislature shall supplement it with other available federal, state or other sources of funding.

Ted Simons: And they’re saying there aren’t don't have any.

Mark K. Reinhart: There are none; we don’t have any.

Ted Simons: And what else is going on? As far as AHCCCS goes, I understand there are different aspects of the AHCCCS, the medicaid program, that are affected? Changed a little bit? Altered?

Mark K. Reinhart: Sure, this proposal, which is now in force--the freezing of the childless adult population was just one of I think 12 parts of the governor's Medicaid reform plan. A couple of these pieces already put in place; one of them eliminated a catastrophic healthcare plan. That happened back in May; it's frozen and will be over October 1st. And also other benefit limits take effect October 1st. Among them is a reduction to what's called respite care; you know, basically a break for families and caregivers who take care of mentally disabled or behaviorally disabled--long-term carm—people who have long-term care issue they get a break: they get about 700 hours a year. The benefit limits reduce that, not as much as AHCCCS originally proposed. The families went nuts ,and they were very unhappy about this, and they were listened to. They'll have a reduction by about 15%. Another thing that's going in is a 25-day limit to hospital--in-patient hospital stays. Anyone on -- any adult who stays over 25 days in a hospital, the hospital pays the bill.

Ted Simons: The hospitals can't be happy about that.

Mark K. Reinhart: No, they’re not happy about it at all.

Ted Simons: Yeah.

Mark K. Reinhart: And they want to know--what AHCCCS is estimating is that it will cost them $65 million just in this first year alone. The hospitals are saying, “Prove it. We have no idea what it's going to cost us.” So they're going to have a little meeting in about a week and a half, and they'll all figure it out I’m sure. That takes effect October 1st; barring anything else, it doesn’t need federal approval.

Ted Simons: How long before the judge is expected to decide on this?

Mark K. Reinhart: He has 60 days, but he says it will take—he expects--about two weeks, and other people I've talked to said he's a pretty snappy judge, so we expect it in a couple weeks.

Ted Simons: Alright. Very good. Good stuff. Thanks for joining us; we appreciate it.