Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

January 4, 2007


Host: Michael Grant

College Bowl Games


  • The Fiesta Bowl played at the University of Phoenix Stadium is a game still being talked about. The BCS Championship game will be played there Monday. Find out how stadium and Glendale officials are dealing with the big bowl games. Brad Parker of the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority and Jennifer Reichelt of the City of Glendale will talk about stadium management and traffic issues.
Guests:
  • Brad Parker - security and public information, Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority
  • Jennifer Reichelt - City of Glendale


View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on Horizon it was inauguration day both at the Capitol and in Washington. Hear what some of those sworn in had to say. And watching grass grow can be somewhat exciting especially when it's actually being rolled out. But nothing like the excitement created by the Fiesta Bowl: University of Phoenix Stadium and Glendale officials hoping for even more excitement in the upcoming BCS championship game. Find out how they dealt with the big bowl games. That's coming up on Horizon.

Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight. Members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Michael Grant:
Good evening. Welcome to Horizon. I'm Michael Grant. Newly-elected Democratic Congressman Harry Mitchell sworn in today by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Democrats took control of the House and the Senate. Mitchell surrounded by family as he took the oath of office. Here in Arizona the five statewide top office holders raised their right hand and took the oath of office administered by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Here are excerpts of speeches made by four of the top officer holders. We'll hear from the governor right after those comments.

Tom Horne:
Though my remarks will take only a moment, I hope you will vividly remember what I am about to say. Arizona students perform above the national average. I'm going to repeat that because it surprises many people. Arizona students perform above the national average. Today I want to give praise to our unsung heroes, our Arizona educators. Over 600,000 Arizona students take the Terra Nova test every year. This national test is the principal means by which we can compare the knowledge and skills of Arizona students with students throughout the rest of the country. On the Terra Nova test, Arizona students perform above the national average. [Applause] On the Scholastic Aptitude test, Arizona students perform above the national average. On the A.C.T. College Entrance exam, Arizona students perform above the national average.

Dean Martin:
As your chief financial officer of the state's bank, I'm the steward of over $11 billion of your taxpayer money. Our first priority is the safety and security of those dollars. But we must also provide liquidity to make sure that we have the resources for this fast-growing state. And while we were entrusted with your money, I will endeavor very hard to make sure that we provide great yield so that your tax dollars can go farther. The new treasurer's office will be more open than ever before. I plan to develop new technology to open up the government's finances. Because again, it's your money, not the government's. And you deserve to know what we're doing with it.

Terry Goddard:
Usually I find what the attorney general's office does is described in terms of what we fight against. So this morning I'd like to turn the tables a little bit. In the spirit of the New Year and the new term emphasize what I and my office stand for. We are for making the playing field in Arizona, in the Arizona market place, level for all consumers. Free from deception, scams and other rip-offs. We are for building our office's reputation for excellent legal advice so there is absolutely no doubt that we provide more than 150 state boards, agencies and commissions the very finest legal representation in the land. We are for going the extra mile to prevent crimes and making Arizonans the most knowledgeable consumers and internet subscribers in the nation. We're especially targeting to protect our seniors and our children, our most vulnerable populations. We are for keeping our state free of discrimination and ensuring equal opportunity for all Arizona's citizens. And most importantly, we're for keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe and for making Arizona the fastest and most dynamic state in America. An even better place to live, to retire and to invest.

Jan Brewer:
It seems like more than just four years ago that I first embarked upon this amazing challenge as serving of secretary of state. It's a position that brings with it great responsibility. And it is something that I have taken very, very seriously. And I absolutely love it. I'm extremely proud of the amazing accomplishments that my staff and I have made, including major election reforms that have put Arizona among the leaders of the entire nation. We have introduced new state-of-the-art voting equipment into over 2,000 polling locations. I might mention without any complications. And we increased voter registration and participation to the highest levels Arizona has ever seen. Still there's much work to accomplish. And I look forward to working directly with the 2007 legislative leaders, the great leadership, of course, of the speaker Jim Weiers and president elect Jim bee to meet the many many goals and objectives that I have laid out for the next following years.

Michael Grant:
Culminating event at the state's capitol today was the swearing in of Governor Janet Napolitano to a second term. Here is a portion of the speech the governor gave after her inauguration.

Janet Napolitano:
Today marks another milestone in the journey we began together four years ago. A journey has had its turbulence. Forest fires, drought, a broken pipeline, budget deficits. And it has had its tragedies. Many young Arizonans went overseas to fight for our country, and many did not return. And for them and for their families, I ask that we now observe a moment of silence.

Janet Napolitano:
Yet in spite of our trials we have moved Arizona forward. We've invested in our schools, expanded our economy, built everything from roads to laboratories, and forged our future. We have today what is in every sense a new Arizona, one in which innovation, pride and strength have allowed us to address many of the challenges that we faced four years ago, and to build on where we have been. That is the theme of this inaugural day, reflecting on our past, building for our future, one Arizona. And it is that one Arizona that I dream of, one Arizona. I wish the quality of the education of our children is so good they compete with pride with the best graduates from every corner of the world one Arizona that because of that education foundation, is a place where science and research flourish, where cures are found and technology is advanced. One Arizona, a place where families are confident and secure in the knowledge that we are constantly moving forward together. There was a small news item just before the holidays that may have caught your interest. It certainly did mine. Arizona is now officially the fastest growing state in the nation. Nevada, step aside. [applause]

Janet Napolitano:
I doubt you were surprised by that news. Neither was I. But it confirms two things: first, that Arizona is truly a place people want to be. We have a way of living others want, and we have reason to be proud of it. And second, our rate of growth will challenge us to think differently about everything. How we build our road and schools, how we plan for new homes that are within reach both financially and geographically. How we grow new businesses and in turn launch an even stronger Arizona economy. In short, our challenge is to innovate. And indeed, as we reflect on Arizona's past, we quickly see that Arizonans have been innovators throughout our history. Take, for example, the hohokum people who took desert land and added to it a canal system that we use to this day and made the land flourish. A more modern Arizona we developed the hard hat. We were the first in the world to make an artificial heart work as a bridge to transplant. And we placed cutting edge tools for discovery on the planet Mars. Yet as we reflect on the innovators and innovations of the past we must also stay in close touch with the harder realities of our history. Only four years ago this state was mired in deficit. And we had neglected the most vulnerable among us, our children and the elderly. When I stood here four years ago, I said these words: "generations to come will not remember us or how we balanced the budget. Instead, they will remember us for how we educated our children, how we protected our seniors, how we built a new economy, and how we made this wonderful state an even better place to live." I still believe those words today. So as we re-- [applause]

Janet Napolitano:
So as we reflect on our past and see it clearly, we also must think about how we are building for our future. On Monday I will deliver my state-of-the-state address. And the following Friday my budget proposal. In them you will hear about our continued effort to improve education and produce 21st century ready students. You will hear how we will continue to support all Arizona families and how we will foster smart, cooperative growth planning so that we know that there will be enough water, enough schools, enough teachers, enough jobs, enough open land, so that we know that for a fact we are building thriving and sustain about communities.

Michael Grant:
The field that University of Phoenix Stadium resodded this week in preparation for the BCS championship game between number one Ohio State, number two Florida. The game follows an incredible Fiesta Bowl match up won 43-42 by Boise State, Oklahoma. Grass isn't being replaced by all the trick plays by Boise State but rather to make the field look good for the upcoming championship game. I'm talk to a Glendale official and a tourism official about the bowl games. First Mike Sauceda tells us more about watching grass being rolled out.

Mike Sauceda:
This is how you lay nearly 100,000 square feet of new sod on a football field in one day.

Scott Norton:
It's a pretty quick process. Pretty amazing. 95,000 square feet of sod, grown locally here. And kind of a cool feature is that once the game is done, actually it will be in place for our international soccer game on February 7 team U.S.A. versus Mexico. Then after that the field turf will be donated on behalf of the Arizona sports and tourism authority and the Fiesta Bowl to Saguaro High School in Scottsdale. So it will go to a good home.

Mike Sauceda:
In some spots the grass field is in pretty bad shape. Norton says this is the first time the entire field has been resodded.

Scott Norton:
Being in the national spotlight, we wanted to -- resodding the whole thing.

Mike Sauceda:
The new sod is laid over the old sod and is the same variety as the current field. Norton says the grass will stay in place during play.

Scott Norton:
I think based on these guys are professionals. Once they get it in place and so forth. I think once it acclimates and gets a little water in it I don't anticipate any issues.

Michael Grant:
Here to talk about the bowl games and traffic and stadium management is Brad Parker. He is in charge of security and public information for the Arizona sports and tourism authority. Also joining me is Jennifer Reichelt. Marketer for the city of Glendale. Brad, I could use some of that turf once you get through with it in my backyard.

Brad Parker:
Well, it's pretty great stuff as you see how fast it went down. It's very thick, an inch and a half thick, 95,000 square feet. It's going to provide a very pristine surface for this national championship, national TV coverage that we expect.

Michael Grant:
If I recall correctly, because the capacity goes up for a game like the BCS championship or the Super Bowl or whatever, isn't part of the area that you supplement the seeding with the area where they roll the field out and they roll the field in?

Brad Parker:
That's absolutely correct. We go from a 63,400 feet configuration of permanent seats and we expand it up to 73,000 for these mega events like the Fiesta Bowl, BCS, Super Bowl. The majority go in the slot where this famous field end field goes. Now that seats are in what we did is laid an entirely new overlay over the top of the existing field that was used for the fiesta bowl.

Michael Grant:
Jennifer, pretty big times for Glendale.

Jennifer Reichelt:
Exciting times for Glendale. We're very happy with Monday night and the Fiesta Bowl. We couldn't have asked for a better game.

Michael Grant:
Any fear out there that it's not possible to national championship game can't possibly top the Fiesta Bowl game?

Jennifer Reichelt:
Definitely not. I know the fiesta bowl was great but BCS we know that we're going to see even more people come out. The fans are -- we know there are going to be even more people who don't come out. People who don't have tickets. We're expecting record-breaking crowds to come out to be part of the festivities. So Monday will be even bigger and better.

Michael Grant:
What kind of -- any estimates in terms of how many people, you know, you've got coming in there over a -- I don't know, pick your time frame -- the ten day period or something like that?

Jennifer Reichelt:
We know for each game there are 73,000 tickets that are available for each game. And then above and beyond that are a number of people who are coming just to enjoy the festivities, to be part of that fan experience. So probably close to 200,000 people probably are going to just come out to that area to Glendale sports and entertainment district.

Michael Grant:
You guys scrambling to handle the influx of media and that kind of thing?

Brad Parker:
Well, we've certainly seen a huge influx of media, particularly from Ohio and Florida, of course. But it's a huge national story with a lot of affiliates that are actually coming here. I know the Fiesta Bowl media centers at the Camelback Marriott and I know a lot of media at other area hotels around Glendale. So it is a huge influx. And the great thing is that there has been some brand-new space that nobody's seen yet that has been built out by the fiesta bowl and by us to accommodate media underneath the north stands.

Michael Grant:
And the stadium was built, was it not, with a lot of extra capacity for the -- I mean, when you look at the game on TV, you don't realize how much wiring and other equipment is necessary for those kinds of broadcasts.

Brad Parker:
Well, and the advances in fiber optics as well. And Ethernet type of cabling. You're right. It's huge, it's gigantic. Yet the amount of space that's taken up in those cable trays is surprisingly small now because of the technological advances. So we have the satellite trucks that are actually hooked in and plug right into the building because the building is smart wired.

Michael Grant:
What about, Jennifer, the traffic conditions out there? How did it go for the Fiesta Bowl?

Jennifer Reichelt:
Monday night was very smooth. We were excited and very happy with that. And a lot of it had to do with the message getting out about how to get out to the stadium. But people pre-purchased tickets. The other thing, there were events going on all day. So people came out as early as 9:30 in the morning to start tailgating. They came out to the Fiesta Bowl biggest tailgate party ever. We saw a lot of people coming in buses. So traffic really moved smoothly. We were very pleased with that. I think we learned a lot during the Cardinal season and we put a lot of that into practice.

Michael Grant:
I was just going to say it's nice, and I know to a certain extent there was some planning involved there. But you'd had a series of pretty large dry runs over the past four or five months on that score.

Jennifer Reichelt:
Definitely. Monday night football has been definitely that. Everything we learned through the whole Cardinals season we put into play. What we learn now we're going to put into play for Monday night, for the BCS game. We'll continue to learn and revamp and what we need to revise. We work with the stadium staff, with Brad's folks we continue to relook at things and make sure things work and whatever works best for our fans and people attending the game.

Michael Grant:
Brad, there's always shake down cruises with everything that is new. How's this shake down cruise been, obviously bringing the stadium up for the regular season, transitioning into these bowl games? I mean, I'm sure there's been some bumps in the road.

Brad Parker:
Well, the things you talked about and that Jennifer alluded to as well was first of all the planning that went. In second the design of the stadium to be as flexible as it is, to be able to move a field in and out, retract the roof. We have great parking accessibility. And from Jennifer's standpoint that I'd like to mirror, all of these events that keep going on, they add this institutional learning that we have. And of course, all of these events help prepare us for the Super Bowl coming up in 2008.

Michael Grant:
And let me go back to a point, Jennifer, that you made. There is -- because we've talked about a couple of the developments on the program here in the past couple, three months -- there's more and more stuff coming up around the stadium which I think helps, both in terms of the overall experience as well as in terms of, okay, well, I don't need to go out there right at 2:00. I can maybe go out there at 10:00 in the morning or whatever the case may be.

Jennifer Reichelt:
Yes. West Gate is now open. The first phase of development, which is about 500,000 square feet of entertainment, restaurants, stores, and there's a movie theater. There's activities for people to do. So you're exactly right. People can come out throughout the day. There's movies to go to, restaurants to eat at, things to do with your family. So they can come out and make a day of it, which is nice.

Michael Grant:
What's the big giant outdoor sporting store that's out there?

Jennifer Reichelt:
Cabellos is out there as well right across the street from West Gate. It's called -- 120,000 square feet. It's like a Mecca for anybody who likes to hunt and fish and camp. It's an amazing store.

Michael Grant:
Some people go out there and actually camp three or four days.

Jennifer Reichelt:
They do. It's amazing. People plan family vacations to come there. It's great.

Brad Parker:
She's not kidding. They actually do. People travel from around the region just to come to the store.

Michael Grant:
Yeah. I mean, I don't want to talk up Mesa here but I know there's a competitor opened up out there. Until that happened I wasn't aware of this phenomena. They draw regionally.

Jennifer Reichelt:
People travel up to three states away to come. We actually were researching to bring Cabellos to Glendale when we look at visitor statistics, it's going to rival the Grand Canyon in terms of the number of visitors it attracts which is amazing. It just really has that pull. A lot of people have only seen their catalogs so very interested in going inside the store. It's a full on experience.

Michael Grant:
Now, the soccer game was mentioned after the BCS championship game. Is that kind of the next major at least sports flash point?

Brad Parker:
Well, we've had all of these events that have been going on. In fact, we've been booked solid since we opened except for one week in thanksgiving when we literally went dark so we could practice putting in the temporary seating. And we continue to see bookings that will continue to keep us busy. And so when you look at the problem -- you and I have been talking about this project for the last three years.

Michael Grant:
A long time.

Brad Parker:
It's here. And everything that's been going on that we talked about, the benefits that were going to accrue to it -- Cabellos is a perfect example. All of these benefits are starting to come into the community because of these events.

Michael Grant:
That obviously will throw off a lot of ancillary and other activity for the area.

Jennifer Reichelt:
Definitely. There's more things for people to do, it becomes more of a destination draw. But also creates more traffic, more things for people to do throughout the day. So it's good things.

Michael Grant:
This time next year it's going to be, well, almost, Super Bowl time. I assume there's a lot of lessons being learned both sides from Fiesta Bowl and certainly the bowl championship game that can be applied and help out there?

Brad Parker:
Absolutely. From everything from traffic and parking to media to security as well. So all of these things, all the agencies that we're involved with, they are using this as a way to prepare themselves for this 2008 game.

Michael Grant:
Of course, as major as the BCS championship game is, the Super Bowl really takes it up another three or four notches. We were talking about for example the international media element involved.

Brad Parker:
Well, we call the BCS the Super Bowl of college football. But you know, nothing has that kind of visibility like the Super Bowl does. 141 million people watch that on TV. So it's quite an international event that's going to be focusing all the eyes on our metro area. Which you take a look at what are the benefits that that can derive, and that's priceless visibility for us.

Michael Grant:
And I assume Glendale's already starting to ramp up for that thing. Well, it has been ramping up.

Jennifer Reichelt:
Definitely. We'll begin our marketing campaign to really push Glendale as we get ready to gear up for the Super Bowl. One thing that's interesting about the Super Bowl is the number of people that have tickets is a very small number. But the number of people who come to be a part of the festivity, the NFL experience, or just to see their football stars. It's just amazing. And everybody wants to be a part of it.

Michael Grant:
Jennifer Reichelt, thanks very much for being here. Brad Parker, good to see you again and best of luck.

Brad Parker:
Thank you.

Announcer:
Governor Janet Napolitano is sworn in for a second term in office. And in a brief speech describes her hope of one Arizona. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor also swore in four other statewide office holders including new state Treasurer Dean Martin. This and more on the Journalists' Roundtable Friday at 7:00 on Horizon.

Michael Grant:
Those stories and probably we will dream up even more tomorrow on Friday's edition. Thank you very much for joining us on a Thursday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

Inaugurations


  • The Governor and other top state officials were inaugurated today. Hear what they had to say after their inauguration.
Guests:
  • Brad Parker - security and public information, Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority
  • Jennifer Reichelt - City of Glendale


View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on Horizon it was inauguration day both at the Capitol and in Washington. Hear what some of those sworn in had to say. And watching grass grow can be somewhat exciting especially when it's actually being rolled out. But nothing like the excitement created by the Fiesta Bowl: University of Phoenix Stadium and Glendale officials hoping for even more excitement in the upcoming BCS championship game. Find out how they dealt with the big bowl games. That's coming up on Horizon.

Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight. Members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Michael Grant:
Good evening. Welcome to Horizon. I'm Michael Grant. Newly-elected Democratic Congressman Harry Mitchell sworn in today by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Democrats took control of the House and the Senate. Mitchell surrounded by family as he took the oath of office. Here in Arizona the five statewide top office holders raised their right hand and took the oath of office administered by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Here are excerpts of speeches made by four of the top officer holders. We'll hear from the governor right after those comments.

Tom Horne:
Though my remarks will take only a moment, I hope you will vividly remember what I am about to say. Arizona students perform above the national average. I'm going to repeat that because it surprises many people. Arizona students perform above the national average. Today I want to give praise to our unsung heroes, our Arizona educators. Over 600,000 Arizona students take the Terra Nova test every year. This national test is the principal means by which we can compare the knowledge and skills of Arizona students with students throughout the rest of the country. On the Terra Nova test, Arizona students perform above the national average. [Applause] On the Scholastic Aptitude test, Arizona students perform above the national average. On the A.C.T. College Entrance exam, Arizona students perform above the national average.

Dean Martin:
As your chief financial officer of the state's bank, I'm the steward of over $11 billion of your taxpayer money. Our first priority is the safety and security of those dollars. But we must also provide liquidity to make sure that we have the resources for this fast-growing state. And while we were entrusted with your money, I will endeavor very hard to make sure that we provide great yield so that your tax dollars can go farther. The new treasurer's office will be more open than ever before. I plan to develop new technology to open up the government's finances. Because again, it's your money, not the government's. And you deserve to know what we're doing with it.

Terry Goddard:
Usually I find what the attorney general's office does is described in terms of what we fight against. So this morning I'd like to turn the tables a little bit. In the spirit of the New Year and the new term emphasize what I and my office stand for. We are for making the playing field in Arizona, in the Arizona market place, level for all consumers. Free from deception, scams and other rip-offs. We are for building our office's reputation for excellent legal advice so there is absolutely no doubt that we provide more than 150 state boards, agencies and commissions the very finest legal representation in the land. We are for going the extra mile to prevent crimes and making Arizonans the most knowledgeable consumers and internet subscribers in the nation. We're especially targeting to protect our seniors and our children, our most vulnerable populations. We are for keeping our state free of discrimination and ensuring equal opportunity for all Arizona's citizens. And most importantly, we're for keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe and for making Arizona the fastest and most dynamic state in America. An even better place to live, to retire and to invest.

Jan Brewer:
It seems like more than just four years ago that I first embarked upon this amazing challenge as serving of secretary of state. It's a position that brings with it great responsibility. And it is something that I have taken very, very seriously. And I absolutely love it. I'm extremely proud of the amazing accomplishments that my staff and I have made, including major election reforms that have put Arizona among the leaders of the entire nation. We have introduced new state-of-the-art voting equipment into over 2,000 polling locations. I might mention without any complications. And we increased voter registration and participation to the highest levels Arizona has ever seen. Still there's much work to accomplish. And I look forward to working directly with the 2007 legislative leaders, the great leadership, of course, of the speaker Jim Weiers and president elect Jim bee to meet the many many goals and objectives that I have laid out for the next following years.

Michael Grant:
Culminating event at the state's capitol today was the swearing in of Governor Janet Napolitano to a second term. Here is a portion of the speech the governor gave after her inauguration.

Janet Napolitano:
Today marks another milestone in the journey we began together four years ago. A journey has had its turbulence. Forest fires, drought, a broken pipeline, budget deficits. And it has had its tragedies. Many young Arizonans went overseas to fight for our country, and many did not return. And for them and for their families, I ask that we now observe a moment of silence.

Janet Napolitano:
Yet in spite of our trials we have moved Arizona forward. We've invested in our schools, expanded our economy, built everything from roads to laboratories, and forged our future. We have today what is in every sense a new Arizona, one in which innovation, pride and strength have allowed us to address many of the challenges that we faced four years ago, and to build on where we have been. That is the theme of this inaugural day, reflecting on our past, building for our future, one Arizona. And it is that one Arizona that I dream of, one Arizona. I wish the quality of the education of our children is so good they compete with pride with the best graduates from every corner of the world one Arizona that because of that education foundation, is a place where science and research flourish, where cures are found and technology is advanced. One Arizona, a place where families are confident and secure in the knowledge that we are constantly moving forward together. There was a small news item just before the holidays that may have caught your interest. It certainly did mine. Arizona is now officially the fastest growing state in the nation. Nevada, step aside. [applause]

Janet Napolitano:
I doubt you were surprised by that news. Neither was I. But it confirms two things: first, that Arizona is truly a place people want to be. We have a way of living others want, and we have reason to be proud of it. And second, our rate of growth will challenge us to think differently about everything. How we build our road and schools, how we plan for new homes that are within reach both financially and geographically. How we grow new businesses and in turn launch an even stronger Arizona economy. In short, our challenge is to innovate. And indeed, as we reflect on Arizona's past, we quickly see that Arizonans have been innovators throughout our history. Take, for example, the hohokum people who took desert land and added to it a canal system that we use to this day and made the land flourish. A more modern Arizona we developed the hard hat. We were the first in the world to make an artificial heart work as a bridge to transplant. And we placed cutting edge tools for discovery on the planet Mars. Yet as we reflect on the innovators and innovations of the past we must also stay in close touch with the harder realities of our history. Only four years ago this state was mired in deficit. And we had neglected the most vulnerable among us, our children and the elderly. When I stood here four years ago, I said these words: "generations to come will not remember us or how we balanced the budget. Instead, they will remember us for how we educated our children, how we protected our seniors, how we built a new economy, and how we made this wonderful state an even better place to live." I still believe those words today. So as we re-- [applause]

Janet Napolitano:
So as we reflect on our past and see it clearly, we also must think about how we are building for our future. On Monday I will deliver my state-of-the-state address. And the following Friday my budget proposal. In them you will hear about our continued effort to improve education and produce 21st century ready students. You will hear how we will continue to support all Arizona families and how we will foster smart, cooperative growth planning so that we know that there will be enough water, enough schools, enough teachers, enough jobs, enough open land, so that we know that for a fact we are building thriving and sustain about communities.

Michael Grant:
The field that University of Phoenix Stadium resodded this week in preparation for the BCS championship game between number one Ohio State, number two Florida. The game follows an incredible Fiesta Bowl match up won 43-42 by Boise State, Oklahoma. Grass isn't being replaced by all the trick plays by Boise State but rather to make the field look good for the upcoming championship game. I'm talk to a Glendale official and a tourism official about the bowl games. First Mike Sauceda tells us more about watching grass being rolled out.

Mike Sauceda:
This is how you lay nearly 100,000 square feet of new sod on a football field in one day.

Scott Norton:
It's a pretty quick process. Pretty amazing. 95,000 square feet of sod, grown locally here. And kind of a cool feature is that once the game is done, actually it will be in place for our international soccer game on February 7 team U.S.A. versus Mexico. Then after that the field turf will be donated on behalf of the Arizona sports and tourism authority and the Fiesta Bowl to Saguaro High School in Scottsdale. So it will go to a good home.

Mike Sauceda:
In some spots the grass field is in pretty bad shape. Norton says this is the first time the entire field has been resodded.

Scott Norton:
Being in the national spotlight, we wanted to -- resodding the whole thing.

Mike Sauceda:
The new sod is laid over the old sod and is the same variety as the current field. Norton says the grass will stay in place during play.

Scott Norton:
I think based on these guys are professionals. Once they get it in place and so forth. I think once it acclimates and gets a little water in it I don't anticipate any issues.

Michael Grant:
Here to talk about the bowl games and traffic and stadium management is Brad Parker. He is in charge of security and public information for the Arizona sports and tourism authority. Also joining me is Jennifer Reichelt. Marketer for the city of Glendale. Brad, I could use some of that turf once you get through with it in my backyard.

Brad Parker:
Well, it's pretty great stuff as you see how fast it went down. It's very thick, an inch and a half thick, 95,000 square feet. It's going to provide a very pristine surface for this national championship, national TV coverage that we expect.

Michael Grant:
If I recall correctly, because the capacity goes up for a game like the BCS championship or the Super Bowl or whatever, isn't part of the area that you supplement the seeding with the area where they roll the field out and they roll the field in?

Brad Parker:
That's absolutely correct. We go from a 63,400 feet configuration of permanent seats and we expand it up to 73,000 for these mega events like the Fiesta Bowl, BCS, Super Bowl. The majority go in the slot where this famous field end field goes. Now that seats are in what we did is laid an entirely new overlay over the top of the existing field that was used for the fiesta bowl.

Michael Grant:
Jennifer, pretty big times for Glendale.

Jennifer Reichelt:
Exciting times for Glendale. We're very happy with Monday night and the Fiesta Bowl. We couldn't have asked for a better game.

Michael Grant:
Any fear out there that it's not possible to national championship game can't possibly top the Fiesta Bowl game?

Jennifer Reichelt:
Definitely not. I know the fiesta bowl was great but BCS we know that we're going to see even more people come out. The fans are -- we know there are going to be even more people who don't come out. People who don't have tickets. We're expecting record-breaking crowds to come out to be part of the festivities. So Monday will be even bigger and better.

Michael Grant:
What kind of -- any estimates in terms of how many people, you know, you've got coming in there over a -- I don't know, pick your time frame -- the ten day period or something like that?

Jennifer Reichelt:
We know for each game there are 73,000 tickets that are available for each game. And then above and beyond that are a number of people who are coming just to enjoy the festivities, to be part of that fan experience. So probably close to 200,000 people probably are going to just come out to that area to Glendale sports and entertainment district.

Michael Grant:
You guys scrambling to handle the influx of media and that kind of thing?

Brad Parker:
Well, we've certainly seen a huge influx of media, particularly from Ohio and Florida, of course. But it's a huge national story with a lot of affiliates that are actually coming here. I know the Fiesta Bowl media centers at the Camelback Marriott and I know a lot of media at other area hotels around Glendale. So it is a huge influx. And the great thing is that there has been some brand-new space that nobody's seen yet that has been built out by the fiesta bowl and by us to accommodate media underneath the north stands.

Michael Grant:
And the stadium was built, was it not, with a lot of extra capacity for the -- I mean, when you look at the game on TV, you don't realize how much wiring and other equipment is necessary for those kinds of broadcasts.

Brad Parker:
Well, and the advances in fiber optics as well. And Ethernet type of cabling. You're right. It's huge, it's gigantic. Yet the amount of space that's taken up in those cable trays is surprisingly small now because of the technological advances. So we have the satellite trucks that are actually hooked in and plug right into the building because the building is smart wired.

Michael Grant:
What about, Jennifer, the traffic conditions out there? How did it go for the Fiesta Bowl?

Jennifer Reichelt:
Monday night was very smooth. We were excited and very happy with that. And a lot of it had to do with the message getting out about how to get out to the stadium. But people pre-purchased tickets. The other thing, there were events going on all day. So people came out as early as 9:30 in the morning to start tailgating. They came out to the Fiesta Bowl biggest tailgate party ever. We saw a lot of people coming in buses. So traffic really moved smoothly. We were very pleased with that. I think we learned a lot during the Cardinal season and we put a lot of that into practice.

Michael Grant:
I was just going to say it's nice, and I know to a certain extent there was some planning involved there. But you'd had a series of pretty large dry runs over the past four or five months on that score.

Jennifer Reichelt:
Definitely. Monday night football has been definitely that. Everything we learned through the whole Cardinals season we put into play. What we learn now we're going to put into play for Monday night, for the BCS game. We'll continue to learn and revamp and what we need to revise. We work with the stadium staff, with Brad's folks we continue to relook at things and make sure things work and whatever works best for our fans and people attending the game.

Michael Grant:
Brad, there's always shake down cruises with everything that is new. How's this shake down cruise been, obviously bringing the stadium up for the regular season, transitioning into these bowl games? I mean, I'm sure there's been some bumps in the road.

Brad Parker:
Well, the things you talked about and that Jennifer alluded to as well was first of all the planning that went. In second the design of the stadium to be as flexible as it is, to be able to move a field in and out, retract the roof. We have great parking accessibility. And from Jennifer's standpoint that I'd like to mirror, all of these events that keep going on, they add this institutional learning that we have. And of course, all of these events help prepare us for the Super Bowl coming up in 2008.

Michael Grant:
And let me go back to a point, Jennifer, that you made. There is -- because we've talked about a couple of the developments on the program here in the past couple, three months -- there's more and more stuff coming up around the stadium which I think helps, both in terms of the overall experience as well as in terms of, okay, well, I don't need to go out there right at 2:00. I can maybe go out there at 10:00 in the morning or whatever the case may be.

Jennifer Reichelt:
Yes. West Gate is now open. The first phase of development, which is about 500,000 square feet of entertainment, restaurants, stores, and there's a movie theater. There's activities for people to do. So you're exactly right. People can come out throughout the day. There's movies to go to, restaurants to eat at, things to do with your family. So they can come out and make a day of it, which is nice.

Michael Grant:
What's the big giant outdoor sporting store that's out there?

Jennifer Reichelt:
Cabellos is out there as well right across the street from West Gate. It's called -- 120,000 square feet. It's like a Mecca for anybody who likes to hunt and fish and camp. It's an amazing store.

Michael Grant:
Some people go out there and actually camp three or four days.

Jennifer Reichelt:
They do. It's amazing. People plan family vacations to come there. It's great.

Brad Parker:
She's not kidding. They actually do. People travel from around the region just to come to the store.

Michael Grant:
Yeah. I mean, I don't want to talk up Mesa here but I know there's a competitor opened up out there. Until that happened I wasn't aware of this phenomena. They draw regionally.

Jennifer Reichelt:
People travel up to three states away to come. We actually were researching to bring Cabellos to Glendale when we look at visitor statistics, it's going to rival the Grand Canyon in terms of the number of visitors it attracts which is amazing. It just really has that pull. A lot of people have only seen their catalogs so very interested in going inside the store. It's a full on experience.

Michael Grant:
Now, the soccer game was mentioned after the BCS championship game. Is that kind of the next major at least sports flash point?

Brad Parker:
Well, we've had all of these events that have been going on. In fact, we've been booked solid since we opened except for one week in thanksgiving when we literally went dark so we could practice putting in the temporary seating. And we continue to see bookings that will continue to keep us busy. And so when you look at the problem -- you and I have been talking about this project for the last three years.

Michael Grant:
A long time.

Brad Parker:
It's here. And everything that's been going on that we talked about, the benefits that were going to accrue to it -- Cabellos is a perfect example. All of these benefits are starting to come into the community because of these events.

Michael Grant:
That obviously will throw off a lot of ancillary and other activity for the area.

Jennifer Reichelt:
Definitely. There's more things for people to do, it becomes more of a destination draw. But also creates more traffic, more things for people to do throughout the day. So it's good things.

Michael Grant:
This time next year it's going to be, well, almost, Super Bowl time. I assume there's a lot of lessons being learned both sides from Fiesta Bowl and certainly the bowl championship game that can be applied and help out there?

Brad Parker:
Absolutely. From everything from traffic and parking to media to security as well. So all of these things, all the agencies that we're involved with, they are using this as a way to prepare themselves for this 2008 game.

Michael Grant:
Of course, as major as the BCS championship game is, the Super Bowl really takes it up another three or four notches. We were talking about for example the international media element involved.

Brad Parker:
Well, we call the BCS the Super Bowl of college football. But you know, nothing has that kind of visibility like the Super Bowl does. 141 million people watch that on TV. So it's quite an international event that's going to be focusing all the eyes on our metro area. Which you take a look at what are the benefits that that can derive, and that's priceless visibility for us.

Michael Grant:
And I assume Glendale's already starting to ramp up for that thing. Well, it has been ramping up.

Jennifer Reichelt:
Definitely. We'll begin our marketing campaign to really push Glendale as we get ready to gear up for the Super Bowl. One thing that's interesting about the Super Bowl is the number of people that have tickets is a very small number. But the number of people who come to be a part of the festivity, the NFL experience, or just to see their football stars. It's just amazing. And everybody wants to be a part of it.

Michael Grant:
Jennifer Reichelt, thanks very much for being here. Brad Parker, good to see you again and best of luck.

Brad Parker:
Thank you.

Announcer:
Governor Janet Napolitano is sworn in for a second term in office. And in a brief speech describes her hope of one Arizona. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor also swore in four other statewide office holders including new state Treasurer Dean Martin. This and more on the Journalists' Roundtable Friday at 7:00 on Horizon.

Michael Grant:
Those stories and probably we will dream up even more tomorrow on Friday's edition. Thank you very much for joining us on a Thursday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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