Although the City of Scottsdale is not the host of the 2015 Super Bowl, there are many events that will attract visitors during their stay for the major sporting event.
“Scottsdale’s entertainment district is without a doubt a pull for Super Bowl visitors who are looking to celebrate at bars and clubs,” said Megan Doyle, Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau community affairs manager. “That said, it’s only a fraction of what attracts visitors to Scottsdale.”
The nice weather in Scottsdale will encourage visitors to participate in outdoor activities such as Jeep tours or hiking in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, said Doyle. With the Waste Management Phoenix Open running from Jan. 26 to Feb. 1 at TPC Scottsdale, coinciding with the Super Bowl, it will be a busy time for Scottsdale. The city will even be the host of the ESPN Fan Fest the week leading up to the game.
“It’s Scottsdale―people just for some reason enjoy coming to our city, for whatever it may be,” said Mariah Schultz, head of operations for Signature Flight at Scottsdale Airport.
When the Super Bowl was last in the Valley in 2008, Doyle said Scottsdale-area hotel occupancy reached 93.8 percent. According to the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, many hotels have already been sold out for months, and several others have just limited availability during that week.
In 2012, the Waste Management Phoenix Open brought 150,000 to Scottsdale alone. Because this event will be overlapping with the Super Bowl, which is expected to bring 100,000 people to the area, Doyle said that they are expecting a tremendous increase in visitation this time around.
Although the Super Bowl takes place in Glendale, the Scottsdale Airport is a popular location for travelers to fly into during the event.
“For Super Bowl weekend in 2008―Tuesday through Thursday, we experienced about a 54% increase in airport operations when compared to that weekend the year before in 2007,” said Sarah Ferrara, aviation planning and outreach coordinator for the Scottsdale Airport. “We expect a similar increase in operations for this year’s Super Bowl weekend.”
In order to combat airport traffic and help make the process smoother for travelers, two of the fixed-based operators at the Scottsdale Airport will be taking reservations for departures from the airport from 5 p.m. Super Bowl Feb. 1 and 2, according to the Scottsdale Airport Operations Plan.
In order to accommodate some of the visitor traffic, not only during the Super Bowl but also during the season with heavy tourism, the city will be providing a hospitality trolley for the second year in a row. This trolley, called the Day Tripper, will run along Scottsdale Road between Scottsdale Fashion Square and the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, according to Holly Walter, transportation public information officer for the City of Scottsdale.
Walter said Scottsdale has a highly advanced Traffic Management Center that allows for the management of the road conditions during events like the Super Bowl. They are able to control traffic via cameras, control signals and adjust their timing and more. This will help combat traffic surrounding events like the ESPN Fan Fest that will be taking place in the downtown Scottsdale area.
“As a result, police officers don’t have to spend their time directing traffic―they can handle other public safety duties while working special events,” Walter said. “We plan to have the TMC staffed 24/7 for the two week period surrounding the Super Bowl.”
In order to ease traffic congestion and improve safety within designated areas of the downtown area, Walter said the city council would be considering a transportation safety zone ordinance drafted by members of the police department, transportation, City Manager’s Office and City Attorney’s Office. This will likely be considered by the city council in November or December.