Tag Archives: super bowl


Super Bowl pumps $719 million into Arizona’s economy

Super Bowl XLIX scored big for Arizona’s economy.

A study completed by the Seidman Research Institute, W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, determined that Super Bowl XLIX, the 2015 Pro Bowl and related events produced a gross economic impact of $719.4 million in the region. The announcement was made today at The Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the JW Camelback Inn in Scottsdale.

“As a proud Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee sponsor and one of the leading Arizona companies to step up and support this major event, it is gratifying to learn that Super Bowl XLIX had the largest economic impact of any special event ever held in the state”, says National Bank of Arizona Executive Vice President Jathan Segur.  “The momentum created by the events surrounding the Super Bowl have been tremendous … In addition to the numbers announced today, we have witnessed an increased interest in long-term economic development and investing in the growth of our state.”

This is the largest economic impact of any special event ever held in the state of Arizona, as well as the highest for any Super Bowl for which publicly released figures are available. By comparison, Super Bowl XLII played at University of Phoenix Stadium in 2008 generated a gross economic impact of $500.6 million (2008 dollars) based on research also conducted by the W.P. Carey School of Business.

“This is tremendous news for our economy and a strong testament to the exceptional work of everyone involved,” said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. “The eyes of the world were on Arizona, and we delivered in a big way. I look forward to our state hosting many more successful championship games and major events in the future.”

Commissioned by the Arizona Commerce Authority in partnership with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, the study focused on the nine-day period from January 24th through February 1, 2015 coinciding with the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl which were played at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 25 and February 1, respectively.

The gross economic impact is defined as the direct amount of spending by visitors and organizations arriving from outside the state to participate in or create events directly related to the Super Bowl, as well as the indirect and induced impacts of those expenditures, often described as “ripple effects.” Resident and local business spending was not included.

To gather data about spending and duration of stay from visitors, on-site surveys were conducted at events around the Valley over the nine day period by teams of trained individuals from the W. P. Carey School of Business. Data was collected from out-of-town visitors who stated that the main reason for their visit to the Phoenix Metropolitan area was for the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl and/or associated events. The data was collected across multiple days at multiple sites to sample diverse socio-economic and demographic groups. 

The indirect and induced economic impacts were calculated using an IMPLAN (IMpact analysis for PLANning) model originally developed by the University of Minnesota. This commercially licensed linear input-output model is widely used for economic assessment throughout the United States and is populated with local, regional and state data for Arizona.

Other findings from the Seidman Research Institute at W.P. Carey School of Business report:

• An estimated 121,775 visitors came to Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX and/or the 2015 Pro Bowl; those visitors stayed an average of 3.99 nights.

• An estimated 5,033 out-of-town media members came to Arizona and stayed an average of 7.1 nights (up from 4.1 nights for Super Bowl XLII in 2008).

• The $719.4 million economic impact for Super Bowl XLIX represents an increase of 30.8% over Super Bowl XLII in Arizona (adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, or BLS CPI, inflation calculator which expressed that the 2008 economic impact dollars have the same buying power as $550.1 million in 2015).


Experts: Central sports commission would boost Arizona

The 2015 Super Bowl kicked off an unprecedented run for the Phoenix metro area as the host of mega-sporting events. But if the Valley is going to continue to lure Super Bowls, NCAA championship football games and Final Fours, leaders in the sports community say the current system needs to be improved.

“We’re playing with a bow and arrow and everybody else is playing with a howitzer,” said Jon Schmieder, founder and CEO of the Huddle Up Group that is based in Phoenix and consults with sports commissions across the country.

The howitzer belongs to cities like Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Miami that have deep pockets and one central sports commission with full-time staffers.

Phoenix, in conjunction with Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe and Mesa, won bids for high-profile collegiate and professional events without the benefit of a unified sports commission to spearhead the effort. The successful bids were the results of hard work by dozens of people around the city, none of whom work together under one roof on a regular basis.

Phoenix might be in danger of falling behind other cities if it doesn’t update the system used to organize these events.

‘Herculean task’

In 2016, the College Football Playoff National Championship Game will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium. One year later, the Men’s Final Four rolls into the Valley.

These rotating events complement the annual large-scale sporting events that call the Greater Phoenix area home. For more than 40 years, college football pageantry has descended on the Valley with the Fiesta Bowl and, more recently, the Cactus Bowl. Phoenix International Raceway hosts two NASCAR races every year. The Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale is arguably the most raucous and fan-friendly tournament on the PGA Tour.

And the city hosted two Super Bowls in seven years.

When the pieces fit together, the picture seems clear: Phoenix has carved out a place among the major host cities of the nation’s biggest sporting events.

The question now becomes: Can the metro area maintain its hot streak?

David Rousseau, president of the Salt River Project and chairman of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, worries the current system of assembling a different committee each time a new event comes to town could hinder future attempts to secure and produce the events.

“That (system), at some point, is going to start to be this frayed, fragmented effort,” he said. “I think there’s some value in just continuing to improve upon and refine that effort and you can only do that if you have that one platform model as opposed to startup efforts every time a new bid opportunity comes by.”

Only one person served on both the 2008 and 2015 Super Bowl host committees. Several members of the 2015 committee have transitioned to the Arizona Organizing Committee that will produce the college football championship game. But the majority of the Super Bowl host committee members have taken other jobs and gone their separate ways.

Each loss means some institutional knowledge gained from valuable experience is siphoned off, but the lack of overall consistency in personnel from committee to committee doesn’t necessarily mean a drop in the quality of the event.

By all accounts, the 2015 Super Bowl was a major success for the Valley. Rousseau hopes the economic impact report being produced by Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business will show numbers that equal or exceed the half-billion dollars of direct-spend money he said was captured around the 2008 game.

“We’ve never been better in terms of customer satisfaction than we are right now but we don’t have a staff to go ahead and go forward and secure that commitment for future bids,” Rousseau said.

Tom Sadler, president of the Arizona Organizing Committee, shined a positive light on the current model but also acknowledged there might be a better way to operate.

“I wouldn’t say it puts us at a disadvantage when we are bidding head to head … because at the end of the day we’ll rise to the occasion,” he said. “Could it be more efficient to have an overarching commission overseeing this so we’re not reinventing the wheel every year? The answer is yes.”

Sadler is a busy man in the landscape of mega-events en route to the Valley. As president and CEO of the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, he is the head of the group that oversees the operation of University of Phoenix Stadium. He was also co-bid chair for the Final Four.

“I would like to see an organization that would respond to not just the big three mega events – Super Bowl, college champ, Final Four – but soccer events, entertainment events, to be an agency that’s nimble enough to be on the leading edge of competition with these other cities,” Sadler said.

Cities that perennially host major sporting events in the country are the competition: Miami, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco and Indianapolis. The New York Super Bowl opened the door for so-calledcold-weather cities to host the game.

Minneapolis was awarded the game in 2018, to be played in a new domed stadium.

Those cities, as well as many others in the rotation for at least one of the big events, have one central sports commission to oversee the recruitment and coordination of events of all sizes. The size and scope of the commission varies from city to city.

Individual committees can be formed on an as-needed basis or the commission itself can double as the host committee, as is the case with the Dallas Sports Commission.

“The sports commission is the local organizing committee (for the 2017 Women’s Final Four),” said Larry Kelly, communications and marketing manager for the Dallas Sports Commission. “It varies event to event but on all the collegiate and amateur events that we bring in, we’re the local organizing committee. And then on the major professional events, depending on the event, there will be a larger committee involved.”

The oldest sports commission in the country is the Indianapolis Sports Corp. Founded in 1979, its website lists close to 30 full-time employees who run departments like business development, finance and events.

Miami’s sports commission is one of the smallest, though the city is obviously a prime destination. The staff is comprised of only two people but the commission’s large board of directors, which includes ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard, helps bring in all types of events.

“We have a very wide array of board members so that helps bridge a lot of the gaps and helps bring everyone together,” said Miami-Dade Sports Commission Associate Executive Director Mathew Ratner.

Despite the size and duties of a specific commission, the NFL requires each host city to form a new stand-alone committee to oversee the production of a Super Bowl. Even with an all-hands-on-deck mentality, the effort required for success is enormous.

“It is a herculean task put together an effective bid,” Sadler said. “It’s beyond herculean to execute these events when they come out.”

State fund

Two themes run through the discussion when the word “fundraising” comes up among metro-area leaders of the sports community: Arizona could benefit from a state fund for mega-events similar to the one used in Texas. Fundraising on an event-by-event basis is not a sustainable model for the future if Phoenix wants to remain competitive with other markets.

“Our fundraising focus was on largely (the) business community and I think we probably raised on the order of 70 percent of our dollars of the $30 million that it took to host the game from our business community,” Rousseau said.

With three mega-events landing in the Valley in consecutive years, the concern is each host committee must try to raise money from the same small pool of potential donors.

“We just can’t year in and year out count on the support from the private sector,” Sadler said. “I think it’s possible to do it for a few years in the short run, but year after year would be very difficult, and that’s why we need the state’s help.”

Texas has adjusted and amended its model over the years, but the concept has remained the same. If an event hosted in the state can prove a certain level of revenue was generated during its run, the state will reimburse the host committee for a percentage of its operating budget on par with the money earned.

The host committee can then pass some of those savings on to the rights holder of the event to hopefully ensure the event returns in the future and also roll some of the money over to pursue subsequent events.

Said Kelly: “The Texas Major Event Trust Fund program has been a tremendous success story for the city of Dallas and its ability to attract and retain major sporting events and certain citywide conventions to the state of Texas, and to Dallas.”

Texas has $50 million authorized for the fund for the 2015 fiscal year.

While many sports leaders in Phoenix agree a state fund would be beneficial, if not necessary, they also agree the $50 million figure is probably too high for Arizona.

“I frankly think that’s too rich of a model,” Rousseau said.

The exact dollar amount feasible in Arizona is debatable, but attempts to create such a fund have already begun.

In 2014, former state Rep. Tom Forese, R-Gilbert, introduced a bill that would have created a $10 million fund, though he and others were quick to say the fund must be carefully regulated.

“It’s a very competitive environment when you’re chasing opportunities like this, so you want to give the state every competitive advantage and yet you don’t want to be throwing money blindly at anything,” said Forese, now a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission. “So the model that we had was a revolving fund, and it was a fund that could be used in order to provide that competitive edge and then be reimbursed by the proceeds of the event.”

The bill did not make it through the Legislature, but Sadler, who helped promote the bill, hopes to keep the issue alive.

“Given the state’s current economic status, it wasn’t a great time to enter into that conversation, but we’re going to keep it on the front burner and see if we can get something enacted,” he said.

The challenges of raising money in the Valley can be daunting, and proponents of the fund say it would help ease the burden on both the host committees and local businesses.

The Phoenix metro area is home to only four Fortune 500 companies, according to the 2014 list compiled by Fortune magazine. By comparison, Dallas and Minneapolis both have 18 and Atlanta has 16.

Steve Moore, president and CEO of Visit Phoenix, has the unique experience of having worked with the Texas fund during his 14 years at the Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau and 14 years at the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has overseen Visit Phoenix for 13 years and sees the need for some kind of state fund for events.

“Those states that enjoy mega-event funding have clearly placed us at a disadvantage. It’s no longer just that our good weather is going to bring mega events here. It has to be an organized, consistent, well-funded effort that is a great business model, that is inclusive and aware, and abides by the sunshine (law) of open government.”

Questions without answers

The reason for a central sports commission, which would recruit and coordinate major sporting events in the Valley, seem plentiful. However, the idea is rife with questions.

Alan Young, COO of the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission, which primarily organizes youth and amateur events, sees several outstanding issues that would need to be addressed.

“I think the main question to ask is, what do the citizens believe?” he said. “What is the overall concept of this? Is building stadiums a drain on the economic impact of the community or is it a positive, is it a plus? Investing in these events – is it a drain on the citizens, the taxation, or is it a good investment? Is it a good business decision or not?”

Despite numerous questions, Young is in favor of a unified sports commission and a state fund.

“I certainly believe and our commission believes it’s a great business decision to invest in these types of events but getting the Legislature, getting the citizens, to buy into this has always been a difficult task,” he said.

Steve Moore speculated about the uses of a potential state fund for event production.

“Is this (state fund) something you’d use for a national political convention?” he asked. “That’s a partisan event. Would you use that for it? Is there an answer to that? That’s not a sports commission issue, but it’s a mega-event issue.”

Tom Sadler raised the issue of the year-round responsibilities of the prospective commission.

“What does this commission do between bids and between executing these bids?”
Opinions and theories are abundant in the sports community, and the discussion is ongoing. The goal, though, is the same for all.

“When we have these national sporting events … they’re massive economic drivers and so it’s much more than just sports,” said Commissioner Forese. “This is a way to put Arizona’s best foot forward, and also it’s a way to have people come and take a look at Arizona and consider moving here or moving their business here.”

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton at Art d'Core Gala at Crescent Ballroom.

Stanton lauds downtown Phoenix for creativity, growth at Art d’Core Gala

Crescent Ballroom played host to the second annual Art d’Core Gala Saturday night.

Art d’Core Gala was presented by Artlink, Downtown Phoenix Inc. and the City of Phoenix’s Office of the Mayor. The event celebrated the arts and culture of downtown Phoenix and kicked off the festive season that will occur over the coming weeks.

Attendees were encouraged to dress in creative formal attire and each guest did not disappoint. From bright cocktail dresses to decorative suits, Crescent Ballroom was adorned with sea of creatively styled outfits.

The Phoenix Theatre opened the gala with a musical number. The tap routine was pulled from its current show Anything Goes, which premiered over the weekend.

Artlink President Catrina Kahler delivered opening remarks, followed by Downtown Phoenix Inc. CEO David Krietor. He expressed that downtown Phoenix is becoming more like the model downtown cities that Phoenix has aimed to become.

“If you want urban, and you want diverse, and you want interesting, downtown Phoenix and the core part of Phoenix have never been stronger than they are now,” Krietor said.

Mayor Greg Stanton then addressed the crowd for his annual “Celebrate Downtown Address,” which had the crowd cheering for all the things the city has accomplished.

Stanton highlighted the recent Super Bowl success as well as the landscape changes the city has been working toward. Last year, the city broke ground on more than one million square feet of commercial space.

“I have made it my No. 1 priority as mayor of this city to build an innovation based export economy that lifts everybody up and that starts right here in our downtown,” Stanton said.

He also lauded the universities in downtown Phoenix that are working together to bring a greater change.

Through partnerships with Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University, the city is able to build and produce tech startups, medical advancements and other innovations downtown. As for the arts, Stanton thanked ASU for making an investment in the warehouse district that opened up more spaces for artists.

Music in the city has also bloomed including the upcoming Viva Phoenix festival as well as Crescent Ballroom, which plays host to a variety of shows every week.

Current construction on Roosevelt Row is aiming to make the area more walk able for pedestrians and more shaded than ever before. In downtown, the new Complete Streets policy has made the streets more accessible to pedestrians and bicycles, including the new Grid Bike Share.

In addition, he toasted the growth in events, the arts community, those who make downtown what it is and the overall improvement of downtown Phoenix.

The remainder of the night was filled with music, dancing, and mingling as well as a raffle.

Although the kickoff celebration is over, the main event is still to come. Art Detour 27 takes place in downtown Phoenix March 7 and 8. Over the weekend, this self-guided tour will allow people from all over the Valley to experience the arts and culture that downtown has to offer.

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Best, worst, cutest Super Bowl 49 commercials

Aside from the Super Bowl itself, the commercials are the most exciting part of the big game day. While some companies such as GoDaddy and Budweiser unveiled their ads prior to the game, there were still plenty of reactions to go around. Puppies and emotions were two themes in commercials this year. According to NFL Research, a 30-second slot for a Super Bowl commercial for 2015 is $4.5 million. That’s a steep hike from $4 million last year. Ads were only $42,000 for the first Super Bowl in 1967.

Budweiser never seems to be a let down with their commercials. This year was no exception with their #BestBuds campaign. In addition to a number of other commercials, Budweiser centered their ad on a Labrador puppy. Their star pup gets lost and finds his way back home with some assistance from the trademark Clydesdales.

Microsoft pulled off an interesting commercial that demonstrated how their technology is working in real life. Their profile of Braylon O’Neil provoked awes with the touching story.

Nationwide really pulled a plot twist on their commercial. The bit starts out with a young boy who talks about all the things he’ll never do, which is expected out of young children. The real twist came when the boy announced he couldn’t do these things because he had died. While it grabbed people’s attention, it was definitely a mood-killer.

Most Inspiring
Car commercials are hard to pull off, but Toyota nailed it this year. Their minute slot featured U.S. Paralympic snowboarder and former “Dancing with the Stars” guest Amy Purdy. The combination of audio from Muhammad Ali and the visuals of Purdy provided a stunning visual experience.

Most Clever
“Allison can you explain what Internet is?” Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel star in BMW’s commercial that revolves around how far technology has come. Starting twenty-one years ago, the two attempt to explain what internet is to their viewers. Fast-forward to present day and Couric is still asking for help wit new technology. “Allison, can you explain what i3 is?” The commercial leaves off on a high with Gumbel asking Couric if she can twerk.

Turbo Tax
Turbo Tax took taxes back to their roots with a spoof of the Boston Tea Party. While the Tea Party ended on calm terms in the commercial, we all know that’s not how it ended in history. At least the Patriots fans didn’t celebrate by throwing tea into the harbor when they won the Super Bowl.

Most Disturbing
This ad was something we looked up after the commercial aired. Squarespace’s commercial features Jeff Bridges advertising for his website, Dreaming with Jeff. Overall, the commercial left the majority of viewers trying to figure out what happened.

Biggest Let down

GoDaddy—one of the few who previously released ads, GoDaddy faced backlash last week over their intended commercial that featured Buddy the dog returning home only to be sold off. Animal rights activists were furious over the fact that the commercial poked at puppy mills. GoDaddy campaigned Buddy extremely well. The fact that the cute Labrador pup was nowhere in the video was a huge let down. Brand woman Danica Patrick was nowhere to be seen either.

Most Important
One of the most important commercials that aired during the Super Bowl wasn’t a commercial at all but rather a PSA. This was the first time ever that the NFL took time to air a PSA. The slot focused on domestic violence, a topic the NFL dealt with early on in the season with players Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson.

Courtesy of BRAVO

Locally made tip app, BRAVO, launches for Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is right around the corner, bringing with it a mass of more than one million people enjoying their Sunday at Super Bowl Central in downtown Phoenix. Vendors and activities will span from food to transportation services and most will provide a form of gratuity for their service and hard work.

We live in a mostly plastic world with very few people carrying more than $20 in actual cash at a time. Instead of being caught in the uncomfortable situation where you would like to tip but don’t have any cash or wasting time in the congested streets of downtown Phoenix trying to find an ATM, you can tip straight from your smartphone. This is where a new app Bravo, founded by Hector and Maria Rodriguez-Luna, comes in. Bravo is a simple app used to rate and tip a service professional by locating them with your GPS service. This allows you to safely, discretely and quickly transfer gratuity directly over to service professionals.
The founders of Bravo were born and raised in Puerto Rico, but planted roots in Scottsdale just over a decade ago. The couple traveled the world together, and on a trip to Southern Utah found themselves in an awkwardly frustrating situation of being rendered completely cashless and wanting to tip their housekeepers, bellhops and valets for stellar service. With the nearest ATM being nearly an hour away from their wilderness retreat, the idea for Bravo was born.

Bravo, the latest mobile-based cashless tipping application, is the fastest, most convenient way to show gratitude to service professionals from any smartphone device. Designed and cultivated in Phoenix, Bravo offers a smart gratuity solution for a fast-paced, mobile-driven consumer base. The app allows users the opportunity to rate their service experiences on a five-star scale and simply, safely and discretely provide gratuity in whatever dollar amount desired. Bravo also provides security and peace of mind for service industry professionals with the ability to avoid the need to carry large sums of cash, a method to better budget earnings, and the opportunity to build clientele based upon star-ratings and reviews.

How it Works

1.    Set up profile with Facebook or create account with email and password.

2.     You can choose whether you want to set your account up to give tips or receive them.

3.    It will then ask to enable location services.

4.    If nothing is in the area you can reload or scan the service professional’s QR code or enter their Bravo code.

5.    Once located, the service professional’s picture and name will appear. The customer may choose any amount to send to the intended recipient and the gratuity will be instantly transferred into the service professional’s personal bank account.

Bravo will be front and center with several participating area partners. Fifteen locations of Desert Parking and Integrity Valet stands, including those at O.H.S.O., Joyride Taco House, Clever Koi and all three locations of The Vig will be taking advantage of the newly launched app. Additionally, early adopters of the app, including golf cart transporters Old Town Shuttle, Bunny Rides and Quick Silver Transportation will be rolling through the streets of Old Town Scottsdale, ready to accept gratuity from travelers’ smartphone devices. Ladies looking to get their nails done ahead of the big game in Glendale can also visit the Polish Room Nails and Spa, which has already rolled out the app to its customers. In the next few weeks, American Valet stands at Fogo de Chao, Restoration Hardware and Capital Grill will be added to the list of actively participating partners.

For those hesitant to provide bank account or credit card information via smartphone, Bravo users’ phone data is encrypted and the application has a security PIN. Non-sensitive personal information (name, e-mail, phone number) is not stored in the device, but rather scrambled and stored in different encrypted servers. Sensitive data (credit card, debit card, etc.) is not stored at Bravo servers but rather immediately sent to PayPal’s affiliate, Braintree, which generates a one-time-use token per transaction, providing zero chance for hacking or theft of any type.

Users may download the free app from the App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android Devices. Service professionals may also register for BRAVO’s free service by downloading the app, or clicking here.

Jim-Gaffigan, web

Jim Gaffigan on eating through Super Bowl weekend

Sold out stand-up shows, upcoming television projects and donut hamburgers. Jim Gaffigan tells Scottsdale Living about his upcoming performances at Talking Stick Resort and how excited he is to be in Arizona amid the Super Bowl mania in downtown Phoenix. He also discusses his new show “The Gaffigan Show,” which will premiere on TV Land and Comedy Central this summer.

How are you doing?
I’m good, I’m good. You know, I’m excited. There are so many reasons to be happy to be going to the Talking Stick Resort. One, it’s not freezing, right? I’m in New York right now, and it’s like 30 degrees and that’s only going to get worse…It should be a fun week with the Super Bowl, right?

Yeah, I mean it is going to be crazy. They are expecting more than a million people at Super Bowl Central in downtown Phoenix. So, I saw that a fourth show was added and the other three at the Talking Stick Resort are completely sold out. Have you performed at Talking Stick before?
I have. I performed maybe a year and a half ago. It’s all a blur, but, yeah, I came through on a tour bus with my wife and kids and I think it was just one show. So yeah I have performed there but it was in the summer. So, I think there is a greater appreciation for everything Arizona in the winter.

Yes, definitely! Are you expecting anything this time as far as crowd reception?
You know, I mean the people that like my comedy are all pretty great. I would imagine that given that it is the Super Bowl so there is going to be opposing sides, which is great. I’ll probably have to figure out how I’m going to deal with that. I’m sure there will be some scandal beside “inflate gate” to talk about. Phoenix is also a huge metropolitan area, so it is amazing, but of course Super Bowl week. For anyone who is even a moderate sports fan, and it’s also in the dead of winter so it’s like “finally something!” It’s like the book I had; It’s like a national holiday for fat guys. It’s like, “I can eat whatever I want that day.”

Yeah, I mean they will probably get pretty gross with it. Deep-fried this and that, beers everywhere. Good old fashion Super Bowl food.
Oh yeah of course!

So you just came out with your second book, “Food: A Love Story,” last October. Any plans to put out third one?
You know, I had a lot of fun writing both books. I don’t know. It’s not just a lot of work. My wife and I joke around but you make maybe 3 cents per book. So, I have five kids and so there is something about doing the book or a book that is very rewarding on a creative standpoint. If I find that I have another book that I really want to do I’ll definitely do it but I wrote them, I didn’t have a ghostwriter. I wrote them with my wife, so if I found that I had something that I really want to write about yeah I’d do it otherwise I’m not going to.

I just read something about the Gaffigan show that will be coming out this year. Could you tell me a little about that?
Well, the show is going to be on TV Land this summer. They will be re-airing on Comedy Central, so it will be both networks. It’s a single-camera comedy about my life, trying to balance being a comedian with being a dad and of course eating constantly. I feel pretty good about it. We will be shooting pretty soon, like in March. It’s going to be a great time.

You made a joke about a Dunkin Donuts’ glazed donut sandwich thing? Have you had the Dunkin Donuts bacon egg and cheese extravaganza, whatever that thing is?
I was at a state fair and had a donut hamburger and it was good, but, you know, I’m just not that bored with regular food. It’s kind of funny because it started off as a joke but now Krispy Kreme does it too. I have had a version of that, but you know.

Was it pretty interesting?
It was interesting. I like a good cheddar burger. Like, I’ll get bacon on a burger, you know.

Yeah, like a normal person. So, what else going on for 2015?
Yeah, I’m really excited about working on the show. This is one of the last big stints of working on stand up. And I feel like I have tons of new material, but it will be interesting because come this summer I’ll be back doing stand up. It will be an interesting adjustment.

“White Bread Tour,” Talking Stick Resort, Jan. 29 to 31, times vary, tickets to the one not-sold-out show available here

Cocktails courtesy of District American Kitchen and Wine Bar

Thirsty Thursday: Super Bowl cocktails

District American Kitchen and Wine Bar has graciously shared with Scottsdale Living its starting lineup of cocktails for this weekend’s big game. Check out the recipes and photos below! Our mouths are already watering.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary

The drink: Hail Mary


  • 6 ounces V8 Tomato Juice
  • 11/2 ounces Jim Beam Black Bourbon
  • ¼ ounce Schreiner’s Chorizo
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 1 medium dehydrated Hatch chili
  • 11/2 teaspoons of Worcheshire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon celery seed
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste


  • Add V8 Tomato Juice, Worcheshire sauce, chorizo and basil in a high speed blender, blend until pureed
  • Add Hatch chili and blend until chili is pureed
  • Stir in celery seed, salt horseradish, Jim Beam Bourbon and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Pour all ingredients into a Mason jar and garnish with slice of chorizo, large sprig of basil and any hot pepper if you want more heat

The Hail Mary will be available for $10 at District American Kitchen and Wine Bar from Jan. 28 – Feb. 1. This drink will be offered on the restaurant’s patio for $6 during District’s Patio Tailgate.


False Start

False Start

The drink: False Start


  • 11/2 ounce Patron Anjo tequila
  • 3 cubes of cantaloupe
  • 10 leaves of cilantro
  • ¾ ounce of agave nectar
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Pink peppercorn to taste
  • Soda water


  • Muddle all ingredients except soda water
  • Shake and top with soda water

The False Start cocktail will be available for $8 at District American Kitchen and Wine Bar from Jan. 28 – Feb. 1.




The Drink: Touchdown


  • 11/2 ounces of strawberry moonshine
  • ½ ounce peach Schnapps
  • 2 rings of Fresno chilies
  • 1 sliced strawberry
  • ½ sliced lemon
  • 1 ounce apple juice
  • 2 ounces of pineapple juice


  • Add all ingredients to pitcher
  • Pour over ice and serve

The Touchdown will be available for $10 at District American Kitchen and Wine Bar from Jan. 28 – Feb. 1. This drink will be offered on the restaurant’s patio for $6 during District’s Patio Tailgate.


3-day Arizona Indian Festival opens

The Arizona American Indian Tourism Association, in conjunction with the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, presents the Arizona Indian Festival, a celebration of Arizona’s 22 Indigenous tribes.

Native American tribes of Arizona will share their traditional artistry, songs and dances during the 2015 Arizona Indian Festival, the week of the Big Game at Scottsdale Civic Center Park from January 29 – 31, 2015.

Thursday morning festivities will begin at 9:30 a.m., with a traditional blessing, introduction of the Board of Directors, and visiting dignitaries, presentation of the National Anthem by Miss Indian Arizona – Shasta Dazen and an official posting of the colors.

The additional morning entertainment includes:

10:00 a.m Posting of Colors by Haskell-Osife Antone American Legion Post# 51 National Anthem by Shasta Dazen, Miss Indian Arizona 2014-15
10:15 am Welcome Address & Royalty Introductions
10:30 am Miss Hopi Royalty & Antone Honanie (Hopi)
10:45 am Royalty Wa:K Ceksan-San Xavier District
11:00 am Parker Arizona Bird Singers (Colorado River Indian Tribe)
11:30 am Tódí Néésh Zhéé Singers (Navajo)
12:30 pm San Carlos Apache Crowndancers (Apache)
1:00 pm Hualapai GCW Bird Singers & Dancers (Pai)
1:30 pm Parker Arizona Bird Singers (Colorado River Indian Tribe)
2:00 pm Deer Dancers- Narciso Bule (Yaqui)
Where:  Scottsdale Civic Center Park, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. Scottsdale, Az. 85251

When:  January 29 – 31, 2015; 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Why: Native Arizona is extraordinary; look at Native peoples, their societies, their accomplishments, and their historic contribution. Traditional homes will be constructed, cultural songs will be sung, and demonstrations will appeal to all the senses. It is our hope that visitors of all ages will fall in love with ‘Native Arizona.’

For more information on this free, family friendly event visit: www.ArizonaIndianTourism.org or like us on Facebook: Arizona American Indian Tourism Association.

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Healthy snacks for the big game this weekend

Thousands of football fans will descend upon Phoenix this week for the Super Bowl, but what about locals who plan to skip the fury and watch the game from home?  When it comes to the big game, the battle for best snacks gets as much hype as the competition on the field.  Whole Foods Market has supplied Scottsdale Living with some ideas for any Super Bowl party planning you might be working on this week:

Creamy Cucumber Dip

Creamy Cucumber Dip

·         Chip and Dip Trends – Whole Foods Market experts compiled six trends that might be worth adding to your playbook this year.

·         Game day snack ideas – Recipes for lighter, healthier alternatives and indulgent game-day dishes that are delicious without all the artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives. Ready-to-cook appetizers and whole hot pizzas on sale Sunday, Feb. 1

·         “Pass” on extra calories, “go long” on flavor – From cauliflower buffalo “wings” to lentil sloppy joes to apple and cheddar whole wheat quesadillas, tasty ideas on healthier swaps for traditional game day fare.

·         Top 10 vegan game-day recipes

Chips and Dip Trends – Whole Foods Market experts compiled 6 trends from that might be worth adding to your playbook this year.

1.       Naan is the new pita – the ubiquitous pita chip is getting a flavorful, crunchy upgrade with new naan chips. Using a recipe for the traditional Indian flat bread and baking it into chips (instead of frying), the new 365 Everyday Value Naan Chips come in three flavors inspired by iconic Indian spices: Tamarind, Green Chili Chutney and Tikka Masala.

2.       Bean chips – forget bean dip, bean chips are everywhere and offer a host of nutrients and fiber, and are often gluten free. Fan favorites include:

a.       Beanitos – Chips are made with black or pinto beans and one serving contains four grams of protein. Flavors include Chipotle BBQ, Better Cheddar, Original Black Bean and Simply Pinto Bean.

i.      Beanitos Puffs are made from a blend of beans and other wholesome grains, and come in game-ready flavors like Hot Chili Lime, Nacho Cheese and more.


3.       Sprouted grains – sprouted grains offer a great new texture and flavor, and are believed to have an increased amount of vitamins and enzymes. Often, these grains are gluten free, but check labels. These are Whole Foods Market’s heavy hitters:

Basil Crispbread Snacks

Basil Crispbread Snacks

a.       Way Better Snacks – This brand offers a tasty, healthy alternative to traditional tortilla chips, pita chips and crackers for all your crunching needs on game day.  Football-friendly flavors include So Sweet Chili or Sweet Potato tortilla chips, Mustard & Cheddar or Black Bean & Salsa crackers, and Heritage Grains Pita-ahh Chips in Sea Salt or Smoked Havarti flavors. (More varieties available)

b.      Engine 2 Popcrisps – made with 100% whole grains, and without added oils, these “un-salty” snacks offer a better-for-you crunch without compromising flavor. Available in Garlic Quinoa & Purple Corn or Cinnamon Sweet Potato.

c.       Food for Life – Sprouted Corn Tortillas, use these for tacos, bake your own tortilla chips or  heat up and dip directly in queso.


4.       Nut-based artisan cheese – whether you want your game day cheeses to include something out of a can, or something more high brow, today’s nut-based (vegan) cheeses have delicious options for both.

Apple and Cheddar Whole Wheat Quesadillas

Apple and Cheddar Whole Wheat Quesadillas

a.       Heidi Ho – plant based cheeses and spreads free of additives and fillers, such as Chia Cheeze Sauce (in Spicy, Smoky and Creamy flavors) can be a nacho cheese substitute.

i.      Heidi Ho also offers a goat cheese-inspired spread called Ne Chevre that comes in several flavors, like Black Lava Salt with a layer of crushed hazelnut and black lava salt (more flavors available). This product was just featured on Shark Tank and is launching nationwide in February.

b.      Kite Hill – plant-based cheeses that demonstrate how traditional cheesemaking methods combined with an alternative milk source can create a new flavor experience. Options include Cassucio, a soft fresh cheese with a supple, silky texture; Cassucio Truffle, Dill & Chive, a soft fresh cheese with an earthy flavor; and White Alder, a soft ripened cheese with a delicate white rind, pungent aroma and velvety texture.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes


5.       Whole new hummus – the latest spreads are made with creative ingredients like lentils and avocado, and come in flavors that will make football fans want to take a time-out.

a.       Hope Hummus –lentil spreads that combine the wholesome legume with simple ingredients to create tasty dips. Flavors include Original Lentil, Garlic, Habanero and Curry. Their selection of traditional garbanzo bean hummus comes in very non-traditional flavors like Spicy Avocado, Kale Pesto, Sriracha, Jalapeño Cilantro and Thai Coconut Curry.

b.      Love & Hummus – this brand blends chickpeas with tahini (sesame seed butter) and other innovative herbs and ingredients. The Spicy Harissa flavor uses the uber-trendy exotic spice blend for an upgraded hummus.


Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

6.       A better Buffalo – Ditch the scary orange sauce with mystery ingredients for the real deal with Blazing Buffalo Cheddar cheese. Handcrafted in Wisconsin by a family-owned cheese company, this is a mild to medium creamy white cheddar blended with spicy buffalo flavor. It’s calcium-rich with no trans-fats and no growth hormones, but it’s a more delicious take on classic game day fare.


Big Game Party on the Go

For those who’d rather relax pre-game, Whole Foods Market offers ready-to-cook appetizers like organic chicken wings, frozen pizzas and guacamole dip (these items and more on sale game-day weekend, Friday, January 30 to Sunday, February 1). And, all prepared hot pizzas will be on sale for $10 on game-day Sunday, February 1.


And a few more recipes:

Appetizers and Dips

The Main Course


Super Bowl betting poses dangers in the workplace

So you ask what does the Super Bowl have to do with the American workplace, except for lost productivity at the water cooler the Monday after the Big Game? Why, the Super Bowl is quite possibly the best reminder about the dangers of betting in the workplace.

Since the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots punched their tickets to Glendale, the media buzz around the Phoenix area has been massive and unrelenting. In other words, everyone is getting pulled in by the madness, but no one recognizes the impact (present and potential) of such madness. And with Tiger Woods in town, returning to the Phoenix Open, the PGA tour event already infamous as the wildest show on grass, the madness is in full swing this week in the Valley of the Sun. So what should employers do? Don’t make things worse!

The Letter of the Law

Of course, there will be talk after the Super Bowl about the game, its commercials, Katy Perry’s half-time show, and other parts of the overall pageantry, but one of the big problems relating to the Super Bowl has to be dealt with before the pre-game show even starts. Don’t let employees use your technology to access gambling sites and do not tolerate gambling within your office using company resources.

As a general rule, gambling is prohibited under Arizona law. Some exceptions exist, including so-called “amusement gambling,” which is generally understood to involve a primary element of skill darts, for instance, or “social gambling” — for example, when friends over the age of 21 gather to wager on events such as the time a friend’s child will be born.

To Pool or Not to Pool

An office pool is a gray area. An office pool where employees use company technology to promote, organize and maintain their gambling activities hovers dangerously into the dark gray boundary between lawful and unlawful, even more so if the “pool administrator” receives a percentage of the bets placed to compensate him/her for the trouble of organizing the activity.

If you think that I’m exaggerating (don’t worry, as a lawyer I’m used to it), keep in mind that just this month, new Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich conducted raids on half-a-dozen suspected gambling cafes and gave an interview to the local news warning people not to gamble in Arizona in any fashion if they wanted to stay clear of any violations of state law.

Now combine that mindset with estimates that Americans will wager some $10 billion in conjunction with the Big Game and the existence of thousands of websites promoting bets on every aspect of the Super Bowl (from the yardage of the first field goal made to the classic over-under on the score), to prop bets on the color of Belichick’s hoodie (odds are -150 for gray, +175 for blue and +700 for red), the number of times Gisele Bundchen will appear on the game telecast, and how many times the name John Travolta will be mentioned in connection with Idina Menzel, who will be singing the National Anthem (okay, I made that one up… I think).

Of course, if your employee handling the office pool is also reaching out to employees across state lines using the internet, you should add an element of interstate crime to the overall intrigue. Needless to say, no office manager wants to be the person who tells the employees to stop the fun, but there is nothing that prevents employees from enjoying the Super Bowl without having to use company resources to gamble.

Employment Law Pitfalls

So where do employers draw the line? First, you do not want to be seen as promoting gambling, which is becoming easier to do every day on a computer or smart phone. Yes, there’s an app for it, too! Once you openly endorse the office prop bets pool, not only does a company offers itself up as a potential example to be made by our new AG, but it becomes very difficult to limit other forms of gambling.

What’s the harm in a fantasy league where the commissioner/mail clerk gets paid a fee by the participants or an after-hour poker game in the conference room? Your technology resources are being used to engage in solicitation of contribution to the pool. At that point, you may have created a situation where you have sanctioned a violation of your anti-solicitation policy or your technology usage policy. If you try to enforce those during a union-organizing drive later, expect a charge of violation of the NLRA. If an employee with genuinely held religious limitations on gambling is badgered for non-participating by co-workers, expect an EEOC charge.

I recognize that there can be an office-bonding component in this process and that it is increasingly more difficult to monitor what employees do at work. If you want to capitalize on that bond but avoid the pitfalls, why don’t you turn the pool into a charitable activity? All proceeds collected serve as a charitable donation on behalf of the winner of the pool. All three of the pitfalls above disappear while you retain the bonding and increase the feel-good components of having raised money for a good cause.

All I hope is that this Super Bowl is as exciting as the last one that took place at University of Phoenix stadium!


Laurent Badoux is Chair, Phoenix Labor & Employment Practice at the Phoenix office of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig. www.gtlaw.com


FirstBank tackles ‘Deflate-Gate’ with billboard

A local bank is using a little humor around a recent incident to promote their expanding home loan business in Arizona.

Yesterday, FirstBank, which operates 15 branches in the Glendale/Phoenix/Scottsdale metro area, put up a billboard within a mile of University of Phoenix Stadium — where the New England Patriots will play the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday — with the following message:

“Deflate mortgages, not footballs.”

FirstBank has a history of jumping on news-making events — like “Deflate-Gate” — and has used it as a successful marketing strategy.

The NFL says it is continuing to look into allegations that New England had 11 of its 12 allotted game footballs under-inflated in the victory.

According to ESPN, the footballs used by the Patriots were under-inflated by two pounds per square inch. Footballs, which are weighed before the game, must be inflated to no less than 12.5 pounds per square inch.

The minimum disciplinary action for tampering of a football is a fine of $25,000, according to the NFL’s game operations manual.

The controversy around “deflate-gate” has taken attention away from the Super Bowl, which will feature the Patriots playing against the Seattle Seahawks.


Things to do this week: Jan. 26 to Feb. 2

Last chance to ice-skate

Arizona’s only outdoor ice-skating rink comes down after Super Bowl weekend. The 5,442-square-foot rink has been in place on Central Avenue between Washington and Jefferson streets since late November. CitySkate offers a variety of special events throughout the rink, including theme days on Tuesdays. This week’s theme is Football Jerseys. In addition, the rink hosts Adult Skate this Saturday from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.

CitySkate at CityScape, 1 E. Washington St., Phoenix, through February 2, $12

Super Bowl takes over downtown

Even if you do not have tickets to the big game on Sunday, there are still a number of events happening downtown that lead up to the big game. Starting Wednesday, Super Bowl Central will hold over thirty events. One of the largest attractions includes an 18-foot high rock-climbing wall that is a replica of the Grand Canyon. There is a concert series downtown every night beginning Wednesday that features bands such as Walk the Moon and The Roots.

Verizon Super Bowl Central, 5th Street to 1st Avenue and Jefferson to Monroe, January 28-February 1, Phoenix, free 

Super Music Series at Westgate

In addition to the Super Bowl activities in Downtown Phoenix, there are concerts all week long at Westgate. The Super Music Series is a five-day concert event that features bands from rock, pop, country, and other genres of music. Headlining bands include Los Lobos, The Chainsmokers, Eli Young Band, and Naked Eyes. The concert is hosted on the WaterDance Plaza at Westgate.

Westgate, 6770 N. Sunrise Blvd., Glendale, January 28-February 1, free

Valor and Victors 5K

The NFL Valor and Victors 5K is part of the Super Bowl Run Series. The proceeds from the race benefit the Pat Tillman Foundation and the NFL Alumni Association. The top three overall finishers for men and women will receive awards as well as the top three from multiple age categories. Packet pick-up begins at 6:30 a.m. and the race starts at 8:30 a.m. After the race, there will be a post-race “tailgate” that all runners are welcome to take part in.

Arizona Canal Trail, 5th avenue & Goldwater Road, Scottsdale, January 31, $50 before January 28 or $60 after and same day

Glendale Chocolate Affaire

If you have a sweet tooth, this event is definitely for you. Over forty chocolate makers will be present in downtown Glendale for an ultimate sugar rush. There will be a variety of choices including chocolate dipped fruit, Twinkies, nuts, and more. This two-day event even has a Super Street area and Team Zones in honor of Super Bowl weekend. The Chocolate Affaire is open Friday noon-10p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-10p.m.

Murphy Park, 7010 N. 58th Ave., Glendale, January 30-31, free admission and parking


All In hosts 3 days of Super Bowl parties

The poker, fantasy sports and eSports experts at ALL IN Magazine are hosting three unique parties throughout Super Bowl weekend at one of the most elite private estates in Paradise Valley, AZ.

The business objective is to solidify ALL IN as a premier brand and to deliver an experience that their fans appreciate. To accomplish this, they have outlined three elaborate evenings worthy of the celebrity guest lists they have confirmed. Highlights of the weekend include headlining performances by the official house band of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Roots; a Celebrity Poker Tournament where the top players in the world are vying for exotic prizes; and the Ultimate Tailgate Party with celebrities mingling alongside sports legends.

The impetus behind their coveted-ticket events is to grow awareness to their organization. As most companies appreciate, the more individuals that are introduced to your brand, the higher the opportunity a company has to earn them as a customer. So from a business perspective, are the time, money and effort spent to throw these mind-blowing Super Bowl parties worth it?

“While the time and expense of organizing these events have been significant, we feel that every effort is worthwhile,” says Pete Findley, CEO of ALL IN. “There are hundreds of millions of people that play across the platforms that we cover every month, even though our industry has been labeled a subculture. The popularity clearly shows that gaming is a mainstream experience. By heightening the awareness of ALL IN with parties like these, we hope to elevate the esteem and excitement of the entire industry.”

The popularity of poker began to spike dramatically more than a decade ago, and the number of people that play and follow the game continues to grow. Fantasy sports and video gaming are complementary industries and both have been dramatically increasing their reach. With market conditions booming, ALL IN says they sees this as the right time to push the industry from a secondary market into the mainstream, with their parties as a highly visible platform to do so. The business decision to throw a weekend of Super Bowl parties then becomes a highly calculated, intelligent call, believes ALL IN.

“ALL IN is an aspirational brand. Our weekend of uniquely themed parties is aligned with how our customers choose to live life – all in,” continues Findley. “Providing our fans with an experience unlike any other isn’t any different that what we’ve been doing for years.”


Pepsi hosts free concerts at Super Bowl Central

image008The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee welcomes the world to enjoy Arizona’s Super Bowl with more than 25 free acts over five days on the Pepsi Hyped for Halftime Stage on Verizon Super Bowl Central starting on Wed., January 28th at 2 p.m.
National recording artists hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. each night. Country music kicks off the festivities with Nashville recording artists JT Hodges and headliner, Maddie & Tae.
National Recording Artists
Wednesday, January 28
Maddie & Tae and JT Hodges
Thursday, January 29
Wisin and Kat Dahlia
Friday, January 30
Walk the Moon
Saturday, January 31
The Roots
From the hottest local bands to Ak-Chin community dancers to mariachi bands, there will be more than 25 free performances throughout the week with something for everyone. For updated information and a full concert schedule, visit www.azsuperbowl.com/verizon-super-bowl-central/live-entertainment. 
All of the daily concerts will be free to the public. The Pepsi Hyped for Halftime Stage is located on the northwest corner of ‘The Block’ near Washington and 1st St. inside Verizon Super Bowl Central.
After the nightly concerts, fans will enjoy dynamic fireworks followed by a 3D lighting and projection show on the iconic XLIX Roman numerals. The concert stage runs from 2 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, January 28 to Friday, January 30; from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, January 31; and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 1.
About Performers
JT Hodges has toured with country greats such as Eric Church, Eli Young Band and Toby Keith. He earned an ACM nomination for Best New Artist of the Year in 2012 and is currently working on his much anticipated sophomore album, which is set for release later this year.

Kat Dahlia has an electrifying sound that is a sultry mix of pop, Latin, hip-hop and reggae influences. She deftly alternates between unleashing pure, infectious lyrical fire in party jams and poetically pondering heartbreak and relationships in ballads.

Maddie & Tae will light up the stage, country-style. They were cited by Rolling Stone as one of “10 New Artists You Need to Know” after writing their first song “Girl in a Country Song.” They come to Downtown Phoenix fresh off their appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/segments/105906.
The Roots are a Grammy Award winning hip hop/jazz band known for a jazzy and eclectic approach to hip-hop and feature live instruments. Beginning in 2009, The Roots were the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and they currently play the same role on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Walk the Moon is known for their blissful, quirky brand of rock and roll. Their live shows are an interactive celebration of life and love, and a communal commitment to joy and living in the moment.
Wisin is an award-winning Puerto Rican reggaeton performer who has collaborated with internationally known artists, such as Lenny Kravitz and Enrique Iglesias.

Verizon Super Bowl Central is the epicenter of Super Bowl XLIX festivities with one million visitors expected to revel in Downtown Phoenix from Wednesday, January 28 through Sunday, February 1, 2015. The 12-city block, free, football-themed, family-friendly, fan campus will feature the iconic XLIX Roman numerals, The Grand Canyon Experience Presented by NB|AZ, the Pepsi Hyped for Halftime stage, AZCentral.com Autograph Stage, the Bud Light Beer Garden, network broadcast stages and a nightly fireworks show, in addition to being complemented by the NFL Experience Engineered by GMC in the Phoenix Convention Center. As fans enjoy the myriad of outdoor attractions, they also can enjoy a cold Bud Light purchased within the special event liquor license area. Street-level merchants, downtown restaurants and local food trucks will offer a plethora of palate-pleasing options.

For updated information, visit www.azsuperbowl.com.

Dance Club

Riot Hospitality hosts Super Bowl parties

Riot Hospitality group will be hosting several events for the upcoming Super Bowl being hosted in Glendale, Arizona. For the festivities, three of their locations, Whiskey Row Scottsdale, El Hefe Tempe and El Hefe Scottsdale will be packed with entertainment.

whiskey row logoWhiskey Row Scottsdale 

  • Thursday January 29th– Entertainment by DJ Du – Jason Aldean’s tour DJ on the “Burn it Down” tour.  Lines will be long for this event because capacity is limited.  VIP tickets include no line wait until 11:00pm.  DJ Du goes on around 10:00pm.
  • Friday January 30th– DJ SILVER, Superbowl Party Hosted by Dierks Bentley, BIG SPECIAL COUNTRY ARTIST GUESTS AND CELEBS to be expected.
  • Sunday– Super Bowl Sunday with Big & Rich hosted by CMT.  Watch the big game followed by a post-game concert with Big and Rich and Chase Bryant hosted by CMT’s Cody Alan at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, February 1st, 2015.  TICKETS INCLUDE BOTH THE SUPER BOWL AND THE BIG & RICH CONCERT AFTERWARDS. Doors will open to ticketed patrons at 3PM for the Event
    • Post-Game Concert – begins approximately 9:30 – after Game/trophy presentation.
    • CMT’s Cody Alan to emcee the post-game concert event
    • Chase Bryant to open
    • Big and Rich to perform

Ticket Link: whiskeyrow.showclix.com

To book a private table on any night call 480-382-1505


el hefe

El Hefe Scottsdale

  • Wednesday January 28th– Taryn Manning (Star from Orange is the New Black) DJ/hosted party with constant entertainment, music and energy.
  • Sunday February 1st– Dos XX Presents: The Official Maxim Big Game Viewing Party Hosted by El Hefe Scottsdale. See site for all details, but you don’t want to miss this.

Ticket Link elhefescottsdale.showclix.com

To book a private table on any night please call (480)466-0411

El Hefe Tempe

  • Sunday February 1st– Dos XX Presents: The Official Maxim Big Game Viewing Party Hosted by El Hefe Tempe. See site for all details, but you don’t want to miss this.


To book a private table on any night please call (507) 320-1602


Bitter & Twisted hydrates Super Bowl Central

Who:      Football fans, cocktail cravers and anyone else interested in celebrating the big game here in Arizona with a pop-up cocktail garden at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour.

What:     Housed in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the award-winning Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour is going all out for the big game as it hosts a pop-up Cocktail Garden featuring plenty of fun in the Arizona sun. Open daily from noon all the way until 2 am, for four-day-only (Wednesday, January 28 – Saturday, January 31, 2015), Bitter & Twisted’s Cocktail Garden will feature live DJ music, daily cocktail specials and beer girls offering discounted brews – all served in a fun open-air setting featuring AstroTurf flooring, oversized benches and community party tables. Entry to the Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Garden (21-and-over) is $20 per person and includes all-day re-entry.

B&T ExteriorTucked inside the landmark Luhrs City Center at the SW corner of Jefferson Street and Central Avenue, Bitter & Twisted will also offer full cocktail service inside for those seeking a little more intimate setting. Plus, inside only enjoy gourmet bar bites such as traditional Mexican-style elote (corn) on a stick for only $8. Located just across the street from Arizona’s Super Bowl Central, Bitter & Twisted is the place to be for all football fans as they count down to the big game.

When:  Wednesday, Jan. 28 – Saturday, Jan. 31, noon to 2 am

Where: Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, 1 W. Jefferson St.


Dance Club

Top Super Bowl parties across the Valley

If you can’t afford to go to the big game, you can definitely afford to party with the superstar athletes and rock stars coming into town. The game is in Glendale, but downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale have their share of events that are a must-attend.

Downtown Phoenix

1/31: Pepsi Hyped for Halftime Stage headlined by The Roots

The Roots are a hip-hop group also known for their jazz and soul elements. Jimmy Fallon’s house band is not new to the area and have headlined the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Phoenix. The group is known for their heavy instrumental sound combined with rap that can bring out the energy of any crowd. They are one of the headliners for the Verizon Super Bowl Central, an ongoing concert series and Super Bowl block party, starting Wednesday Jan.28 until game day.

Verizon Super Bowl Central, Jefferson to Monroe Street and Central Avenue to 3rd Street., Phoenix, Saturday, Jan. 31, 8:15 p.m., Free


1/28: The Grand Canyon Experience

A 30-by-100 foot wide rock climbing station was built to emulate Arizona’s iconic Grand Canyon. This structure will have a waterfall streaming through it and an 18 foot screen. The canyon offers 20 different climbing positions that are kid-friendly and also doable by any professional.

Verizon Super Bowl Central, SW Corner of The Block between 1st and Jefferson streets, Phoenix, Wednesday, Jan.28,multiple dates and times, $5


1/24-2/1: 22nd annual NFL Experience

Ever dreamed of an NFL theme park? All week long in anticipation for the Super Bowl the NFL experience will offer free autograph sessions from NFL players, football displays, games and even a youth football clinics. A purchase of an NFLXtra wristbands will also allow unlimited times an attendant can participate.

Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, Thursday, Jan.24, multiple dates and times, $20-$35


1/29-2/1: Puppy Bowl Café

Animal Planet and the Arizona Humane Society are teaming up to present the Puppy Bowl XI at the Corner restaurant in Cityscape. There will be a football field where puppies will complete and also photo opportunities for guests to take pictures with the “players”. The Corner will open at 6 a.m. as the restaurant continues to serve food and the puppies will arrive at 10 a.m.

The Corner, 50. Jefferson St., Phoenix, Thursday, Jan. 29 through Feb. 1, 10 a.m., free



1/28-1/30: DIRECTV Super Fan Festival

Calvin Harris, Zac Brown Band, Snoop Dogg and Imagine Dragons are some of the headliners of this music festival right by the University of Phoenix Stadium. A zip line, a carnival-style shooting range and the opportunity for fans to test out new car are some of extra activities being featured. NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann of the Pittsburgh Steelers will hold a football skills challenge. Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen Experience,” will have contests and cash prizes as well.

Pendergast Family Farm, Bethany Home Road & N. 91st Avenue, Glendale, Wednesday, Jan.28 through Jan.30, 5 p.m., $99 and up


1/30 and 1/31: 20th annual Glendale Chocolate Affaire

About 40 chocolate makers will be there offering chocolate-covered strawberries, kettle corn, and cheesecake. The “Super Street” representing a Super Bowl celebration in old historic Glendale will be decorated with the colors of both teams and have NFL themed chocolate treats. There will also be live music, arts and crafts center and a rock climbing wall.

Murphy Park, 7010 N. 58th Ave., Glendale, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 30 and 31, free


1/28-2/1: Super Music Series

The Chainsmokers, Los Lobos and the Eli Young Band are some of the few names that are all having free concerts before the big game. Along with a beer garden, attendants will be able to enjoy 5 days of free music. “Fans can enjoy a different genre each day—from classic rock to EDM to country to 80’s hits,” says Westgate. Westgate provides a handful of bars and restaurants surrounding the grass area will the stage will be held.

Westgate Entertainment District, 6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale, Wednesday though Sunday, Jan.28- Feb.1, 6 p.m., free


2/1: Club PrimeSport VIP Super Bowl Pregame Party

Emmitt Smith, Pro Football Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl Champion, will host the most popular VIP pregame party before the actual game. This exclusive party will have food, an open bar, NFL celebrity appearances, and entertainment.

University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, Sunday, Feb. 1., Time TBA, $625



1/28: Moves Magazine Kick-off Party presents Night Moves feat. DJ Grandmaster Flash & The Ting Tings

The Moves Magazine party is a legendary pre-Super Bowl event. Its attendees are usually a mixture of A-listers and athletes. Former Super Bowl champion and Cardinal’s own Simeon Rice, accompanied by an unannounced starlet, will co -host. The Tings Tings will give a life performance in the retro Hotel Valley Ho said to have interactive art. This hotel is designed with the fun glamour of the 80s and reminiscent of Studio 54.

Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 9:00 p.m.,$250


1/31: Bootsy Bellows Arizona Takeover hosted by Drake

Drake can literally say, “I’m at the W, but I can’t meet you in the lobby,” as he did in the hit “Bed Rock.” This pop-up party location is based on the Los Angeles nightspot Bootsy Bellows on Sunset Boulevard. Drake will be accompanied by a DJ set from William Lifestyle and reality TV star gone DJ Brody Jenner.

W Scottsdale, 7277 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, Saturday, Jan.31, 10:00 p.m., $300



1/30: Tiësto

In the EDM world, Tiësto is often referred to as “The Greatest DJ of all time.” Also, as one of the biggest earning DJs, Tiësto is expected to have packed house and for it to sell out quick. Expect the Maya Day & Nightclub to be full with people jumping up and down with a light show over head.

Maya Day & Nightclub, 7333 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, Friday, Jan. 30, 9:00 p.m. $100


1/28: Suits and Sneakers

Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants will a fashion show dedicated to the Elevee Custom Clothing and Lifestyle line that makes custom wardrobes for celebrities and executives. Some of the models will be the NFL’s own football players like Patrick Peterson, Michael Floyd and Demaryus Thomas. This show will include a menswear line including custom suits and sneakers and definitely not one to be missed.

W Scottsdale, 7277 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, Wednesday, Jan.28, 9 p.m., $30


Stanton: Super Bowl showcases re-branded Phoenix

In the midst of the Super Bowl excitement, Mayor Greg Stanton and the city’s Community and Economic Development Director Christine Mackay have unveiled a new campaign to send a clear message: Phoenix is hot for new economic opportunity.

“We are about to welcome more than 1 million people to our city, and it’s important that we go all-in to showcase how Phoenix has transformed,” Stanton said.  “Our investments in human capital, a concentrated effort to increase exports, and stronger public-private partnerships have positioned us to be more competitive in the global economy.”

Many corporate leaders already are in town for the Super Bowl on Feb. 1, and Mackay is seizing the opportunity to sell Phoenix as the ideal place to start or grow businesses.

“As companies look for new sites to locate and expand, Phoenix competes very well on a national basis,” Mackay said.  “Our new campaign provides an updated community profile that will help us tell the Phoenix story to companies seeking to create quality jobs in a new market.”

Mackay and the city’s Community and Economic Development Department assembled a profile of Phoenix that highlights its strengths as the state’s center of government, commerce and culture.  The campaign emphasizes the city’s growing entrepreneur ecosystem, investments in higher education and bioscience facilities, and the success of the 20-mile light rail system.

Stanton referred to the campaign as a “re-branding” of Phoenix. “This is the perfect moment for us to show the rest of the world why Phoenix is the best place to work, live and play,” he said.


The cost to attend the Super Bowl in Glendale

Unlike alleged Foxboro footballs, ticket and travel costs to pro football’s championship game did not deflate over the weekend.  They went up.

Before the conference championship games took place, the average game ticket to Glendale cost $3,374, according to TiqIQ.  Now, the average ticket price is $4,174.50.  That price is only around 2 percent higher than it was for last year’s game at this time.

On the travel side, Patriots fans who bought their airline tickets last week could have paid as little as $343 roundtrip for travel departing January 31 and returning February 2nd.  Today, the range for roundtrip fares between Boston and Phoenix is $704 to $1,227.  Similarly, last week, the least expensive roundtrip fare from Seattle to Phoenix was $303.  Today, the range is $664 to $1,021.  Note – is it not unusual for airfares to increase as travel days get closer, especially last-minute.  And on the hotel side of the equation, rates for game weekend rooms are running anywhere between $117 and $1,999 a night.

CityScape 2

CityScape hosts festivities for Super Bowl XLIX

Close to one million people will descend on CityScape and Downtown Phoenix when all of the action surrounding Super Bowl XLIX begins Wednesday, Jan. 28 through Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1.
While a variety of the hottest celebrity parties will take over many of the CityScape restaurants and bars for private events, there will be an opportunity to get in on the action with open-to-the-public activities such as an autograph signing, outdoor ice skating, dining at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails and enjoying Bud Light Hotel, Live @ the Living Room, which will have a DJ nightly.
“RED Development and CityScape Phoenix are thrilled to help bring Super Bowl Central to Downtown Phoenix through our partnerships with the NFL and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee,” says Jeff Moloznik, vice president of development for RED. “CityScape will be at the heart of all the excitement leading up to the big game and on Super Bowl Sunday.”
Opportunities at CityScape Phoenix that are open to the public include:
Autograph Signing at Patriots Park at CityScape Phoenix
Former players will be signing autographs for fans as part of Verizon Super Bowl Central.
  • Free and open to the public.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 28 through Sunday, Feb. 1.
  • Days and times are subject to change and yet to be determined.
Puppy Bowl Café
Animal Planet is taking over The Corner and hosting Puppy Bowl XI. Come watch the Ruff vs. Fluff action to find out which team will be victorious with puppies from the Arizona Humane Society.
  • Times and date to be announced soon.
CitySkate at CityScape Phoenix
Take a spin on the Valley’s largest outdoor ice rink now through Feb. 2.
  • Day Session: 11am – 1:30pm (Daily). Night Session: 4pm – 11pm (Sun.– Fri.),4pm – Midnight (Sat.). Hours may vary.
  • Kids and Adults – $12 each
  • Military, Kids Under 4, Seniors – $6 each
  • College Students (with valid student ID) and groups of 10 or more – $10 each
  • Visit www.cityskatephx.com to purchase tickets and for a list of hours. Admission includes skate rental and unlimited skating all day.
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails will be open to the public throughout Super Bowl week for those looking to grab a bite, a craft cocktail and possibly spot some celebrities and football players.
  • From Thursday, Jan. 29 through Saturday, Jan. 31, the restaurant is offering a special three-course full dinner menu for $65++. Hours of operation will vary from the regular schedule: Lunch: 11am-3pm. Bar Menu: 3pm-5pm. Dinner: 5pm-11pm.
  • Reservations are strongly recommended.
  • For more information, visit http://www.bluehoundkitchen.com or call 602-258-0231.
  • Address:  2 East Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Bud Light Hotel, Live @ the Living Room
LUSTRE Rooftop Garden will open Live @ the Living Room, a pop-up nightlife hotspot, offering beer, cocktails and light fare with a guest DJ spinning nightly. The pop-up lounge will be located in the living room area adjacent to Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails.
footballCelebrity and VIP private parties at CityScape include:
NFL House
Located at Lucky Strike / Gypsy Bar /Copper Blues
Thursday, Jan. 29 – Sunday, Feb. 1
NFL guests will attend this private event.
Legends Lounge
Located at Stand Up Live
Thursday, Jan. 29 – Sunday, Feb. 1
Alumni and Hall of Fame players will attend this private event.
Bud Light House of Whatever
                                                Friday, Jan. 30 – Sunday, Feb. 1
                                                Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape for three days.
For more information about CityScape Phoenix, visit www.cityscapephoenix.com or call 602-772-3900.
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Terry Bradshaw to be honored in Phoenix

Hall of Famer, NFL quarterback and FOX NFL Sunday commentator, Terry Bradshaw, will get the full Friars comedy treatment as guest of honor at the next Friars Club Roast on Thursday, January 29 at a noon luncheon at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, in Phoenix, Arizona.

The one hour comedy roast, which will take place during the week of the Super Bowl, will premiere on ESPN2 in an hour-long special before the Super Bowl, on Friday, January 30 from 6p-7p CST.

One of the most prolific quarterbacks in history, leading the Steelers to an unprecedented four Super Bowl championships, Bradshaw has seen football from inside the game to analyzing and commentating them–more fodder for the Friars comedians and his peers to use against him as they turn their Roasting spits of wit.

“What can these guys possibly say to me that isn’t being said daily on social media? Heck….I may even leave here uplifted,” says Bradshaw.

Redd’s Apple Ale will join the fun as the Title Sponsor of the Roast and Broadcast.  Redd’s has been a friend of the Friars having sponsored previous Friars Roasts including Boomer Esiason and Jack Black.

Bradshaw joins the ranks of recent honorees Jack Black, Quentin Tarantino, Betty White and fellow NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason. Also expected to be in attendance Matthew McConaughey, Curt Menefee, Erin Andrews, Jeffrey Ross, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Lampanelli, Howie Long, Frank Caliendo, Larry King and many more!

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Gift of Laughter Wounded Warrior Program, a project of the Friars Foundation that provides uplifting entertainment to enhance and increase the well-being and positive attitude of troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, who are currently in military hospitals throughout the United States and in Europe and Make-A-Wish Arizona, the local and founding chapter of the now international wish granting organization which dedicates themselves to the mission of granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

According to Friars Club Abbot, Jerry Lewis, “It’s about time we start Roasting some hard-hitting athletes who have the brawn to face their Roasters. Terry has gone from tossing the balls to talking the balls so lets see if he has the balls to handle a Friars Roast. I’m pretty sure he does, he’s the consummate professional and I look forward to adding him to our roster of good sports!

Comedian Joel McHale will be the RoastMaster.

Arizona Business magnate and philanthropist Eric Crown will also be honored at the event with the Humanitarian Award.  The Co-Founder and Chairman of Insight Enterprises will be recognized for his successful achievements in business at the event as well.

“I’m excited to welcome the Friars Club to Arizona.  It’s an honor to be recognized by the Club, while at the same time roasting a football great.  The event should be full of a lot of laughs and surprises,” said Crown.

MillerCoors is a major sponsor of the Friars Roast of Terry Bradshaw on ESPN.

Terry Bradshaw was the first player chosen in the 1970 draft and became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in history, leading the Steelers to an unprecedented four Super Bowl championships–a feat that has only been duplicated once since. He also helped lead his team to six AFC championship games and eight straight playoff appearances from 1972 to 1979.  Bradshaw, a two-time Super Bowl MVP in Super Bowl XIII and XIV, was also a four-time All-Pro. He retired just prior to the 1984 season due to an elbow injury.

Bradshaw joined CBS Sports as an NFL game analyst in 1984 and then became a studio analyst on The NFL Today for four seasons beginning in 1990. He appeared as a contributor on the Super Bowl Today programs for Super Bowls XVI, XXIV and XXVI. Bradshaw has been with FOX NFL SUNDAY since its inception in 1994.

Over the span of his career, Bradshaw has been honored with multiple titles and awards.  The Associated Press, Sport magazine and the Maxwell Club of Philadelphia named him NFL Player of the Year in 1978. In 1979, he shared Sports Illustrated’s Man of the Year award with Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1989, Bradshaw was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He was named 1999’s Man of the Year by the Big Sisters of America and 2000’s Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Council. In April 2001, Bradshaw was presented with the NFL Alumni’s Career Achievement Award. In 2002, he became the NFL’s first player to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Bradshaw is also an Emmy award-winner with eight nominations for Outstanding Sports Personality and three wins in 2000, 2002 and 2009.

Bradshaw has written five books and became a New York Times best-selling author with his acclaimed autobiography, It’s Only a Game in 2001. His other autobiographies include:Keep it SimpleLooking DeepTerry Bradshaw: Man of Steel and No Easy Game.

Terry now adds starring in his own show to his already impressive resume. Bradshaw is currently touring the country with his show, “Terry Bradshaw: America’s Favorite Dumb Blonde…A Life in Four Quarters.” Bradshaw entertains audiences with a memorable night of singing, dancing and comedic storytelling.

Tickets start at $500.For more information visit http://www.friarsclub.com/eventpurchase/. To purchase tickets, tables or sponsorships please contact Jennifer Moser at (480) 423-1414 ext. 2 or by email JMoser@RoseMoserAllynPR.com.


AzLTA capitalizes on state’s ability to host big events

Debbie Johnson thought she was just coming for a race at Phoenix International Raceway when she visited Arizona in April of 1986.

“I was living in Wyoming at the time,” recalls the president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA). “We flew back into Denver to drive up to Wyoming and got stuck because it was snowing so hard the roads were closed. I decided right then and there that I was moving and moved to Arizona the following year.”

Now, as leader of the leading public policy advocate for Arizona’s lodging and tourism industry, Johnson hopes to keep other visitors coming back to the Grand Canyon state.

Az Business talked tourism with the woman who played a key role in the state’s ability to land hosting duties for this year’s Super Bowl, the 2016 College Football Championship Game and the 2017 Final Four.

Az Business: Why did the AzLTA decide to get political in 2014?

Debbie Johnson: We have been involved in previous elections, but on a much smaller scale. I think we’ve seen over the past several years the importance of getting involved and, obviously, this was a big election. With the direction of our board, we looked at it and said, “This is a time we need to get involved,” and that’s what we did.

AB: How did AzLTA’s political role look?

DJ: We looked for candidates who were supportive of tourism. We looked at issues. While we didn’t endorse candidates, we did do (political action committee) PAC dollars and we donated $12,000 in PAC funds. We designated tourism champions instead of endorsements and made sure our industry knew who was supportive of tourism. We decided that it was worth the risk you take sometimes when you get involved in elections.

AB: Why was getting political in November more important than in previous elections?

DJ: We have seen some issues come up over the past few years and realized that we had not done as good a job as we could educating elected officials about the value of tourism. That was on us, so we really wanted to take that role and educate those people who are going to be the leaders of our state about the value and importance of tourism so they have a better understanding. I think we also educated our members so they understand that elected officials have hundreds of issues on their desks every year. For us it’s intuitive, but they don’t work in tourism, so it’s our job to make sure they are informed. The quality of life here is great because of the tourism industry, even from a residential standpoint. Letting elected officials know about the dollars the tourism industry brings, the jobs that it brings and the economic impact is important.

AB: How did you balance getting more political without burning any bridges?

DJ: We were careful. We met with virtually every candidate and got their thoughts and opinions on tourism. From our standpoint, we felt like we had done everything we could to educate them and it was worth the time, effort and the responsibility from the PAC funds to make sure we were recommending the right people as tourism champions and PAC dollar recipients.

AB: How did the elections go for the tourism industry?

DJ: All in all, we were pretty happy. There are always some unknowns, but we feel there is strong leadership in the governor’s office. We’ve got some legislators who understand our industry and will be there when we need them to listen. It’s all about building relationships and about us understanding them and them understanding us. Hopefully, when a tourism issue crosses their desks now, they will reach out because they’ve met us and heard of us and that’s something that we didn’t have before.

AB: What do political leaders need to know about how their actions impact your industry?

DJ: They need to realize that tourism impacts all business. We have a $2.9 billion tax revenue impact. That’s a lot of money. So the decisions they make not only affect the tourism industry, but ancillary businesses like home builders, realtors, car sales and other services.

AB: In the next three years, Arizona will host the three biggest events in sports. What is Arizona doing right to keep landing these mega events?

DJ: The organizations that schedule these events look at Phoenix as a great model. Phoenix is only the second city in history to host these three mega events back to back to back. The other city was New Orleans. It goes to show the collaboration we have as a tourism community, but as a business community and with the cities.

AB: What is the winning formula you’re using in pitch meetings?

DJ: One of the sales pitches we used for the Final Four was saying, “Look at all these events that we’ve successfully hosted. We deserve a chance to host a Final Four and we’re going to show you how to do it.” They really took to that. They looked at the things we did right with past events. When they were here for the Final Four site visit, there was not one thing the tourism community, business community, stadium could have done better. We rolled out the red carpet and showed them our hospitality, our leadership, our collaborative efforts and they were really impressed. It’s all the cities coming together to show the benefit of hosting events in Arizona. They want the fans and the athletes to have good experience and we give them a great experience. We have such a diverse offering in terms of activities and amenities and things to do — spring training, golf, Sedona, a trip to the Grand Canyon, we’ve now become a food and wine destination. We’ve proven that they’re going to have fun here.

AB: How do these mega event impact economic development?

DJ: Their first step in getting a business to move here is getting their leadership to visit here. Any time we can talk about Arizona as a place to visit and as a place to do business, that media perception of Arizona as a positive, wonderful place to work and live and visit is tremendous. The economic development groups know that the business leaders need to come here first  to see what we have to offer. If we put on the best face we can, people want to come back not just to visit, but to live and work.

Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Jay Parry. Photo by Shavon Rose, AZ Big Media

Super Bowl’s impact on economy may last long after game

Early in the planning process for the 2015 Super Bowl, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Jay Parry was giving a presentation to Greater Phoenix Leadership and she referred to some of national perceptions of Arizona as “misperceptions.”

“An individual walked up to me after the presentation and said, ‘You did a great job, but just one point of clarification,’” Parry recounts. “‘Those are not misperceptions, those are reality.’ That was a good point. Some of those things are real, but there are so many positives about Arizona that offset the negatives.”

Parry, who was an executive with both the Phoenix Suns and WNBA champion Mercury before taking her role with Super Bowl committee, says that when the eyes of the world turn to Arizona for the Super Bowl on February 1, it will be the perfect time to showcase the progressive and innovative nature of Arizona. Az Business caught up with Parry near the future home of Super Bowl Central to talk strategy before the big game.

What has been your biggest challenge as CEO of the Super Bowl Host Committee?
There is so much positive excitement about Arizona hosting the Super Bowl. People want to be supportive and they want it to be a big success for Arizona, so everyone wants to be involved. Channeling all that interest and excitement and figuring out a way to put it to the best use to make the event amazing has been a challenge.

Why do you think this Super Bowl is generating so much more buzz locally than when Arizona last hosted the game in 2008?
We’ve really worked to build that buzz. We got the bid in 2011 and started working on all the community events and buildup in 2012. We know that to make this a big success for Arizona and have the positive impact that we want, it takes getting the whole community involved and excited. We have a volunteer board of directors of 20 Arizona leaders and they’ve been instrumental in creating meetings and introductions to corporate leaders here. Trying to make all those stakeholders a part of the process has been our goal and it’s gotten everyone excited about the event.

How does being CEO of the Super Bowl Host Committee differ from running a professional sports team?
There are a lot of similarities. But what I’ve learned is that there is nothing as big as the Super Bowl. It goes way beyond football. I attended the Super Bowl when Arizona hosted it in 1996 and in 2008, but when I got off the plane for the Super Bowl in 2013 in New Orleans, I said to myself, “This is so much bigger than I remember it being.” What I’ve realized is that there is a different dynamic from year to year. While some of the things stay the same, each host community brings its own stamp of personality to the event. Arizona’s hospitality industry is tailor made to host mega events and Arizona has become such an expert at it that we have a nice platform to work from. It just gets bigger and bigger.

How has adding the Pro Bowl to the mix impacted the planning process for the Super Bowl?
What we’ve been able to do is take the infrastructure and the planning for the Super Bowl and back it up a week. There is so much overlap with parking and transportation and aviation and volunteers, that it really made sense to have it span the whole week. Hosting the Pro Bowl is just another amazing coup for our state and a feather in our cap. When you take the perfect trifecta of the Pro Bowl, Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Super Bowl, all eyes from around the world will be on Arizona.

How has the Valley’s ability to host a Super Bowl changed since we last hosted the game in 2008?
Getting a Super Bowl is such a competitive process. For us to be selected to host again after seven short years is a testament to Arizona. The investment in the infrastructure in downtown Phoenix — from the light rail to the remodeled Convention Center to the extra restaurants that have been added to CityScape to the 3,000 hotel rooms in downtown Phoenix — is really what’s different for 2015. When we hosted the NFL in 2013, we walked through downtown Phoenix and ended up at the Hotel Palomar Phoenix on the pool deck. We looked out over Phoenix and the head of events turned to me and said, “This is a completely different place than it was in 2008.” That was a major win for us because they realized how much was done, and not just in Phoenix, but in Mesa and Tempe and Scottsdale and all the neighboring communities.

How will your efforts to make the 2015 Super Bowl a regional experience impact the visitor?
We want to make sure the entire Valley and the state gets to show its unique personality. Each of our communities is unique. From a visitor’s standpoint, the big difference will be Super Bowl Central, which will be located in downtown Phoenix. What the NFL learned from Indianapolis three years ago was the idea of a fan campus, where it’s the epicenter of activity. It has a lot of merit for visitors and they really enjoyed that, so the NFL built on that and we adopted that idea and created Super Bowl Central, which will be the biggest thing that Arizona has ever seen with its 12-block campus. Fans can migrate there and experience free family-friendly fun for the week leading up to the game, and then also have spokes throughout the Valley where they can enjoy other activities.

How do you think that super week — the Pro Bowl, Phoenix Open and Super Bowl — will impact Arizona’s tourism industry?
The sum total will be bigger than anything we’ve seen in Arizona before. The economic impact for the Super Bowl alone is estimated at more than $500 million. The Thunderbirds have measured the economic impact of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at more than $200 million. You add in the Pro Bowl on top of that and we don’t have a best guess yet, but you’re talking almost three-quarters of a billion dollars in economic impact for just that week. But what I get most excited about is the seeds that we are planting that week with all the exposure, all the media, all the visitors. It’s an enormous commercial for Arizona.

How do you hope business leaders and economic development leaders take advantage of Arizona’s role as host of the 2015 Super Bowl?
There is a lot of intention around capturing and growing that economic impact. We have a couple programs that the host committee leads. One is our CEO Forum, where we invite CEOs from outside of Arizona to come to Arizona for the weekend of the Super Bowl. We’ve created a three-day curriculum for them to meet local CEOs, learn why we are a pro-business environment and give the reason to relocate their business or expand their business in Arizona. We hope that builds more of an emotional connection with Arizona so they have real reasons and proof points why Arizona is different. The focus on economic development has been spearheaded by (Arizona Cardinals President) Michael Bidwill and (Salt River Project President) David Rousseau. Both of them have long standing commitments and have demonstrated ongoing business leadership in various local forums and organizations to build the Arizona business community.  So capitalizing on this with Super Bowl XLIX was a natural extension.”

What accomplishment as CEO of the Super Bowl Host Committee gives you the most pride?
We want it to be the best Super Bowl yet. By doing that, it will keep us in that regular rotation for hosting future Super Bowls and mega events, which is a lasting legacy from an economic development standpoint. Introducing the world to Arizona and demonstrating what our brand really is — progressive, youthful, energetic, committed to business — and telling that story on behalf of Arizona and creating a positive brand image would be a fantastic legacy for all of us.


Super Bowl helps Arizona stay green

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and the NFL are teaming with Verizon to collect and safely recycle electronic waste in the Phoenix area.  The recycling event is open to the public and gives local residents an opportunity to actively participate in the “greening” of their community as part of Super Bowl.

The collection takes place on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Desert Ridge Market Place in North Phoenix behind the AMC Theater Building. All electronic items turned in for recycling will be handled by SMS, an e-Steward Certified recycler, that will dispose of the items in an environmentally responsible manner and keep items out of the local landfills.

Recyclable items include laptop and desktop computers; CRT (cathode ray tube) and LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors and televisions; computer cables, mice and keyboards; gaming consoles; telephones and answering machines; stereo and audio equipment; paper shredders; alarm clocks; printers; cameras; conferencing equipment; remote controls; earphones; small electronic appliances (such as coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens and can openers); microwave ovens; vacuum cleaners; and electronic toys without batteries. Hard drives will not be wiped, and all batteries should be removed prior to turning in any items.

“The Super Bowl is a monumental one-day event. As a Host Committee it’s our mantra to leave a lasting legacy in our communities that extends beyond Feb. 1, 2015,” said Jay Parry, president and CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. “Beginning with the Host Committee’s first tree planting in April 2014, we’ve worked with all our community partners and the NFL to identify ways including solid waste collection, food recovery, material repurposing and a sports equipment and book donation drive that will leave a positive ‘green legacy’ in our backyard.”

“The NFL has spent more than two decades addressing the environmental impact of Super Bowl events and activities,” according to NFL Environmental Program Director Jack Groh. “This project with Verizon and the Host Committee lets everyone share in the greening of Super Bowl in their own community. Keeping e-waste out of local landfills is a way for all of us to do something positive.”

James Gowen, Chief Sustainability Officer at Verizon, said, “New electronics are very popular gifts each holiday season, but we all need to know where and how we are discarding our old devices. As more phones and tablets enter the marketplace, Verizon remains committed to collecting used models, helping to curb the rise in electronic waste.”

Verizon has collected 1.8 million pounds of e-waste at similar events since the launch of its recycling rally program in 2009. Verizon, together with SHI, ensures accredited and certified recycling vendors such as SMS in Phoenix, are selected for the events.

In addition to recycling e-waste, Verizon will collect no-longer-used cell phones, batteries, chargers, accessories and tablets as part of its Hopeline® from Verizon program, which provides support for non-profit domestic violence organizations and agencies nationwide. Since its launch in 2001, Verizon has donated more than 180,000 phones to victims and survivors and awarded millions of dollars in cash grants to support domestic violence prevention and awareness initiatives.