Sports

Arizona Awarded 2015 Super Bowl

A general view of the exterior of the University of Phoenix Stadium, host of Super Bowl XLII, before the NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals on September 30, 2007 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

A general view of the exterior of the University of Phoenix Stadium, host of Super Bowl XLII, before the NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals on September 30, 2007 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

HOUSTON (AP) — The Phoenix area was awarded the 2015 Super Bowl by NFL owners Tuesday, beating the only other candidate — Tampa, Fla.

This will be the third time the Phoenix area has hosted the game, which will be played in Glendale.

“We are thrilled to be back in Arizona,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “I will say it was a difficult choice.”

Phoenix won on the second ballot, prompting screams of joy from the Arizona committee.

“Everyone pulled together throughout the Phoenix area to put together a terrific package we were able to present to the owners,” Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said. “We are delighted.”

The Super Bowl also was held at University of Phoenix Stadium in 2008, when the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14. Tempe, Ariz., was the 1996 host, with Dallas defeating Pittsburgh 27-17. Tampa hosted the game in 1984, 1991, 2001 and 2009.

“Both cities are great sites for the Super Bowl and both had impressive bids,” said Giants owner John Mara, whose team has won championships in both places. “They’ve each been to the altar a few times recently and were denied. They both deserve to host a game again.”

Next year’s game is in Indianapolis, followed by New Orleans in 2013 and the New York/New Jersey area in 2014. The 2015 game is the 49th Super Bowl. There is speculation that the 50th anniversary of the championship game will wind up in Los Angeles, where the first Super Bowl was played in 1967, if a suitable stadium is available.

Neither Arizona nor Tampa received the required 24 of 32 votes on the first ballot, meaning a simple majority was needed on the next vote.

Goodell spoke with the Tampa Bay group immediately after it lost the bidding.

“Anytime we are invited to participate, we will do so,” said Paul Catoe, outgoing CEO of Tampa Bay & Co.

Bidwill said the estimated economic impact in Arizona in 2008 was more than $500 million, and he expects it to be higher in 2015. While that number seems high because subsequent Super Bowls didn’t reach that level, it’s still a major boon to local business.

“The impact is in the multihundred millions of dollars, and that is significant value for any community,” said Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based sports business consulting firm Sportscorp Ltd., and an observer of the league’s business side. “The Super Bowl also provides a positive target for a community to rally around. There are all sorts of activities — business, volunteer, political — that can be pointed to when they host the Super Bowl.

Ganis also points out that the Phoenix area has enough first-class hotels for the Super Bowl. That has been a challenge for Tampa, which has involved Orlando and Sarasota and other areas in its bids.

The NFL also set Feb. 2, 2014 as the date of the Super Bowl in the New Jersey Meadowlands, the first outdoor Super Bowl at a cold-weather site. That date will not conflict with the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“It’s historically warmer on Feb. 2,” Mara said with a smile, knowing average February temperatures in East Rutherford range from 24 to 40 degrees.

Of course, there’s the possibility of snow, freezing rain, blustery winds and all the accompanying elements.

That will not be a factor in Arizona. The NFL has seemed eager to return to the Valley of the Sun since the Giants’ upset of the then-unbeaten Patriots on Feb. 3, 2008.

“This is huge for Arizona,” bid leader Mike Kennedy said. “It feels really satisfying.”

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.