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'A very different kind of tourism': Super Bowl expected to bring millions of dollars to Arizona

Local businesses are getting ready for more people to descend on the Valley and capitalize on the influx of spending for the big game.

PHOENIX — Super Bowl LVII is right around the corner, and the week and a half leading up to the game can mean big money for Arizona. 

While investments are made to host the Super Bowl, it's likely to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars for the state. That spending will bring a boost to local businesses. 

Getting ready

While just a few months open in Downtown Glendale, Blue Corn Cafe & Bakery is preparing for the Super Bowl to come to the Valley. 

"We have little football cookies, a lot of people ordering cakes and shapes of footballs," Nick Myron, the owner of the shop, said. 

The bakery handmakes their pastries, bread and quiches from scratch, and Myron says he's expanding the menu for the Super Bowl's arrival. That's in addition to planning to add more seating and staff to serve more people. 

"The Super Bowl in general changes communities when it comes in," Myron said. 

It's the influx of people and their spending that Myron is hoping for an influx to help the cafe continue to expand. 

"Overall, it's influx to help you prepare for the next steps for longevity, sustainability continuation. So for me, there's some equipment that we could use that would make things a lot easier, versus doing everything by hand," Myron said. 

It's those kinds of big-ticket items that Myron says a business might not have in a normal operating budget that big events, like the Super Bowl, can help provide the extra money for, believing that also has a longer impact in the community. 

"When we can do more, we can service more people, we can provide more options," Myron said. 

'A very different kind of tourism'

Between the hotels, food, shopping and more, the Super Bowl brings big bucks with it. 

"It's a very different kind of tourism," Anthony Evans, senior researcher at the Seidman Research Institute at ASU, said. 

Evans has studied the economic impact of sporting events, including the 2015 Super Bowl in Arizona. 

"In 2015, where we also had the Pro Bowl, it was over $719 million came into the economy over nine to 10 days," Evans said. 

The research doesn't look at what locals spend, but what tourists who come to Arizona and the Valley for the Super Bowl spend, regardless if they have a ticket or not. 

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Evans anticipates about 80% to 90% of about 100,000 people who attend Super Bowl events, whether the game or other experiences, will be from out of town. 

"We'll look at their accommodations, we'll look at the bars, restaurants, whether they spend the money on groceries, what other forms of entertainment they engage in, do they hire a car? Do they spend gas money and things of that nature?" Evans said. 

Likely hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact

Evans said he doesn't want to forecast specifically for what 2023 could bring in terms of economic impact for Arizona. But says the closes comparison is the 2020 Super Bowl. Evans said that brought in $500 million to $600 million to Florida. 

"The truth is, the room rates will be higher, the occupancy rates will be higher, the accommodation and food service revenues will be far greater compared to any other week in the year," Evans said. 

While cities, the state, the Super Bowl Committee and its partners make investments in the game and surrounding experiences, Evans' team doesn't take all of those costs into account in its tally of economic impact. 

However, Evans said Arizona already has the biggest price tag taken care of: The stadium. 

"I think that one of the recent Super Bowl stadiums cost around $5.5 billion to construct. So, the State of Arizona is actually in a good position here. They actually committed to that stadium back in 2008 and we're certainly utilizing the facilities," Evans said. 

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