Super Bowl activities bring thousands of visitors, transit riders to downtown Phoenix

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Steven Wright


Feb 2, 2015, 2:48pm MST UPDATED: Feb 3, 2015, 7:13am MST

Travis Arbon Editorial Intern-Phoenix Business Journal Email

The city of Phoenix experienced record-setting visitors to downtown and public transit traffic during the days leading up to the Super Bowl, though specific details on the game’s economic impact remain elusive for now.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and other city and Super Bowl officials held a press conference Monday to announce details of the event’s impact on the city.

On Saturday alone, an estimated 177,000 people visited the Phoenix Convention Center for the NFL Experience, 67,000 more than the previous record set during the 2011 MLB All-Star Game festivities, according to figures released by the city.

See Also

See images of workers tearing down the Super Bowl infrastructure in the attached slideshow.

The city saw record public transit use through the weekend, with an estimated 126,000 light rail riders on Saturday, nearly double the previous record and almost triple the average Saturday ridership.

Monday was also the busiest day ever for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, with more than 200,000 passengers packing into planes to head home after the game. About 12,000 rental cars were scheduled to be returned Monday, triple the usual numbers

Stanton said the numbers showed Phoenix could handle any major event in the future.

“If last week didn’t show that, I don’t know what will. Phoenix is 100 percent ready, Phoenix is hot,” he said.

The city did not disclose a new estimate of the Super Bowl’s economic impact, but David Rousseau, chairman of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, said the organization commissioned Arizona State University to perform an economic impact study.

Stanton said the hope is that the previous $500 million economic impact estimate was met or exceeded as visitors spent money on local businesses, transit and lodging.

“An anecdotal symbol, I guess, would be the fact that many of the restaurants actually ran out of food and beverage throughout Verizon Super Bowl Central week,” Rousseau said. “I take that as a good sign.”


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