Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers will recap the Super Bowl from the perspective of the City of Glendale.
Good evening and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. Apple today announced plans to build a command center for global operations in Mesa at the same facility abandoned last year by an Apple supplier that declared bankruptcy. Apple still owns the facility and is now committing a $2 billion investment over 30 years. Governor Doug Ducey talked today about the scope of Apple's plans.
It's one of the largest investments ever in apple history. It means a 1.3 million-square-foot facility in mesa, Arizona. It means 300 to 500 construction and trade jobs and 150 permanent apple jobs. It means an investment in clean energy with projects that will eventually produce enough solar energy to power 15,000 homes. In all, it means a $2 billion investment with a 30-year commitment to the state of Arizona.
A spokesman for the governor says that the agreement with Apple does not include money from the state's deal-closing fund.
Ted Simons: Yesterday, the city of Glendale was a global command center of sorts, with the Super Bowl played in front of the largest national TV audience in history. Joining us now is Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers. Good to have you here. You're a busy man these days.
Jerry Weiers: It's been fun.
Ted Simons: Has it been fun?
Jerry Weiers: There's no doubt about it. A lot of work. A lot of preparation, a lot of planning, a lot of worrying and not a lot of sleep.
Ted Simons: Did you attend the game?
Jerry Weiers: I did. That worked out and I did, and got to see probably one of the greatest games ever and it happened in our city, it happened in our state. And once again, Glendale, even with the fog, Glendale shined very brightly yesterday, there's no doubt.
Ted Simons: I've got to ask, how did you get the tickets?
Jerry Weiers: A gentleman, Mr. Modell from New York had heard the story that was repeated multiple times through a lot of different news agencies and he had called up, talked with my assistants and said that they had a couple of tickets they wanted to give me. They really felt like the mayor of Glendale, the host city should be there, and my staff told me about it and I had talked with my wife, and then I said look, I don't necessarily like the idea of taking tickets because it's offensive to a lot of citizens. People being given things. But I will accept your tickets on the condition that I can write a check for the equivalent amount of the two tickets and make that donation in the name of Shriners charities, which I've been very active with the Shriners for years, the transportation fund and here in Arizona, we don't have a Shriners hospital. We have a lot of Shriners kids and so if we can send those Shriners kids to one of the Shriners hospitals for their free medical, the different things that the Shriners do, help the family out that hasn't got the money, help a child lead as close to a normal life as possible, if that's my way of paying it forward, then I certainly don't have a problem with that and Mr. Modell said he had no issues with that. He was happy with that. That's what we did.
Ted Simons: Did the NFL did anyone apologize for that oversight?
Jerry Weiers: There was never any apologies and I don't know if any apologies were necessary. In fact, I don't believe any apologies were necessary. Whether it was an oversight, I don't know. And I guess there's no sense in worrying about what had happened. We're going to move forward, you know, we'll get over this and we'll try to do what's very best for our city, certainly what's best for the state of Arizona. You know, Arizona really, really truly has been on the world stage the last 30 days. When you start looking at all the events that have happened in just the valley alone between the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl, the fiesta bowl, the auto auction and the records, the incredible numbers they were setting at the golf tournament. We don't get a lot of chances to really let people see what we're about and I think as a region, I think everybody did a fantastic job and we've frozen what Arizona can do.
Ted Simons: But again, as far as apparent disconnect between Glendale and NFL, you perhaps, I don't know what the disconnect is. What is going on there and why do you think it exists?
Jerry Weiers: You know, and I made this statement multiple times. I think the past Super Bowl, not yesterday's, but a few years ago, I think there was some things that were done, some things that were said, that I just -- I think there was some feelings, deeply hurt, I don't think those wounds were ever healed, and I think with the new Super Bowl coming, it's kind of like ripping scabs off. It's pretty painful. And again, I believe -- and I made this statement multiple times. I sit down with mike, drink a beer with him and see if we can't mend some fences and move forward, do what's best for his organization, for the city of Glendale, for the state of Arizona. I truly believe we can. But, you know, the swelling's got to go down before we get there.
Ted Simons: And the swelling probably still exists when you hear reports of Michael Bidwill saying you guys don't -- everything's happening in Phoenix and Scottsdale because you guys won't cooperate.
Jerry Weiers: You know, again, I don't know if talking about that is going to do us any good. As we move forward in the future, everybody knows what we're capable of doing. First and foremost, my concern is put on the safest, best event possible. When citizens leave, their concern was never safety. Their concern was that they're going to get home, that they're going to have a great time, that they're going to have some money left in their wallets. We want them to spend as much as they can but we want them to leave with a great experience of Glendale, of the valley and of Arizona, go home and tell their friends and maybe, just maybe those folks might decide to move down here, move their businesses down here. And that's that future that I can't predict, I can't tell you whether the city made money or lost money. I don't know. We won't know until we get all the beans counted.
Ted Simons: How much do you think this costs the city? Overall?
Jerry Weiers: I think -- well, let me shorten that up a little bit. I think that we're probably going to lose a couple of million dollars. Initially when you first count the beans but I won't know that for sure until we get our audits done and get back and really truly find out how much went out and how much came in but how do you put a value on 100 million people watching the game yesterday? 100 million people hearing the words Glendale, Arizona, and seeing people walk around in shorts? Obviously, there's value to that but is it a true dollar value? No, it's not. But in the future, very likely yes.
Ted Simons: If the future if -- if there is another Super Bowl.
Jerry Weiers: Let's not go there. Let's say we're going to have more Super Bowls.
Ted Simons: Let's say we're going to have another one in six, eight, 10, 12, whatever it is years, by then will there be more for people to do in Glendale? Will there be more hotel rooms, I've heard the criticism yeah, they're going to Phoenix and Scottsdale, there's nothing going on in Glendale.
Jerry Weiers: I agree with that somewhat. You know, and I've been very clear about this. I do not have any issues or problems with what Scottsdale, with what Phoenix or Tempe has done because it makes sense. It makes business sense. I'm not upset with anybody for the fact that you want to keep the largest group of people together as you can, the event in downtown Phoenix, they have light rail, they have all the hotel rooms, they have civic centers down there, they have a way to accommodate that many people. We don't in Glendale. But Phoenix has been around a little bit longer than Glendale. It's grown much quicker. Glendale in six, eight, 10 years I'm certain will have more buildings. Right now, we only have about 2% of the hotel rooms in the entire state. So you're not comparing apples to apples.
Ted Simons: Right but is there a movement afoot somewhere, somehow, to get more hotel rooms, to get more things going on?
Jerry Weiers: I think that's been happening the last 30 days. I think businesses are going to see that Glendale is an area that there's an incredible amount of potential growth. We have a lot of property out there that has nothing in it right now, possibilities of more relaxation and I would like to say we have an epicenter of new growth that I think people are going to see in the next five to 10 years, Glendale is where all the growth is happening and you will see some of those things you're talking about.
Ted Simons: As far as Glendale residents, do you think most Glendale residents, if you asked them straight up are happy that that football stadium is out there and are happy that the Super Bowl was there?
Jerry Weiers: I believe if you asked those two questions, the sense of pride that the citizens have about those two issues, absolutely. There's an incredible sense of pride for citizens to be able to tell somebody Glendale, Arizona, the place that we held the Super Bowl, twice. There's an awful lot of pride with that. With that, you know, you also have some other issues that you have to work with. We have to have public safety. I've got to make certain that anybody that comes to the state is protected, and that my citizens also at this very same time that we're protecting 80,000 people in the stadium, my citizens get the same level of service if there's a fire or emergency so police or fire. With that comes the burden of how do we do that? We partner with other cities. We have other cities bring officers out, but with that also comes the burden of the cost. Public safety is very, very expensive. And the last year plus that they've worked on making this be a safe issue, a safe event yesterday, people have been spending a lot of time, I mean a tremendous amount of time sitting in rooms saying what if? And I wouldn't want them to do it any other way. They covered every base, they've checked every square, they've dotted every i and crossed every t. We did it right. We set the standards for other cities.
Ted Simons: Last question, when the next Super Bowl comes around, what do you want to see most from the state, from the NFL, from the Bidwills, what do you want to see?
Jerry Weiers: I guess to answer that -- it's actually multiple answers. From the state, I'm working and I believe that we've got a really good chance of getting the state, the legislature, to pass a similar bill, what we were trying to do last year where the state understands all these things that we've talked about tonight, brings a tremendous amount of money to Arizona. And whether it's in Arizona or whether it's in Glendale or Tucson or Phoenix or Tempe, if it's a bid, if it's a bid situation where we're competing with other states, the state needs to understand if we don't get that, the money's not going to be here. So the state benefits, they make a lot of money from it. They need to help with some of the costs. NFL obviously, we can do a lot better job working with the NFL, partnering with them earlier on. As far as the Bidwills, you know, we just got to get mike to find some quarterbacks to stay healthier so next time we have the Cardinals playing in the Super Bowl and Glendale.
Ted Simons: A nice quiet spot for you to share a beer or two and figure things out. Mayor, good to see you. Thanks for joining us.