Super Bowl Review

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Tom Sadler, president and CEO of the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, will give us an overall review of the Super Bowl.

Ted Simons: The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority owns and operates the University of Phoenix Stadium, where last night's Super Bowl was played. Here now for a review of the big event from the authority's perspective is its president and CEO, Tom Sadler. Thank you for joining us. Have you had any sleep?

Tom Sadler: We've had some, not as much as I normally get but it was all worth it.

Ted Simons: Overall impressions -- just all of the Super Bowl activities from start to the jet planes flying out this afternoon.

Tom Sadler: You know, by all indications and we're less than 24 hours since the game and event took place, that the community, the Super Bowl host community, the volunteers, the municipalities, the state agencies, the list goes on and on hit it out of the ballpark. I think we set the bar higher than we ever have in terms of hosting the Super Bowl. So I couldn't be more happy.

Ted Simons: What went especially well?

Tom Sadler: Well, when you have so many different moving parts, if you've not seen behind the curtain of a NFL Super Bowl being staged, there are so many different entities that are responsible for various components of game day and not to mention what happens in downtown Phoenix or out in Scottsdale that sometimes there can be challenges and I'm not going to say there wasn't but they were small and they were easily solvable and it seemed like it was a very smooth, running machine.

Ted Simons: As far as any challenges or what you would maybe next time around you would like to see improved?

Tom Sadler: You know, I think it's a little too early for that right now.

Ted Simons: It went that well?

Tom Sadler: It really did. I think what will happen is we'll engage in some very careful debriefing among all the parties, and then see what comes out on the table and find out what those things are and make those adjustments.

Ted Simons: Who will get together and kind of recap things?

Tom Sadler: Well, it will be the law enforcement agencies, it will be the folks that work at the stadium, the various municipalities and folks within their organizations. So it will be very well scripted and structured so that we have the opportunity to find out how we can improve.

Ted Simons: Were there any security issues? Any security concerns?

Tom Sadler: Well, there's always concerns.

Ted Simons: Yes, but I mean, special concerns?

Tom Sadler: But, no, not yesterday for the most part, as far as I know as of this moment.

Ted Simons: That was one of the most secure buildings in the country yesterday?

Tom Sadler: It really is. First of all, a Super Bowl as an event one, they categorize it as an event one security concern. And so by doing so we receive all the assets from the federal, state and local governments to help us assist with putting together security. I should mention that university of Phoenix stadium is one of three stadiums in the country to be certified under the federal safety act as a stadium that practices best practices and it was a very rigorous process we went through to receive that certification and so we're very proud of that.

Ted Simons: There was a lot of wet weather Friday, and on into Saturday and we had the fog on Sunday. Now consider that halftime show. By the way, who puts that halftime show on?

Tom Sadler: That's a subcontractor of the NFL, pretty spectacular, though.

Ted Simons: No kidding and obviously having the roof open helps a lot with that particular show. Was there a plan b, a contingency plan if it were raining?

Tom Sadler: If there's any chance of rain that roof probably wouldn't have been open but they felt good about the weather conditions.

Ted Simons: That would change the halftime show wouldn't it?

Tom Sadler: Most likely would have. Absolutely.

Ted Simons: Doing all the whole things. They had that figured out, as well.

Tom Sadler: Yeah.

Ted Simons: So the rain was not a problem leading up to the event?

Tom Sadler: Not for our preparation. We've got the luxury of closing the roof and working indoors. Certainly, the folks that worked in and around the stadium putting together the tailgate party and those kinds of things I'm sure challenged them but it wasn't that big a deal for us.

Ted Simons: There was an expanded stadium footprint for the game? What does that mean?

Tom Sadler: What they do for the Super Bowl is they take your entrance gates and they mandate that the entry points are now 300 feet around in a perimeter so it creates a safer environment so they really back things out into the parking lot, again so as to create a more safer environment.

Ted Simons: Ted Simons: That was a little different for Cardinal fans than what you see on any given Sunday as they say.

Tom Sadler: Yes.

Ted Simons: The general atmosphere of the game. Festivities, but at the game especially, at the stadium, just what you saw, compare and contrast to a Cardinal game.

Tom Sadler: Well, you know, it's a different event. It's a different magnitude. It's huge. I had the folks out from the NCAA and the college football championship to show them around. And to say the least, they were in awe of the size and magnitude of it. So I think just the size and the energy level for an event of that nature that's really on a world stage is just incredible.

Ted Simons: I want to ask. I know they came out here, what were their reactions? What were they seeing? What were they talking about?

Tom Sadler: As we showed them around, not that they haven't been to a Super Bowl in the past, I'm sure they have, they were just really impressed with the enormity of the organization that went into pulling this off but they were only here for a few hours in terms of the time I spent with them so I'm going to have to spend time with them, you know, in the near future to talk about what kind of things they took away from that and what do you want to do with your event.

Ted Simons: And I would imagine it's a day after the Super Bowl we can start peppering you with question on the NCAA game and the final four. What are you going to do for us next?

We'll have the frozen four here or something.

It really is a different beast. Both those things are very different, aren't they?

They really are. All three have their own signature to them. They have similar elements but they're very different, as well.

Ted Simons: As far as -- if you want to get into economic stuff here, but as far as future Super Bowls, are we still going to be in play -- something's going to happen in L.A. or San Diego, you've got Jerry's world in Texas, Levi stadium and whoever's building a brand-new stadium because of Minneapolis. Can Phoenix afford to stay in what seems to be an increasingly higher-priced game?

Tom Sadler: You know, I think so. When you look at the return on investment from hosting an event of that nature that we hosted yesterday, the short-term economic impact was valued at $500 million. I suppose we'll exceed that this time around. When you think about 160 million viewers, watching that around the world, when you think about what the economic development opportunities are associated with that in terms of people moving their business here or moving here or they had a great time during the Super Bowl week, hit just a tremendous world-class experience and they come back again when we don't have an event which helps our committee. I think we need to stay in the game, and I think Michael Bidwill mentioned two or three days ago let's get the next one if we can and let's go after it.

Ted Simons: We'll give you some sleep first.

Tom Sadler: Take a couple of weeks before we get the next one.

Ted Simons: Congratulations on what's looked like a very successful event. Thanks for joining us.

Tom Sadler: My pleasure.

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Tom Sadler:President and CEO, Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority;

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