Super Bowl history in Arizona
The Super Bowl is coming to Glendale this Sunday for a faceoff between the Eagles and the Chiefs. However, this is not the first time the game has come to Arizona. The Super Bowl has a rich history in the Grand Canyon state.
Kent Somers, sports columnist for the Arizona Republic, joins Ted to discuss history of the game.
“For a long time, it was the only venue out west that could accommodate a Super Bowl,” said Somers.
The Super Bowl in Arizona goes all the way back to 1988 with Bill Bidwill, the original owner of the Arizona Cardinals. When the Cardinals came to Arizona in the 1980’s, “they were promising Bill Bidwill and Arizona a Super Bowl,” Somers points out.
Arizona was supposed to host its first Super Bowl game in 1993. However, a vote from six years earlier derailed the plan. The 1987 decision to did not create an important holiday in the state.
“Arizona did not have a Martin Luther King Day, it was resided by Governor Evan Mecham,” said Somers. “Even when they granted Arizona that Super Bowl, it came with the asterisk of ‘if you have a Martin Luther King Day.'”
Due to this decision, the 1993 game was moved from Arizona and awarded to Pasadena, California.
It returned in 1996. In 2010, lawmakers passed the controversial SB 1070 anti-immigration bill. Many activists were outraged when Arizona was awarded the Super Bowl in 2015-activists and others pressured then Governor Jan Brewer to get rid of it.
Arizona has hosted the Super Bowl four times 1996, 2008, 2015, and 2023.