Super Bowl coming back to Arizona

Updated: October 30, 2003, 8:57 PM ET

PHOENIX -- Arizona was awarded the 2008 Super Bowl by a vote of NFL owners Thursday thanks to the state's warm winter weather, the new Cardinals stadium and the voters' support, Gov. Janet Napolitano said.

"I think competition for and winning the Super Bowl says Arizona is a completely wonderful place to host a world class event," she said from Chicago, where the NFL owners were meeting. "I hope it is the first of many."

The game will be played in the Cardinals stadium in Glendale, which is under construction and scheduled to open in 2006.

"I think that's absolutely fabulous," said Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis. "It's tremendous for everybody concerned."

Napolitano said the game will bring hundreds of millions of dollars into Arizona and draw thousands of people.

Glendale City Manager Ed Beasley said the NFL estimates the event will generate $400 million for the Phoenix area, which beat out Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C. for the 2008 game.

"We are very excited, and we have a high level of anticipation for the future," Beasley said.

This is the Phoenix area's second Super Bowl. The last one, in 1996, was played in Tempe, where Dallas beat Pittsburgh. The event pumped an estimated $306 million into Phoenix's economy.

Marshall Vest, director of economic and business research at the University of Arizona, said hotel occupancy, restaurant and bar sales, and hotel and motel tax collections all increased in 1996.

He said he expects that to happen again in 2008.

"It is a big coup for Arizona," Vest said.

The game in 1996 was played at Sun Devil Stadium, a college-owned venue that left the NFL's high rollers grumbling about inadequate seating, concourses and restrooms.

Cardinals vice president and general counsel Michael Bidwill said in March that having a new stadium was critical to landing another game.

"The experience the owners had, the fans had, the business partners had was incredible in 96," Bidwill said Thursday. "The only negative was the stadium, so now with a new stadium we've told the owners we're gonna do an ever better job."

The Cardinals new stadium will be shaped like a barrel cactus and feature a retractable roof and a grass playing surface that can be rolled up.

Arizona Cardinals running back Marcel Shipp said he is pleased the Super Bowl will be in the Phoenix area again. "I think this is the best place, the best weather, the best everything."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index