PHOENIX – For the fourth time, the Super Bowl will come to Arizona.
The NFL on Wednesday announced that Super Bowl LVII, to be played in 2023, will return to the Arizona Cardinals’ home field, University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. It will be the third time the venue has hosted the event; Super Bowl XXX, in 1996, was played in Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.
The unanimous vote by the league’s owners came as a surprise to many, who thought Las Vegas, which is building a stadium to accommodate the Raiders’ move to the city, would get the big game.
The proposal was the first to be approved under the league’s new process for awarding the Super Bowl, where the NFL “approaches a prospective bidder to put together a proposal” instead of putting multiple markets through a traditional bidding process, NFL.com reported.
“We’re thrilled by the unanimous vote,” Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill told NFL.com. “And we look forward to making this the most fan-friendly Super Bowl in the history of Super Bowls, and bigger and better than any Super Bowl. So we’re excited to host it.”
Arizona last hosted the event in 2015, when the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24, in a game remembered for Patriots’ defensive back Malcolm Butler’s iconic goal line interception late in the fourth quarter.
Arizona native and Arizona State University alumnus Zach Miller was a member of that Seahawks squad. He told Cronkite News this week that having the event return to his home state is great.
“As often as it can be here … it makes sense,” he said. “It’s a great city. You see that with all the spring training fans that want to come here. It’s awesome to see as a player.”
The 2023 game will be the fourth time the Phoenix area has hosted the Super Bowl. Only the Miami, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Tampa areas have hosted the game more often. No market will host the game more often than Phoenix from 2008 to 2023.
“It is a testament to the stellar reputation that our community has earned for staging world class events, and there are none bigger than the Super Bowl,” Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman David Rousseau said in a statement on azcardinals.com. “We clearly have the facilities, the infrastructure and most importantly the people to execute an event that has proven to have such a profoundly positive impact on our region.”
Gov. Doug Ducey spoke at the Wednesday press conference announcing the decision, calling it “fantastic news for the state of Arizona.”
Super Bowls XLII and XLIX had a significant boost to the area’s economy. The 2008 game generated more than $500 million in “direct and indirect spending by visiting fans and organizations.” according to a study performed by Arizona State’s W.P. Carey School of Business. The 2015 game earned an estimated $720 million in economic impact for the Phoenix area, according to another ASU study.
“This is a tremendous economic impact for the state of Arizona,” Ducey said at the press conference. “We look forward, from food service to restaurants and culinary experiences and hospitality, to pull out all the stops and make this the best possible Super Bowl that Arizona has ever hosted.”
Miller, a graduate of Desert Vista High School who played eight seasons in the NFL after an All-American career at ASU, said the Phoenix market is a favorite among NFL players.
“There’s a reason so many guys in the off-season train here,” said Miller, who retired after the 2014 season. “Guys like the city. I’ve had teammates move here who aren’t even from here.”
Miller also said the game helps grow the sport locally at a grassroots level.
“As a kid, you are going to know the Super Bowl is in your town,” he said. “It creates a good hype for your city that as a player you definitely notice in high school or Pop Warner or youth.”
The 2023 Super Bowl will be the third hosted by the Cardinals since Bidwill became president of the franchise, and the first Super Bowl since Ducey became governor.
“I want to say how grateful I am to have a leader like Michael Bidwill in the state of Arizona to be a partner in showing what Arizona is to the entire world,” Ducey said at the conference.
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said in a statement that the announcement was a product “of the hard work and dedication of the many different community and business leaders coming together to present the NFL owners with an attractive Arizona package.”