A bill has been introduced in the Arizona Legislature that would reimburse communities hosting national events, like a Super Bowl football game, a portion of the extra security expenses associated directly with the event. Majority Leader David Gowan, is sponsoring the bill, which he says will enhance Arizona’s reputation.
Arizona has played host to two Super Bowls, two Bowl Championship Series national college football games, the annual Fiesta Bowl, an NBA All Star Week and the NCAA March Madness Regionals.
The average stay for a visitor, when Arizona hosted Super Bowl XLII in 2008, was close to four nights, according to a study by the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business. The overall economic impact, both direct and indirect, was over half a billion dollars.
Gowan argues that since hosting Super Bowl XVII in 2008, Arizona’s reputation as a suitable venue for national and international events has grown. “As businesses and communities continue to recover, it is imperative that we protect our reputation, and send a signal to communities throughout the state that the Legislature supports their efforts to compete for national and international events.”
The special event public safety reimbursement fund would reimburse host communities up to 50 percent of certified expenses directly related to providing extra security at public events that meet the following criteria:
• Event is nationally or internationally recognized
• Attendance exceeds 14,000
• Event is broadcast live over national airwaves
• Hosting is awarded through a formalized competitive process
At least 90 days before the event, the host community will submit to the Arizona Department of Administration and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee a report estimating the public safety related costs of hosting the event. ADOA will verify that the proposed expenditures are eligible for reimbursement.
After the event, but not later than 120 days, the host community will submit a certified financial statement of actual public safety costs incurred.
ADOA will administer the reimbursement account. If requested to do so by the Legislature, the state auditor general can conduct an investigation of the host community to determine that all monies were used properly.