The National Football League has announced that Arizona has bested stiff competition from Tampa to land the 2015 Super Bowl. This will be the state’s third Super Bowl, after hosting the massive event in 1996 and 2008.
Competition to land the Super Bowl is fierce due to the massive about of money it brings in. AzCentral.com reported that football fans generated about $500 million in direct and indirect spending in Arizona during the 2008 Super Bowl. It is also a chance for the host region to “put their cultural identity on display for a worldwide audience,” as the Arizona Republic reported back in 2008 when the Arizona Indian Tourism Association capitalized on the Super Bowl by presenting a three-day Arizona Indian Festival.
The event was part of the “Super Celebration Series,” which was a group of public events sanctioned by the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. It was the first time since the last time the state hosted a Super Bowl, in 1996, that all 22 of the state’s tribes and nations collaborated to put on a single cultural celebration. Visitors were able to get experience the state’s large American Indian community while also contributing to their future — proceeds from the event went to the building fund for the Native American Cultural Center, which is to be built on the Steele Indian School property. Tribes and nations as diverse as the Gila River Indian Community and the Tohono O’odham Nation came together to educate the thousands of people who flooded to the state. There were seven American Indian “villages” which had traditional dwellings, tribal elders telling ancient legends, traditional foods, dances, and music.
With four years to go until the date, it gives the state’s diverse American Indian community plenty of time to plan something even bigger.