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Arizona is back in the game

Todd Sanders (Photo by Evan Wyloge)

Todd Sanders (Photo by Evan Wyloge)

Hundreds of millions of eyes will be on our Valley for the Super Bowl. While Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium hosts the game, the entire Valley and state stand to benefit from an influx of visitors, media coverage and economic activity that can only be described as, well….super!

As I look at downtown Phoenix for all the events taking place at Super Bowl Central, I marvel at the transformation our community as a whole has undergone since the last Super Bowl here in 2008.

Back then, the Convention Center and Valley Metro’s light rail were still under construction. The Convention Center is now three times the size it was in 2008. CityScape now stands where Patriots Square Park was, and the Sheraton and Westin have added to our high-end hotel space. Arizona State University’s downtown campus is a beauty and a spark for innovation and knowledge. This $4 billion investment in our infrastructure, attractions and transportation will pay off this week as visitors, the country and the world see a landscape that is the envy of the Southwest and a model for a modern metropolis.

Since 2008, Glendale has added more than 90 new company locations or expansions, attracted or retained more than 11,000 jobs and constructed over 6.3 million square feet of business space. And other Valley communities and the state have come through the worst recession in decades and stand poised to take advantage of the opportunities to come.

Compared to 2008, there will be more visitors spending more dollars and making even more of an impact on our economy during Super Bowl week. Those visitors will also tell more people about the great time they had in Arizona, and that will help enhance our image around the country and the world.

So whether you’re watching the game from stadium seats, at a party with friends, or just from your couch, you’re a part of something special. And know that because of the hard work of our business community, Arizona is definitely back in the game.

– Todd Sanders is president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

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