Arizona Senate fails to pass Super Bowl bill

GLENDALE, AZ - The Arizona Senate has failed to pass a bill that would help the city of Glendale cover public safety costs during the next Super Bowl.

The Senate on Tuesday voted down House Bill 2547 which would require Arizona to cover half the costs Glendale incurs for the 2015 Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Officials say previous threats to safety at other venues such as the Boston Marathon bombings have increased security costs.

The bill by Rep. David Gowan of Sierra Vista initially would have reimbursed the city up to $4 million. But amendments watered down the bill, and it now would only stand for one year, meaning it would benefit only Glendale.

Republicans and Democrats said it was unfair for the entire state to foot the bill for Glendale.

The Glendale City Council released a join statement Tuesday evening.

We are extremely disappointed that the Arizona Senate failed to pass HB 2547 (MAJOR EVENT PUBLIC SAFETY REIMBURSMENT), which would have created a mechanism that would allow any host city of a major event to seek reimbursement for a portion of their public safety costs.  As we have consistently said since hosting the 2008 Super Bowl and throughout this legislative session, the current model of hosting these major events is unsustainable because the bid process typically obligates the local host city to provide and pay for all of the federally mandated public safety requirements, despite the fact that the economic benefit of hosting such events is received by the entire state.  A few days ago, the state legislature made a special earmarked appropriation for $2 million in their FY 2015 budget to promote the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl to tourists through additional marketing and advertisements, but did nothing to address costs associated with mandated public safety requirements.  It is unfortunate that our public safety personnel and first responders didn't generate a similar level of importance at the state level.

Although the legislature has made it clear that they will not provide any financial support for the public safety costs incurred by a host city, the City of Glendale remains committed to hosting the safest, most successful Super Bowl in February 2015.  Moving forward, it will be Glendale's expectation that those groups seeking city support to bid on major events, incorporate the costs of public safety into their event expenses and fundraising efforts.  Until the state legislature prioritizes public safety funding for major events, having sustainable partnerships between host cities and host/bid committees that address public safety will ensure that Arizona remains the preferred destination for these major events and continues to host them for years to come.

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