Financial incentives could lure big ticket events to Arizona

GLENDALE, AZ - A new plan wants to bring more big ticket events like the Super Bowl here to Arizona using taxpayer dollars.

The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, along with several other groups including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, wants to use financial incentives to attract all kinds of big events.

Those could be anything from the NCAA Final Four tournaments to political conventions.

The proposal would set aside millions of dollars from the state's general fund.

The goal is to raise $10 million dollars over the next few years.

Proponents say the economic impact really outweighs the money spent.

"This pot of money allows us to be more competitive to those other states that are already using those funds. Because if we don't have it, then we'll never be able to get it," said Jaime Molera, a consultant for the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority.

Molera says if a bid for an event fails, money will go right back to the general fund.

"If we never win these games, then the money would get flushed right back into the state budget so that taxpayers know there's not money being flushed down the toilet if we don't get these events," Molera said.

The plan is still in its early stages. Fiscally conservative groups say it's too early to comment on the proposal.

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