Super Bowl LVII added $726 million to Arizona's GDP, report shows

By Kirsten Dorman
Published: Thursday, October 5, 2023 - 7:18am
Updated: Thursday, October 5, 2023 - 4:33pm

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Governor Katie Hobbs is seen on a temporary stage in the Herberger Theater Center speaking to a crowd. Behind her is a backdrop showing a logo for Super Bowl 57. Screens on either side show similar images. Seated audience members are also visible.
Kirsten Dorman/KJZZ
Gov. Katie Hobbs spoke about the economic impact of hosting Super Bowl 57 at the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix on Oct. 4, 2023.

Eight months after the Phoenix area hosted Super Bowl LVII, researchers at Arizona State University’s at the W.P. Carey School of Business finished a report on the economic impact of the big game and the 220 events surrounding it.

Anthony Evans, a senior research fellow at the L. William Seidman Research Institute, said one number speaks for itself.

“The figure you have to focus on is the contributions to state GDP,” Evans said. “That is the bottom line. That is exactly what is happening here to the state economy — $726 million. I think you’ll struggle to find any other event, over a four- or five-day period, that could generate that much for the state itself.”

Evans said that the benefit spread outside of the Phoenix metropolitan area, too.

“Almost one in four of every visitor we surveyed [said they were] going to other parts of the state to spend money as well,” he said. “We haven't taken into account that money, but that money is coming into the state."

Evans said events like the Super Bowl draw in out-of-state dollars that generate tourism revenue and attract businesses to the state.

“The lasting legacy is through the tourism and through the business commitments,” said Evans.

What made the impact of Super Bowl LVII stand out from others he’s studied, Evans said, was the number of events held surrounding the big game.

Anthony Evans is a senior research fellow at Arizona State University
Kirsten Dorman/KJZZ
Anthony Evans is a senior research fellow at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School in the L. William Seidman Research Institute. He worked on the report examining the economic impact of the Super Bowl and the 220 events surrounding it.

“For the first time, we were able to get data from the official event and hospitality partners,” Evans said. “They now account for around 28% of the total impact.”

Visitors, he said, accounted for 33% of the Super Bowl’s total impact. Hosting big events like this make for a “vital cog” for generating tourism dollars and attracting businesses to Arizona, Evans said.

Gov. Katie Hobbs touted the sporting event as both an immediate and long-term success for Arizona’s economy.

“Super Bowl LVII generated nearly $730 million to the state GDP,” said Hobbs. “And it also contributed nearly $500 million worth of income for Arizonans and created thousands of jobs.”

Hobbs also boasted that the event is an opportunity to attract business leaders from around the globe.

“It is absolutely one important tool that we use to attract economic development to our state,” Hobbs said.

The Arizona Commerce Authority spent $1.85 million during the Super Bowl to host business leaders, according to a recent report by the Arizona Auditor General's Office.

The Auditor General's Office flagged that spending to the Attorney General’s Office to determine if it violates the Arizona constitution’s gift clause.

Hobbs, meanwhile, said the state is now shifting its focus to another big sporting event — the NCAA’s men’s basketball Final Four in the spring.

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