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ASU study: Super Bowl generated $500 million for state

April 29, 2008

A research team of students from ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business combed the metropolitan Phoenix area before, during and after Super Bowl XLII earlier this year to gauge the game’s economic impact on Arizona.

The three-month study, led by 24 students in the W. P. Carey sports business MBA program, concluded that the game and its related activities generated a record $500.6 million in direct and indirect spending by visitors and organizations in town for Super Bowl week. The game was played Feb. 3 in Glendale.

Ray Artigue, executive director of the sports business MBA, says the study was far more complicated than similar projects because events surrounding the game were staged all over the metro area. He said the research team drove a collective 500 miles to interview fans at the various events.

“We crisscrossed the town,” Artigue says. “The people we needed to interview about their spending were spread out among dozens of hotels, numerous parties and the weeklong NFL fan experience. We spent 10 days gathering data before the game and finished at the airport two days afterward.”

The students collected 1,594 surveys to represent a cross-section of the visitors who traveled to Arizona for the game and related events.

Respondents were asked a variety of questions, including the events they were attending, the number of nights they were staying and what they were spending money on while in town.

The research team also contacted out-of-state companies after the game to determine how much they spent on sponsorships and private events during Super Bowl week, all in an effort to calculate organizational spending.

The W. P. Carey Sports Business MBA program was hired to conduct the study by the Arizona Super Bowl host committee. The sports program has conducted similar economic impact studies for several other sporting events, including college football’s BCS national championship games in 2003 and 2007; the FBR Open in 2006; and Phoenix International Raceway events and the LPGA Safeway International in 2007.

“We had many choices of research firms from across the country to conduct this study,” says Bob Sullivan, president of the host committee.

“Based on their methodology, thoroughness and professionalism, we made a correct decision to work with ASU.”
In 2006, the W. P. Carey MBA Sports Business program was lauded by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top five graduate sports programs in the country.

Hal Mattern,
(480) 965-5577
W. P. Carey School of Business