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Super Bowl committee, leaders unveil plans for downtown Phoenix

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PHOENIX – Super Bowl XLIX will be held next year in Glendale, but downtown Phoenix will play a big role as well.

At a news conference Tuesday, the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee announced that downtown will host an outdoor fan campus dubbed Super Bowl Central and the NFL’s headquarters and media center.

Mayor Greg Stanton said Phoenix is the logical choice for events leading up to the game.

“Glendale’s going to be an awesome host for the game day,” Stanton said. “We’re going to be the host for the week before.”

Downtown Phoenix will be home to a variety of events, including live music performances, beer and wine gardens and football-themed activities for those of all ages.

The world’s largest interactive football theme park, NFL Experience, will be in the Phoenix Convention Center. NFL House, the VIP hospitality headquarters, will be at CityScape shopping center.

The outdoor fan campus, which will span 12 blocks between Third Street to Central Avenue and Jefferson and Monroe streets, is expected to draw over 1 million visitors.

This is the third time Arizona has played host to the Super Bowl, but it’s the first time the event will have a “fan-centric campus” of this magnitude, said Jay Parry, president and CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.

“It’ll be family friendly, it’ll be free,” she said.

Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego said the Super Bowl will be an economic boon to Arizona, making it important for the city to make sure local businesses benefit.

“Super Bowls are about touchdowns and beers, but they’re also about jobs,” she said.

Councilman Michael Nowakowski said he hopes Arizona breaks the attendance record for the NFL Experience.

“I have six children of my own, and once they find out – four of them play football and they’re going to want to come every day to the NFL Experience,” he said.

Stanton said each city in the Valley will have its own unique responsibilities in making the Super Bowl the best event possible.

“There’s going to be outstanding, fun events in Scottsdale and in Tempe and in other communities,” he said. “And so none of us can adopt an attitude that it’s one city versus another city.”