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Phoenix economy undisputed winner of Super Bowl XLIX

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Within minutes of the Seattle Seahawks wild win in the NFC Championship game, Phoenix KMLE radio personality David Dean received calls from friends back home in the Pacific Northwest who wanted to make arrangements to come to the Super Bowl.

“There are just droves of fans from Seattle that are all coming down. It’s just going to be nuts,” said Dean.“I would think its super good for the economy. It’s a quick flight and people have relatives and friends from all of the other Seattle stuff that happens here, like spring training.”

Across town in Ahwatukee, Kimberly Randall, a New England Patriots fan, celebrated the team’s eighth AFC championship.

“If you’ve ever been to New England or Boston, if you walk into a bar and you’re a [Patriots] fan, it’s like you’re a big family,” said Randall. “I have family flying in next week for the game. Pats fans are diehard fans.”

They are all converging on Phoenix this week for Super Bowl XLIX Sunday. Regardless of the game’s outcome, Phoenix will turn out a winner, maybe the biggest.

“This is a big corporate event and there is a big presence among the very wealthy, no matter who is playing,” said Professor Dennis Hoffman of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “On the margin, I think the teams matter. Small market teams like Jacksonville, Cincinnati or Buffalo would have a smaller following and there would be less buzz around the bowl game.”

However, Green Bay Packer fans might have a bigger impact than Seattle fans.

“The Green Bay Packers are a national, long-run traditional team representing the Midwest and Seattle, last year’s champions, are more of an upstart of the Northwest,” said Hoffman. “Green Bay probably would have a had a little bigger following, and certainly against a Northeast contingent [the fans] would have come.”

Regardless of the opponent, Patriot fans are flocking in droves to town.

“Due to the big corporate presence in the Northeast and the big following the Patriots have in this area, New England will definitely have more of an impact than the Colts would have,” said Hoffman.

While the host team has never made it to the Super Bowl, up until late November there was a strong possibility the Arizona Cardinals could have been the first.

Hoffman said Arizona’s presence could have boosted the economic impact given the Cardinals feel good season.

“The most watched show all fall in Phoenix was the Cardinals games,” said Hoffman.

Each of the last 12 Cardinals games were watched in as many as 537,000 Valley homes, according to a press release from the NFL and the Neilsen Company.

“The buzz around the Arizona Cardinals was very real,” said Hoffman. “I think you could make the case that if the Cardinals would have continued their success it would have helped bolstered consumer confidence to some degree.”

From 2008 to 2015, the metro light rail has evolved transportation in downtown Phoenix. Super Bowl fans will be able to get around with light rail stops reaching from Christown Spectrum Mall to Mesa. Graphic: Brittany Dierken