Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Super Bowl XLII: West Valley Is On the Clock!

Now that Super Bowl XLI is in the past, Arizonans are anticipating the next one, which will take place February 3, 2008, at Cardinals Stadium (aka University of Phoenix Stadium). Although Super Bowl XLII is expected to pump 400 million dollars into our local economy, will the area merchants be ready to handle a crowd of this magnitude?

Hosting the Super Bowl is an exciting thing for Arizona, but even more so for those of us living in the West Valley. Ever since Super Bowl XLII was awarded to Glendale in October 2003, we have seen the transformation of farm land into what is quickly becoming Zanjero, Westgate, the Glendale Arena (aka Jobing.com Arena) and Cardinals Stadium. We have also seen Loop 101 connected to I10 since that time!

As much as I am thrilled that we are finally gaining some great entertainment opportunities on this side of town, I am not persuaded that Super Bowl XLII will provide us with the boost in our economy that forecasters are predicting mostly due to the lack of establishments ready to serve the crowd.

For one thing, I'm not seeing the number of hotels in the area that will be required to house all of the fans expected to attend the game, not to mention the fans who just want to bask in the atmosphere. If they can't find the rooms they need within minutes of the stadium... where are they going to go? I can answer that. They're going to go to the East Valley, spend their vacation money there, and commute to the West Valley for the game. I know, I know, that's still the local economy, but hey I'd like to see the west-side provide the necessary establishments to support our incoming visitors. This will be our moment to shine!

It just seems to me like some of the projects are dragging their feet getting completed. Maybe it's all of the approvals that go into constructing a building from scratch, maybe it's the materials not being readily available. But we're to the count-down now. We're on the clock now, and these businesses should be up and running before the Super Bowl is here. It's not the best time to train people when there are large crowds. The stores don't wait until December to start hiring their Christmas help... there's a reason. They need to be efficient when the crowds arrive... not in training. Time to get your head in the game and complete the projects so the employees can be trained and ready to handle our winter visitors.