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Copyright 2014 Journal Sentinel Inc.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin)
JAMES B. NELSON Packer Plus writer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Packer Plus (Milwaukee, WI)

Phoenix - Could Lambeau Field be a Super Bowl venue?

Forget about it, said Michael Bidwill, president of the Arizona Cardinals and host of Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.

The Green Bay area is simply too small and doesn't have adequate facilities needed for such a massive event that continues to grow, Bidwill said earlier this month when asked about the prospect of a future game coming to Lambeau.

"There's got to be a certain amount of infrastructure in place," Bidwill said.

The NFL staged its first Super Bowl in a cold-weather outdoor stadium in February at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Bidwill said factors beyond the weather work against a game on the frozen tundra at Lambeau. There aren't enough hotel rooms in the Green Bay area, and the transportation infrastructure isn't in place for that kind of event, he said.

Bidwill noted that when the game was played in Indianapolis several years ago, some people had to stay as far away as Chicago.

"It was a challenge for them," he said.

He said organizers of Super Bowl XLIX expect to draw some 150, 000 people to the game and related events. Some 6, 000 members of the media from 60 countries are expected.

Bidwill also noted that "tens of thousands of people" arrive weeks before the game to set up the event.

Ten square blocks of downtown Phoenix will be roped off as Super Bowl Central for national television broadcasts and a variety of events leading up to the game. That's all part of the Super Bowl becoming far more than just a game for the host community.

A vote of NFL team owners determines the Super Bowl venue.

Super Bowl XLII in 2008 had a $500 million economic impact to the Phoenix area, and next year's will be even larger, Bidwill predicted.

"In five years, it will be even bigger," he said.

Bidwill made his comments at the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers held at Arizona State University.

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April 17, 2014




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