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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

It has been 17 years and 292 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On October 8, 2015 Glendale released its analysis of the expenses incurred in hosting the Super Bowl. Here is the link to the full report: SuperBowlXLIXPostEventAnalysisFinal2015_10_08 . I don’t know why this report is not on the city’s website. It should be available to every Glendale resident. The report is comprehensive and offers, “The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of the city’s obligations and how they were met, a summary of the ancillary events and activities that took place, an analysis of specific city services provided, an assessment of stakeholder impacts, and a comprehensive financial analysis (page 2, executive summary).” I do take issue with some elements of Glendale’s final report, namely, cost avoidance and the lack of tracking employee time.

As I have suggested innumerable times, the only way hosting the Super Bowl works for Glendale is if a reimbursement mechanism is created by the State Legislature or the Host Committee. Whether the loss is a half million dollars or two million dollars, it is not a cost the taxpayers of Glendale should bear to enrich the state or other Valley communities. Glendale noted, “Other communities around the country that host Super Bowl have established a state-level funding mechanism to cover costs to local communities, or in some cases, Host Committees reimburse cities for associated costs. As an example, the city of Santa Clara, California (host of the upcoming 2016 Super Bowl) entered into an agreement with their stadium and Host Committee wherein the Host Committee is responsible for reimbursing the city’s direct costs (actual costs incurred) for all planning and execution activities associated with providing governmental services inclusive of public safety, traffic management, planning, building inspection, and public right-of-way clean-up (page 2, executive summary).” Until such time as a reimbursement mechanism is created Glendale should not participate in hosting another Super Bowl.

The report emphasizes the issue of cost avoidance. What is cost avoidance? According to the report, “At the onset of planning, staff was tasked with identifying service delivery alternatives or creative innovations that could be implemented to reduce costs or engage community partnerships in support of the city’s planning and execution efforts associated with Super Bowl XLIX. As a result of the combined efforts of the city’s planning team, Glendale realized cost avoidance of approximately $672,781…(Page 15).” Cost avoidance is only legitimate when it absorbs costs to provide necessary services to plan or execute the Super Bowl event. There were 2 items that could be classified as true cost avoidance: Light towers provided by the Department of Homeland Security at a cost of $12,000; and the city’s successful negotiation to eliminate a shuttle obligation at a cost of $200,000. These 2 items totaled $212,000.

An item that should not be considered cost avoidance ($415,625) is Valley fire and police agencies contributing staff time at their own expense. It is generally understood and accepted by all that any host city (anywhere) is not capable of providing the total police and fire services required. Other agencies understand that they will provide staff time at no cost to the host city. This action occurs at all Super Bowls, not just here. Calling this item cost avoidance is no more than ginning up the cost avoidance numbers. Other items listed as cost avoidance such as the Visiting Public Safety Officials Program ($16,656) were not required or necessary to plan or execute the Super Bowl. True cost avoidance totaled $212,000, not the $672,781 touted by Glendale.

Another problematic area of the report deals with Glendale’s reluctance to and lack of tracking of employee time spent in preparation and execution of the Super Bowl. Glendale says, “Preparations and planning for Super Bowl XLIX began in August 2013 with the assignment of two project managers and a team of approximately 20 employees representing multiple disciplines over 12 departments. All participating members of the planning team took on the responsibility in addition to their regular duties. Planning activities included participation in the following activities: internal core team meetings/communications, budget development, regional public safety planning, Host Committee briefings, stakeholder engagement, transportation planning, NFL production team, vendor engagement and media interviews (Page 12).” This team consisted of primarily salaried employees (paid an annual wage and benefits no matter the number of hours worked) and included:
• Economic Development Officer Jean Moreno
• Development Services Director Sam McAllen
• Police Commander Richard Bradshaw
• Interim Public Works Director Cathy Colbath
• Building Safety Manager Justine Cornelius
• Assistant Fire Chief Chris DeChant
• Transportation Systems Manager Trevor Ebersole,
• Airport Administrator Walter Fix
• Planning Director Jon Froke
• Fire Inspector II Anthony Gavalyas
• Senior Marketing & Communications Manager Joe Hengenmuehler
• Licensing & Taxpayer Analyst Tammy Hicks
• Fire Marshall Charles Jenkins
• Assistant Police Chief Matt Lively
• Assistant Planning Director Tabitha Perry
• CVB Manager Lorraine Pino
• Economic Development Administrator Kristen Stephenson
• Intergovernmental Programs Director Brent Stoddard
• Communications Director Julie Watters

I can see it now. When one of these people had to meet regarding the Super Bowl, they designated an associate to be in charge of their regular duties. Their responsibilities transferred to someone else who had to pick up the slack. These are valuable employees whose time was taken away from administering their departments and providing service to every Glendale resident. How much time was diverted from providing service to you, me, all of us? 1,000 hours, 2,000 hours? Glendale may consider it inconsequential to track their time but we, the taxpayers of Glendale, would like to know how many hours and the value of their time was diverted as a result of the Super Bowl. It is a true cost that must be accounted for.

Add the cost of non-salaried employees (paid wages and benefits for a 40 hour work week) who were tasked with carrying out the plans of this committee. It constitutes a direct transference of service time belonging to Glendale residents and diverted to support the Super Bowl.

Glendale’s rationale for its failure to track employee time and consequently the value of that time as a direct cost occurrence is, “In conclusion, the determination was made that the task of serving as the host city for the Super Bowl was a service being provided as a result of Council direction (Page 13).” On the face of it, that is one of the most illogical statements ever. Glendale goes on to say, “More importantly, requiring employees to track time would not be an effective or efficient use of scarce resources and there was no monetary gain that could be accomplished by doing so (Page 13).” Really? True, no monetary gain would be achieved but thousands of employee hours at real cost as well as service delivery avoidance to Glendale residents should be accounted for. It is a true cost to the taxpayers of Glendale that to date has remained hidden.

Glendale goes on to say, “Setting aside cost avoidance, after accounting for Glendale’s direct costs and direct fee-based revenue, the result was a negative net financial impact of $578,965. It is important to note that this does not account for any costs associated with pre-planning activities (Page 2, executive summary).” If the costs of employee time were recognized in this report it is expected that the true cost, rather than the $578,965 acknowledged would double to over a million dollars.

It is to be expected that Glendale would put as much positive spin on its hosting costs as possible and goes to great lengths to point out that Glendale does not have enough hotel rooms or venues to gain financially as well as offset it costs to host a Super Bowl. The overarching issue remains that Glendale experiences a financial loss in hosting the Super Bowl. Until that is remedied Glendale should not be in the Super Bowl hosting business.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 139 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

The cost to host the Super Bowl is estimated at $3.4 million to $4.1 million dollars. Let’s take a look at the revenue earned by the city. The oft touted public mentioning of Glendale as the host city will not be considered. It is an intangible that cannot be quantified. It has been my experience as a councilmember when the city hosted its first Super Bowl in 2008 that whatever publicity there was did not attract any new business to Glendale. Public safety will not be considered. The costs and reimbursements to and for public safety have been related in a previous blog. Instead we will focus on any revenue earned by any Glendale department.

My Public Records Request generated the following information related to revenue earned by the city:

  • The Glendale Media Center provided figures that reflect both the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl. It seems reasonable to attribute 40% to the Pro Bowl and 60% to the Super Bowl. Total revenue earned less expenses was $8,480.57. Attributing 40% of the revenue earned to the Pro Bowl revenue was $3,392.23. Attributing 60% of the revenue earned to the Super Bowl was $5,088.34.
  • Planning Review (all departments) submitted a figure of $23,297.94 as revenue earned.
  • Permits earned $36,129.39 in revenue to the city.
  • Total Airport earned revenue for the Super Bowl was $12,686.00.

Super Bowl revenue earned as reported by the city for the above areas totaled $77,201.67.

That leaves the burning question of sales tax revenues earned by the city. City provided sales tax figures for January, February and March of 2014 and 2015 are:

City Sales Tax Revenue

Category January 2014 February 2014 March 2014
Retail sales $9,972,625.07 $5,637,641.32 $6,051,941.00
Contracting 745,079.38 518,696.33 616,690.00
Rentals 1,288,183.21 1,231,427.59 1,198,958.00
Utilities 601,681.64 583,784.06 530,215.00
Telecom/cable TV 405,525.87 416,381.31 448,315.00
Restaurant/Bar 1,495,519.46 1,323,988.20 1,308,653.00
Amusement 273,379.62 164,735.96 **
Other 558,426.02 445,446.71 1,116,070.00
TOTAL $15,335,417.00 $9,905,713.90 $11,271,212.00
  January 2015 February 2015 March 2015
Retail sales $9,372,364.50 $5,907,360.87 $6,747,767.00
Contracting 875,261.45 364,980.35 313,977.00
Rentals 1,491,967.04 1,202,529.74 1,324,516.00
Utilities 550,498.45 652,889.28 533,143.00
Telecom/cable TV 413,887.84 399,566.79 378,533.00
Restaurant/Bar 1,672,493.84 1,470,676.34 1,795,488.00
Amusement 313,548.98 110,242.04 **
Other 626,308.30 648,248.08 3,702,783.00
TOTAL $15,316,326.00 $10.756,493.00 $14,796,226.00

Total revenues for 3 months (Jan. – Feb. – Mar.)

Year 2014 Year 2015
$36,512,342.90 $40,869,045.00

** You will note that the city supplied no figures for the Amusement category for March of 2014 and 2015. I requested the March 2014 and 2015 seperately and received the following with the figures provided: “The requested information is included below with the exception that the category of Amusements has been combined into the category labeled Other.  Due to laws regarding taxpayer confidentiality, the information on Amusements had to be aggregated.  Therefore, the Other category includes Amusements, Hotel/Motel, Use Tax,  Printing, Publishing, Advertising, Jet Fuel, and other small dollar categories.” When I asked for a further explanation of this new practice the explanation offered by Ms. Vicki Rios, Glendale’s Acting Finance Director (now that Tom Duensing has been named as Interim Assistant City Manager replacing Julie Frisoni) was: “Mrs. Clark, 

“Section 21.1-450 (a) of the Glendale City Code states in part, “Except as specifically provided, it shall be unlawful for any official or employee of the City to make known information obtained pursuant to this Chapter concerning the business financial affairs or operations of any person.” 

“We take our obligation to protect taxpayer information very seriously.  During the month of March 2015, the mix and volume of taxpayer transactions in the Amusement category was such that if we were to disclose that category separately it would compromise the confidentiality of one or more taxpayers.  Therefore, we had to aggregate the category with other items for that month.  Because the taxpayer base and volume of transactions changes monthly, we evaluate each request independently.  Therefore, we were able to provide that information in the prior months.” The Amusement category would include sales tax receipts related to the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl.

January sales tax reflects December; February sales tax reflects January; and March reflects February. That is because sales tax is reported and paid in the month following the actual sales.

At first blush, when looking at the total sales tax reported for Jan. – Feb. – Mar. in 2014 and 2015 the first inclination is to say the $4,356,702.10 increase year over year is due to the Super Bowl.

Not so fast. There are mitigating factors to be considered. Tom Duensing, in his May 19, 2015 presentation to the city council on sales tax, stated that much of the increase is due to growth within the city. He indicated that new businesses have located in Glendale and they contributed to the sales tax revenue increase. In fact, Tanger Outlets grew substantially. Since Glendale does not publicly further refine its sales tax receipts the assumption is that an estimated $500,000 of that sales tax increase can be attributed to Tanger Outlet growth. If $500,000 is subtracted from the $4,356,702.10 year over year increase the figure is now $3,856,702.100 in sales tax revenue that can be attributed to all 3 major events: the Fiesta Bowl, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl.

Using the 40%/60% assumption, 40% can be attributed to the Fiesta Bowl and the Pro Bowl arriving at a figure of $1,542,680.80 in sales tax revenue. The Super Bowl sales tax figure at 60% is assumed to be $2,314,021.20. Add to this figure $77,201.67 in direct revenue the city received for the Super Bowl and the assumed figure for revenue earned by the city for the Super Bowl is $2,391,222.87.

Mr. Duensing budgeted $2.2 million dollars for the Super Bowl. Under his scenario the city only lost $191, 222.87 to host the Super Bowl. However the assumption is that the Super Bowl costs ranged from a low of an estimated $3.4 million to $4.1 million dollars. Based upon the figures used in this and the previous Super Bowl blogs the estimated loss to the city to host the 2015 Super Bowl ranges from a low of $1,008,777.13 to a high of $1,608,777.13.

The city admittedly had no mechanism to track all costs associated with hosting the Super Bowl and while it may have the figures of sales tax directly attributable to the Super Bowl it does not publicly divulge them. It should be of concern to all Glendale taxpayers that the city does not track each and every Super Bowl related expense. Based upon available expense and revenue figures the city was able to provide an estimated loss of $1 million to $1.6 million dollars is a reasonably accurate estimate. If you accept that the city only lost an estimated $191,000 I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

The last Super Bowl blog will share some interesting information on Super Bowl credentialed Glendale employees and how much some Glendale employees made in overtime or time and a half working these 3 major events. Some of the figures will astound you.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted from this material site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

mothers 4

It has been 17 years and 129 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

When it comes to determining the actual cost of hosting the Super Bowl it is almost impossible using the city’s current financial tracking system. As the city responded to my Public Information Request it noted for Pro Bowl and Super Bowl expenses, “It was not announced that the Pro Bowl would be held in Glendale until budget development already took place so there were not separate accounts created for Pro Bowl expenses. Everything was charged to fund 1010 National Events.” In terms of Public Safety costs the city also responded with, “There was not a separate reporting code for Pro Bowl. Pro Bowl public safety costs were subject to the provisions of the city’s contract with Global Spectrum for public safety services at the stadium and the city will receive a partial reimbursement for those expenses.”

I requested a list of all departments that contributed, by event, in any way. The city’s response was, “A list as requested does not exist, but the documents provided somewhat address the request. There were obviously other departments involved as issues arose that affected their service areas, but a list was not created for tracking purposes.”

Based upon city provided figures I arrived at police Pro Bowl figures of 5,486 hours and wages of $309,387.54 and fire Pro Bowl figures of 1,400 hours and wages of $90,000. The city received partial reimbursement from Global Spectrum and I have established an estimated reimbursement figure of approximately $70,000 for police and $45,000 for fire services. Obviously this does not include other departments’ employee time and materials. Based upon figures available it is estimated that the city spent a minimum of $300,000 for public safety in support of the Pro Bowl. Other department costs are estimated to be in the range of $200,000. The city spent an estimated range of $500,000 in non-reimbursable hosting costs for the Pro Bowl.

Based upon city provided figures I arrived at police Super Bowl figures of 7,321.89 hours and wages of $527,527.08 and fire Super Bowl figures of 2,900 hours and wages of $241,000. The city’s costs for public safety alone are approximately $768,000. Add the city identified travel expenses for the 2014 Super Bowl of $19,000, Building Safety costs of $40,000 and Transportation Department costs of $787,000. These city identified costs total $1.61 million.

Add the untracked, unidentified costs such as the Super Bowl Operations Planning Team, the Code Compliance Enforcement Teams and the PIO team. Now add the untracked, unidentified costs of many departments: Sanitation, Marketing, Streets, Parks & Recreation, Planning & Zoning, etc. These costs are easily estimated to total $1 million to $1.5 million. It is fair to estimate the city’s true cost for hosting the 2015 Super Bowl between $2.6 to $3.1 million dollars.

What have you, the taxpayer, paid to be identified as a Sports Mecca in 2015?

  • Fiesta Bowl non-reimbursable cost of an estimated $300,000 to $500,000.
  • Pro Bowl non-reimbursable cost of an estimated $500,000
  • Super Bowl non-reimbursable cost of an estimated $2.6 million to $3.1 million
  • Total cost an estimated $3.4 million to $4.1 million dollars.

Ka-ching…

Next up…some interesting factoids discovered and did the city earn any money while hosting these events?

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 119 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Before we delve into the world of finances used to host the Super Bowl remember that the city actually hosted 3 major events at the stadium in 2015: the Fiesta Bowl, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl.

We’ll look at the murky finances of hosting the Fiesta Bowl. It is the only one of the three major events for which there is any mechanism of even partial financial reimbursement. When the University of Phoenix stadium opened on August 1, 2006 the city entered into an agreement not with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) but with the management company, Global Spectrum, which AZSTA hired to manage the stadium. The Fiesta Bowl Committee rents the stadium and contracts with Global Spectrum to manage the event. The agreement between Global Spectrum and the city requires police and fire service partial reimbursement. Global Spectrum reimburses the city for only these two services.

The two latest agreements between the parties are dated October 22, 2013 for fire services and April 10, 2014 for police services. In the 2013 agreement Global pays an hourly rate of $40.00 for fire services. In the 2014 agreement Global pays an hourly rate of $51.10 for police services with provision for an annual increase of 3%.

From the March 20, 2012 city council budget workshop minutes we learned the following, “Councilmember Lieberman asked if the city paid the salary of all the officers from other municipalities that come to help them in trafficking for events such as the Fiesta Bowl. Assistant Chief Greg Dominguez, explained the city does have an account that was budgeted for the staffing that was specific to the Fiesta Bowl. Therefore, the city does cover salaries for those events.”

In response to my Public Information Request I received the following information from the city for police costs for the Fiesta Bowl:

  • Police billable hours are 1,152.38 and billable wages are $53,671.63
  • Police non-billable hours are 1,287.89 and non-billable wages are $70,765.20
  • Total police hours are 2,440.27 and total wages are $126,436.83

Yet another city document I received entitled 2015 YTD (Year to date) Budget Control Report Details listed police expenses for the Fiesta Bowl of:

  • Temporary pay of $36,640.00
  • Overtime pay of $43,999.07
  • Emergency Service pay of $880.00
  • Fire & Liability insurance of $727.51
  • Professional and Contractual to Airwest Aviation Academy of $1,174.50
  • Line Supplies (Insight, Zoro tools, Best Buy and Motorola) of $3,926.97
  • Total of these line items is $87,347.06

With no further clarification from the city I have to assume that $87,347.06 is in addition to the total wages reported of $126,436.83. These two city generated reports total $213,783.89 for which the city received reimbursement for billable hours and wages of $53,671.63. These reports confirm that city paid at least $160,112.26 from its General Fund to host the Fiesta Bowl. I suspect that this figure is low because in the city’s FY 2015-16 budget $245,975 is the figure used.

Fire costs for the Fiesta Bowl are:

  • Hours of 425.25 and wages of $26,953.18
  • There is no distinction between billable and non billable hours and wages

In its 2015 YTD Budget Control Report Details fire expenses are listed as:

  • Overtime pay of $19,330.61
  • Emergency Service pay of $2,200.00
  • Fire & Liability insurance of $296.24
  • Line supplies (Insight, Lowes, Salsa Blanca, Shane’s Rib Shack, Home Depot, AGP Propane, Segway of Scottsdale, RV Storage, Roadrunner Oxygen, Cabela’s, Office Depot) of $6,999.14
  • Total of these line items is $28,826.99

The two city generated reports total $55,780.17. This tracks with the FY 2015-26 budget of $58,816.00 for fire. Note that fire does not make any budgetary distinction between billable and non-billable hours and wages. Since it tracks so closely to the budgeted amount it may be safe to assume that this cost reflects non-billable hours and wages.

In yet another city generated 2015 YTD Budget Control Report for Transportation we see:

  • Overtime pay of $74.88
  • Fire & Liability insurance of $191.25
  • Professional & Contractual for shuttle services of $26,049.40
  • Line supplies (Culver’s) of $60.74
  • Total of these line items is $26,376.27

After reimbursement for some public safety costs the best estimate of total non-reimbursable costs for the Fiesta Bowl paid by the city’s General Fund is $301,783.99. But this figure is only attributable to police, fire and shuttle services.   Remember there are other costs not tracked by the city. Items not tracked are salaries, straight time and overtime in transportation, sanitation, marketing, building safety plus the use of city equipment. How much did they use in time, equipment and material? We don’t know and guess what; neither does the city because it doesn’t track any of these additional costs. That makes my assumption as to Fiesta Bowl costs as reasonable as theirs.

The figure to host the Fiesta Bowl is $300,000 on the low end and about $500,000 on the high end. It is reasonable to assume that it is closer to $500,000 when the hidden, untracked, unreimbursed expenses are identified.

Why doesn’t the city track all costs for these major events? Pick your reason. It could be laziness or sheer incompetence. Conspiracy theorists will say that the city doesn’t want its citizens to know. They believe, and they may be right, that Glendale residents would be outraged to learn exactly how much the city’s role as a sports mecca costs. Residents may realize that sports hosting costs remove available revenue to upgrade or to construct amenities that enhance a city’s quality of life…and that is a bigger deal than a football game.

Next up the cost of the Super Bowl (and Pro Bowl).

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 115 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

This series of blogs is an in depth look at the true costs to the City of Glendale to host the Fiesta Bowl, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl in 2015. This has been difficult to write. Not because the subject matter is difficult but because the city’s response was complex, in some cases non-resposive and much of the material they provided required extensive untangling. The city is to be commended on supplying the answers to my request in a very timely fashion. There is a disclaimer. Despite my desire to obtain complete information from the city, the city did not create a mechanism to capture all of the costs that could be attributed to any of these events. More about this later.

It has been widely reported that Tom Duensing, Glendale’s Finance Director, claimed the cost of hosting the 2015 Super Bowl at $2.2 million dollars. Yet the cost to host the 2008 Super Bowl to the city was $2.8 million dollars. How could hosting in 2015 cost the city less? The answer is…it didn’t.

Inflation alone would have made all costs for services and equipment rise. The average inflation rate per year from 2008 to 2014 was 1.97% or 13.4% for seven years (the amount of time between the two hostings). See this link: http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/historical-inflation-rates/ . Just to account for inflation added to the 2008 cost of $2.8M would drive up the 2015 cost to $3.7M. How does Mr. Duensing, with a straight face, claim a 2015 Super Bowl cost of only $2.2M? It’s quite simple…don’t count everything.

My Public Information Request to the city included:

  • The cost attributable to each event of planning for, preparation for, game day hosting and after actions.
  • A list of all departments that contributed, by event, in any way, including but not limited to Public Safety as well as any and all departments involved from the Attorney’s Office to Zoning (A to Z).
  • The number of employees used for each event from all departments you list, including but not limited to consultants, contract employees or regular (salaried and at will) employees.
  • The number of hours attributable to each event, by department, including but not limited to planning, preparing, action upon and after action review of each of these 3 major events.
  • The total dollar figure for employee costs attributable to each event, including but not limited to straight time pay, overtime pay, special pay, time and a half pay. List of all employees by job title and department, dollar amount for each of those employees who received overtime pay, special pay, assignment pay, time and a half pay, bonuses, Police & Fire to include sworn and non-sworn administrative staff from those departments. Separate list for each of those three events.
  • The total dollar figure attributable to each event for use of all equipment by department or rented from other sources from but not limited to vehicles to trash cans whether a city asset or rented.
  • Total revenues earned by the City of Glendale directly attributable to each of the three events, including but not limited to sales taxes, fees, in-kind contributions and reimbursed costs.

Now that is a very, very specific and detailed Public Information Request. Here’s a secret. If ever you have occasion to request information from this city or from any other governmental agency for that matter, you must be very specific and very precise in your wording. Governmental agencies don’t want you, the public, to have information. Information in today’s world is power. They don’t want to cede their power. If you were to be made aware of the information, you just might question how and why monies were spent.

Let’s begin with my first question: “The cost attributable to each event of planning for, preparation for, game day hosting and after actions.” What do we learn from the city’s response to this question? First, that it did not provide a complete answer. The city’s convention bureau paid the Super Bowl Host Committee $72,000 in support of the Super Bowl. These were not city funds. At the city council meeting of December 10, 2013 council passed Resolution 4758 authorizing the use of funds received from the Arizona Office of Tourism under Maricopa County Proposition 302 to be paid to the Host Committee. The city was merely a pass-through. It received the $72,000 grant, gave it to the CVB, who then gave it to the Host Committee in two payments: one in 2014 and one in 2015.

In November of 2014 the city formed a Super Bowl Operational Planning Team consisting of 22 employees. Those employees came from the Fire Department, Police Department, Code Enforcement, Planning Department, Intergovernmental Relations, Marketing & Communications, etc.  What we don’t get is information on how many times they met, for how long, what direction they gave to other departments. Did they meet for an hour, two hours? Once a week? Once a month? What about meetings outside of city hall, with the Host Committee or NFL agents?

Why wasn’t a special finance code number assigned so their hours could be tracked? This is over a year before the actual Super Bowl. The Finance Department had the time to set up a financial tracking system that would account for hours and salaries but they didn’t do it. The city then formed a separate Public Information Officer Distribution List comprised of 18 employees. A few were from the Operational Planning Team but a majority was not. This distribution list was to insure that all PIOs within the city received the same talking points if queried, about the Super Bowl. Again, we don’t know how much time these 18 PIOs spent on Super Bowl activities.

The city sent 7 employees to the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey. Four were from the Police Department and three were from the Fire Department. I would consider this trip as essential. Those 7 employees had direct responsibilities related to Glendale’s hosting of the Super Bowl. They learned current and valuable information. The cost of their travel was $18,639.10.

The city’s Code Compliance division created Clean Zone Enforcement Teams that operated from Saturday, January 24, 2015 through Sunday, February 1, 2015. This encompasses the period in which the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl took place. For 7 days out of that 9 day period teams of 2 code compliance officers were dedicated to the area of these events from 8 AM to 4 PM. On 2 Sundays during this period they worked from 8 AM to Noon. 8 full time employees (FTEs) were used for a total of 128 hours. There was no information provided relating to FTE costs associated with this effort.

What is learned from the city’s answers to this first question? The city and especially Mr. Duensing was very sloppy in tracking the costs of all three events distinctly incurred by other departments that were not attributable to Public Safety. Mr. Duensing was probably correct in using a figure of $2.2M for the Super Bowl but that figure appears related only to Public Safety costs and ignores the costs incurred by other departments.

For example, the Attorney’s Office spent time and personnel reviewing contracts associated with these events. The Building Safety division spent time and personnel inspecting temporary structures. The Sanitation Department made extra runs to pick up trash. The Streets division sent out street sweepers. The Transportation Department manned their transportation center to monitor traffic and hired a helicopter for their use to monitor traffic. They used man hours and FTEs making sure the traffic lights were synched properly. The Planning Department reviewed and approved plans for temporary structures. The Media & Communications Department and the Intergovernmental Relations Department also had duties related to these events. How many FTEs were used and how much time did they consume? How much of their salaries can we attribute? We don’t know because the city failed to track that information.

The hours and FTEs used for these events were enormous and placed a strain on the delivery of regular service to Glendale residents. Yet, unbelievably, the city created no mechanism to track the costs incurred by the many city departments tasked with contributing man power and time.

We know the city created an Operational Planning Team, a PIO team and a Code Compliance team but it can provide no costs associated with any of them. These were committees created a year before the actual events. There was time to create a method of tracking the time expended and costs associated but it was not done.

The only costs acknowledged by the city in answer to question #1 were the $72,000 grant passed on to the Host Committee (not city funds); and the $18,639.10 the city paid for public safety employees to attend the Super Bowl in New Jersey in 2014.

Next up…a look at Public Safety costs for each of the three events, the Fiesta Bowl, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Bread and circuses

Posted by Joyce Clark on February 1, 2015
Posted in City of GlendaleGlendale and the Super Bowl  | Tagged With: , | No Comments yet, please leave one

Today is February 1, 2015 and will forever be known as Super Bowl 49 Sunday. My city, Glendale, is the host city for today’s event. I live within spitting distance of the stadium and like my neighbors, we are hunkered down for the day. We’ve lain in supplies and will wait out the day’s mind bending and unending stream of traffic. It’s around noon and the game will be played in a couple of hours. I woke this morning to a dense layer of fog…something about excess moisture and warm air. Now the sun has come out and burnt off the thick, grey fog to the delight of the media, the fans and the NFL. The Valley of the Sun will keep its moniker intact as it breathes a deep sigh of relief.

Our sky is awash with blimps, helicopters and small planes. The helicopters range from media types to security to aircraft delivering VIPs to Glendale’s airport. Small planes fly banners advertising Bud or KFC and also deliver VIPs to the airport. Geez…It’s noisy and busy up there! That’s strange. I thought there was a no-fly zone around the stadium. I guess that’s just for ordinary folk.

Did you know that nearly 6,000 journalists, media folk, etc., are covering today’s Super Bowl? The media isn’t just American but come from Germany, India, England and Japan to name just a few of the countries represented. Heck, I was contacted by a French journalist for an interview. It is predicted that this game will engender the highest TV rating of any show or event ever televised.

This event provides the real reason for this blog of bread and circuses. That phrase was first used by the Roman poet Juvenal in his treatise, Satires, commenting on the Roman Republic’s evolution into a dictatorship. His original quote was, “Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt.” He went on to say, Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things–bread and circuses.” He believed that the general public had gradually substituted the value of democracy in favor of a daily diet of spectacles.

Here’s another historical tidbit. The Roman Emperor Claudius (41-54 A. D.) maintained a calendar of 159 holidays and 93 were for games at public expense. In addition, there were special occasion and private holidays. Hundreds of thousands of people in Rome were on public assistance and those who worked, worked a full time week of less than 40 hours. The ruling class worked hard to ensure that no one went hungry or was bored for they believed “a people that yawns is ripe for revolt.” Does this sound familiar?

Our nation’s narcotic is television.  It would be easy to lay the blame on the media as our drug dealer of choice. But the blame lies within ourselves. We make a conscious choice as to what books we will read, the movies we will watch, the websites we visit and the television shows we tune into. The media simply provides what we crave. We crave games, celebrity news and reality TV.

The effects of our drug of choice lay all around us if we care to pay attention to them. Our children rank in the 20s among the top 100 countries in reading, math and science. We have become numb to violence. The beheading of an American or Japanese journalist is no more jarring than an episode of NYPD, the Stalker or Blacklist. The lines between violent TV and real violence have become blurred and there is a consequent loss of empathy. The death of a pop culture figure has become more important to the masses than the deaths of thousands in the Middle East at the hands of ISIS.  Sadly, more people can name the Seattle and Patriot quarterbacks than can name the Vice President or the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice. “Deflategate” is more important than a national deficit of $18 trillion dollars.

We are rapidly losing the ability to distinguish between what is really important to our need to thrive as a nation, our very survival and those things which titillate and amuse our insatiable desire for entertainment.

Have we become a nation that superficial? Not yet…but that is our future if we fail to refocus. In an increasingly hostile world with threats to our very essence as a democracy the need to preserve freedom is no longer an option but a necessity.

The daily dose of circus entertainment guarantees that we will threaten no one as we preoccupy ourselves with the inconsequential. How numb do we have to become before we wake up? We choose bread and circuses at our peril.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Several weeks ago a friend connected me to Joe Matthews of the Zocolo Public Square website. Zocolo is affiated with ASU and publishes articles that relate to relevant current issues. It then distributes its articles to its media affiliates. Here is more information about them taken from their website:

“Zócalo Public Square, a project of the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University, is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism. We partner with educational, cultural, and philanthropic institutions, as well as public agencies, to present free public events and conferences in cities across the U.S. and beyond, and to publish original daily journalism that we syndicate to 150 media outlets nationwide. At a time when our country’s public sphere is narrow and polarized, Zócalo seeks to be a welcoming intellectual space where individuals and communities can tackle fundamental questions in an accessible, nonpartisan, and broad-minded spirit. We are committed to translating ideas to broad audiences and to engaging a new, young, and diverse generation in the public square.”

They asked me to do a piece on Glendale before and after the Super Bowl. It is my first official byline (if you don’t count the opinion columns I wrote for the Arizona Republic in the late 1990s).  My thanks to Zocolo for allowing me to use the piece on my blog. With their permission I am posting my piece and a link to their site: http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org

Why My Hometown Regrets Hosting the Super Bowl

Not Only Were the Economic Gains for Glendale Exaggerated, But I Can’t Even Go Shopping This Sunday

by Joyce Clark|January 29, 2015

My family and I moved to Glendale, Arizona–where the Super Bowl will be played next week–in 1968, when it was one of many small Arizona towns ringing Phoenix.

Why Glendale? Serendipity. My relatives were realtors and found a house in Glendale that met our specifications. Glendale was a small, comfortable town. Our children, all under 10 years of age, walked a quarter mile to school. They played in the municipal park and swam in the municipal pool. There was little traffic, and getting to work or shopping in Phoenix took 10 minutes, tops. What is today the upscale area of Arrowhead was then a desert where we took the kids to ride motorbikes and to shoot BB guns. On a spring evening, the air was heavy with the scent of citrus blossoms from local groves.

Glendale has bet its future on making itself into a playground for professional sports.

Fans who attend the Super Bowl will encounter an entirely different city, a place that, as much as any other American municipality, has bet its future on making itself into a playground for professional sports. If some locals look less than happy about the plan, know that it’s the risks involved in that gamble, not the traffic, that’s bothering us.

Glendale has undergone dramatic change. At its incorporation in 1912, it was a Russian-Asian-Hispanic farming community. In the 1960s, when my family moved here, Glendale was a small city with a population of 45,000 covering just 12 of its present 52 square miles. Then, in the 1990s, new subdivisions, including Arrowhead, and new shopping, including Arrowhead Mall, grew up. Downtown reinvented itself as an antique mecca. With my children graduated from college and scattered to build their own families, Glendale adopted a district system of political representation rather than the at-large system that perpetually placed the “good ole boys” from downtown in positions of power. At the urging of friends, I ran for the city council and won a seat, serving from 1992 to 1996.

But Glendale wanted more than to be just another Phoenix suburb with the same chain stores. We were determined to carve our own distinct, national identity. In the early 2000s, as I returned to the council, our attention turned to the possibilities of sports as a catalyst. A strategy took shape: if we built major sports venues, the resulting tourism and sales tax dollars would strengthen city coffers and allow us to make major improvements in the quality of life of our residents. Build it and they will come, so to speak – especially sports fans and tourists.

First, a city-owned venue for professional hockey and for entertainment, the Gila River Arena (formerly known as Jobing.com Arena), and a complementary retail complex, Westgate, were built in partnership with developer Steve Ellman. Then, via another partnership with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, we created two more sports facilities: the county-owned University of Phoenix football stadium (home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals) and a city-owned spring training baseball facility called Camelback Ranch (home-away-from-home to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox). The football stadium put Glendale in the Super Bowl business for the first time; promised windfalls from hosting the big game were supposed to afford us the option of paying off construction debt related to the hockey arena and the baseball facility sooner.

Glendale became the NFL Arizona Cardinals’ home field. At the time of approval of the three new Glendale sports venues, our economy was robust. We saw no hint of the dramatic national recession to come. We learned to manage the crowds of people who descended upon our community for games; the effect is felt only by those who live in close proximity to the stadium, as I do. I cope by not shopping or driving near the stadium on game days, and the city, at my insistence, discouraged fan parking in adjacent neighborhoods. And 350 days a year, when there is no football, Glendale remains very much itself.

The bigger downside proved to be financial. It wasn’t long before optimistic staff projections of increased sales tax receipts and new economic development proved to be wrong. Then came the national recession. As we hosted our first Super Bowl in 2008 – next week’s will be our second–Glendale was in trouble. Nevertheless, expectations were high–a major selling point for building these sports facilities had been that the international publicity of a big Super Bowl game would put Glendale on the map, accelerating business relocations to our city and bringing new development. Those expectations weren’t met. To this day not one company has relocated to Glendale as a direct result of the Super Bowl. New retail development has located as close as possible to our freeway, not the stadium.

Pulling off that Super Bowl in 2008 was an all-hands on deck effort, with all city departments involved in the planning, preparation, and execution of Glendale’s moment in the spotlight. The city spent $3.4 million on the event and recouped a little over $1.2 million in sales tax and fees.

The resulting $2.2 million loss, combined with a national recession, was just one sign that our sports strategy was unsustainable. Debt related to the two sports venues that Glendale itself owned–the hockey arena and the ballpark–had once seemed manageable but soon proved to be a financial albatross. Glendale was bleeding. The regular season football games proved to be a wash financially. While sales tax revenues from Westgate are greater on game days the additional revenue is consumed by increased public safety and transportation costs to manage traffic and safety issues.

Other Super Bowl host cities, Miami Gardens in Florida and the Arlington area in Texas, have mechanisms for state reimbursement of their hosting costs, but we don’t. In recent years, Glendale’s mayor has concluded it doesn’t seem prudent to be in the Super Bowl hosting business if there is no way to recover its costs.

So why is the Super Bowl in Glendale again? The Super Bowl bid process is a long one, and locations are approved many years before the actual event. Tremendous political pressure was placed on the city from the Bidwill family, owners of the Arizona Cardinals, as well as other stakeholders, swaying a majority of the council to approve the bid in 2011. I was not in the majority. Glendale held out hope for a bill introduced in the Arizona state legislature in 2014 that promised to reimburse the city for its $2 million in game-related public safety costs. We got the Super Bowl but not the legislation. Glendale expects to reintroduce the bill this year in hopes of a different outcome.

There are some good things about the Super Bowl. Even though Glendale loses money, the state, the county and the Phoenix Metropolitan area will share in the injection into the economy of a projected $500 million dollars. Direct TV is hosting a major music festival in Glendale across the street from the stadium. The city has scheduled one of its premier events, the Chocolate Affaire, the weekend of the Super Bowl. The confluence of chocolate lovers and football fans will generate revenue for Glendale’s merchants and restaurants.

Costs to host this year’s Super Bowl have gone up since 2008. The city’s loss for this game is sure to be greater than the $2.2 million dollars loss the first time. Despite some additional development during the economic recovery, there are still not enough amenities surrounding the stadium to generate the sales tax needed to cover the hosting costs.

We love Glendale and so will this year’s Super Bowl visitors. Even as our population has grown to nearly 250,000 (we’re the nation’s 87th largest city and Arizona’s fifth largest), the city still retains a hometown feel. My family isn’t going anywhere–we are “nesters” and once we plant ourselves we stay planted. I invested 16 years as a councilmember helping to shape Glendale’s present and future. I choose not to walk away from my investment. So we’ve scrubbed our faces, slicked back our hair and picked up the living room. We are ready to welcome you to our home.

But the lack of financial relief has led many of us to believe that this should be Glendale’s last Super Bowl.

Joyce Clark is a 47 year resident of Glendale and served on the City Council for 16 years. She retired in 2013 and is a blog writer on local Glendale issues at www.joyceclarkunfiltered.com

Primary Editor: Joe Mathews. Secondary Editor: Andrés Martinez.

COPYRIGHT 2003-2012 ZÓCALO PUBLIC SQUARE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Stuck

Posted by Joyce Clark on January 30, 2015
Posted in City of GlendaleGlendale and the Super Bowl  | Tagged With: , , | 7 Comments

For the past few nights Direct TV has been hosting a Musical Festival across the street from the stadium. They chose to use a farm field still in production. Bet they’ve learned their lesson and will never do that again.

Courtesy Joyce Clark

Still stuck! Courtesy Joyce Clark

Last evening, January 29, 2015 it rained gently in my neighborhood, a mile away from the Direct TV site. The trouble is that it rained all night and is raining today. It didn’t take long for the Direct TV parking site to turn into a mud pit. When happy fans left the music venue they quickly became

Calling for help Courtesy of Joyce Clark

Calling for help
Courtesy of Joyce Clark

very, very unhappy. It seems many of the fans’ cars were stuck in a veritable mud pit. Unhappiness soon turned to anger as some waited for over two hours to be extracated. Wonder who paid for tow trucks? Direct TV who provided the parking or a bunch of ‘mad as a wet hen’ (literally) fans?

Even a truck was no match for the mud Courtesty of Joyce Clark

Even a truck was no match for the mud
Courtesty of Joyce Clark

Wonder what the back up parking plan is for tonight? Fans, a word to the wise. If you will be attending the Direct TV Musical Festival tonight, be careful where you park.

 

 

 

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Before I extend Thank Yous to the people who really merit them I have a few thoughts about the Super Bowl to be played in 4 days a scant mile from my home. Life goes on as normal for those of us adjacent to the site. We have seen the Direct TV Musical Fest site go up in record time. We have seen vacant parcels scraped, leveled and marked for additional parking. On game day we know better than to travel in the direction of the stadium. At my insistence while I served as a Glendale councilmember, the city will protect adjacent neighbors from hoards of fans seeking to find a free parking spot.

The only discernible difference has been the army of helicopters flying over our home. Apparently every agency whether federal, state, county or local, has been granted permission to fly over the stadium and hence, our home. I guess the boys are displaying their toys to see if they can top one IMG_0243another with the biggest and the best. There has been one particularly pesky bird. It belongs to a federal agency and it has been flying a one mile grid pattern for over a week. It wouldn’t be a big deal except for the fact that it is flying low…really low…perhaps a 100 feet or so above the ground. I have been told that it is surveying radiation levels in the area and that this is a normal practice for many large events, like the Waste Management Open and NASCAR races, etc.

No matter my position on the excessive billions the NFL will earn on game day, the reality is that Glendale is hosting the event. I, just as 99% of the nation’s population, couldn’t afford to attend with nose bleed seats going for a base price of $800. Then I thought about it. Even if I could afford the price of a ticket, would I go? The answer is no. I would not contribute my hard earned money to enrich the coffers of the NFL and the team owners.

In the light of the fact that Glendale is hosting the Super Bowl it is appropriate to thank not the city council or senior administrative employees but the line personnel who make Glendale a success. These are our unsung heroes and heroines…the unseen, silent majority of Glendale’s employees who take pride in guaranteeing Glendale’s extraordinarygood performance.

They did the planning and preparation. They will perform countless duties during the event and they will clean up the remnants after the event is over. Their duties range from reviewing licenses and permits; overseeing the construction of temporary structures; planning approval for siting special events; making countless trips to pick up piles of waste material, insuring that our streets are safe, keeping event traffic moving safely and quickly; checking that all traffic signals and message boards are functioning properly; guaranteeing the health and safety not just of event attendees but responding to the needs of our residents.

This is just a sampling of all that is required to host a Super Bowl. There are far more duties performed than I have mentioned. For those not listed, please accept my apology. These employees, often unseen, are the work horses of our city’s organization. They are rarely thanked and their performance is often taken for granted.

To those employees who made Glendale shine and once again, proved that Glendale is without peer in hosting the Super Bowl game, please accept my genuine and deeply held appreciation and thanks for a job not just well done but extraordinarily done. Go Patriots!

©Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

A quick note before taking a look at the NFL bid requirements for a Super Bowl. Yesterday I wrote about Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers’ inability to purchase tickets for the Super Bowl taking place a mere 5 days from now in Glendale. Today the Arizona Republic has an editorial very much in agreement. They refer to the NFL’s actions, or better yet, inaction, as “petty.” On this assessment I disagree. The pettiness is owned by the Bidwills. If they wanted Mayor Weiers to have Super Bowl tickets, the deed would already have been done.

On to the Super Bowl bid process. There are two links that provide the NFL requirements for hosting a Super Bowl. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has the entire 153 page document has a limk. Here it is:  http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/262253921.html . Glendale, years ago, posted only that portion of the bid document (43 pages) relevant to a host city. Here is the link: https://www.glendaleaz.com/clerk/Contracts/8806.pdf . I am not going to go into excruciating detail about the requirements. You have the links to read the entire bid for yourselves.

It is interesting to note that there are several phrases very, very liberally sprinkled throughout the bid specifications. The first is “at no cost to the NFL.” The second is “made available to the NFL rent-free.” The third is “provided by the Host Committee at no cost to the NFL.” The fourth is “discounted to the NFL.” The last is “the NFL must have exclusive rights at no cost to the NFL.”

Host cities go to great lengths to get noticed by the team owners in the hope that they will win the bid. In 2011 Arizona presented each team owner with an IPad, customized with each team’s logo and already loaded with a video presentation touting the Arizona bid. In 2012, Indianapolis had children deliver its bid to each of the team owners. Florida promised the owners yachts; Tampa offered all of the owners a golf outing with Arnold Palmer; and Texas just outright offered a million dollars to cover the Super Bowl game day costs. Here is a sampling of the ‘must haves’ included in the bid:

  • Provide 35,000 free parking spaces
  • Free billboards across the Valley
  • Receipt of all revenues for the game’s ticket sales
  • Installation of NFL preferred ATM’s at the stadium
  • Presidential suites, at no cost, in high-end hotels
  • Free access to three high-end golf courses in the summer or fall before the game
  • Free curbside parking at the NFL house
  • Free access to two top quality bowling venues

And the list goes on:

  • Temporary stadium seating must be 19” wide
  • Seating for the hoards of media must be 20” wide with an accompanying 24” clear, workspace
  • Grass field must be re-sodded for the game; and the NFL can remove chunks of it after the game, for resale, if it wishes
  • The stadium must be available to the NFL 4 weeks prior to Game Day and 4 days after; exclusive use for the NFL is 2 weeks prior
  • NFL has complete and exclusive control for 2 weeks prior to game of all club, restaurant, meeting, and hospitality facilities at the stadium
  • The host city must guarantee that its police, fire, permits, etc. are the top priorities
  • NFL has exclusive right to sell game day programs and novelties at the stadium
  • NFL will receive the stadium’s percentage from the sales of food, beverages and catering
  • Only NFL sponsor’s products will have logos seen on all products; all other logos are to be covered or removed
  • NFL allotted suites get a 30% discount on food and beverages
  • NFL requires 300 top quality buses; 65 limos (no older than 5 years); 5 premier quality buses and 125 “school” buses
  • Hotels where the teams stay obligated to televise the NFL Network for a year before the Super Bowl

There’s far more but this alone is enough to make one’s head spin. What does the NFL expect its game day costs to be? About $2.5 million dollars but let’s be generous and double that to $5 million dollars. For a several million dollar investment it earns billions. Yet it will not reimburse host cities for their costs. How greedy can it get? Oh, and the Host Committee must stipulate which of the NFL game day costs of $2.5 million dollars it will cover.

Did you know the Arizona Host Committee, just like the NFL, is a 501 (c) 6 non-profit organization? Its contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions but they can be deducted as a trade or business expense if ordinary and necessary in the conduct of business. Don’t you think every one of the businesses that contributed to the Arizona Host Committee had their CPAs and attorneys justify their contributions as deductions to the IRS? You bet they have.

Did you know that the Bidwills bought Tom’s Tavern in downtown Phoenix? It’s being operated by Rojo Hospitality, a division of the food company the Bidwills created to serve the University of Phoenix stadium. No wonder Michael Bidwill is so ecstatic to see NFL major events occurring in downtown Phoenix rather than in Glendale.

Why is Michael Bidwill feuding with the City of Glendale? He wants the City of Glendale to build a parking garage in the Westgate area at a cost of $25 to $35 million dollars. Why the need? Every inch of land surrounding the footprint of the stadium has been approved for development as the Bidwill’s Sportsman’s Park East and Sportsman’s Park West. These approved plans call for hotels, apartments, offices and retail — some 200’ feet tall, twice the height of the stadium (to date unapproved by the FAA). Of course those plans call for parking but it is parking dedicated to the structures to be built while removing all of the football parking space surrounding the stadium. That football dedicated parking has to be replaced and what better dime to use than the city’s.

If all of this doesn’t make you angry, nothing will. Perhaps someday the general public (read taxpayers) will realize in reality, they pay for the Super Bowl, and not just with tickets to the game or the merchandise they buy. I still call for all of the potential host cities to form their own league (or consortium), present a united front to the NFL and say “enough already.”

©Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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