Sports & Rec
Super Bowl XLIX will be played in Glendale on February 1, 2015, but Super Bowl Central will be right here in downtown Phoenix. In the week preceding the big game, downtown Phoenix will host major events and initiatives centered in 12 city blocks, including the NFL Experience, the NFL Media Center and more. The activities were announced this morning by Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee representatives and Phoenix city officials.
Everyone will be working together to pull out all the stops, showcasing downtown Phoenix’s urban center within the warmth of the desert. “We know how to collaborate, and we know how to do it better than anyone else,” said CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Jay Parry of the relationship between the city and the NFL.
Vowing to be a great Super Bowl partner, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton spoke to the unique collaboration of a whole range of partners who are working together, including a city departments, Downtown Phoenix Inc., local businesses, restaurants, community groups and arts organizations.
“Super Bowl Central, along with the NFL Experience and NFL House, will turn Downtown Phoenix into the Super Bowl epicenter. It will provide both local and visiting fans an amazing opportunity to be part of this global event,” said Mayor Stanton.
The festivities will spread from CityScape to the Phoenix Convention Center, and Monroe Street to the US Airways Center, anchored by the iconic Super Bowl roman numeral numbers that will tower 30 feet high. Anticipating more than 1 million visitors, David Rousseau, Chairman, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, says, “We are thrilled to be providing extensive and engaging events and activities that will showcase the energetic and vibrant culture of Arizona to fans, sponsors and media alike.”
- NFL Experience—Phoenix Convention Center. The world’s largest interactive football theme park will feature attractions that simulate the elements that are found in the NFL, including free autograph sessions, kids’ football clinics, entertainment attractions, football memorabilia, interactive football games and more.
- NFL Media Center—Phoenix Convention Center. Anticipate 5,000+ media members. More than 30 countries will be represented.
- NFL Headquarters—Hyatt Regency Phoenix. A major hub of activity and meetings for the NFL and its key partners.
- NFL House—CityScape. A high-end, drop-in facility for business partners and Super Bowl VIPs that will operate from Thursday through Sunday of Super Bowl week.
- Outdoor Fan Campus—Spanning 12 city blocks throughout downtown Phoenix, from 3rd Street to Central Avenue and Jefferson Street to Monroe Street.
Activities throughout the Outdoor Fan Campus:
- Two entertainment stages featuring performances from local bands during the day to national recording artists at night.
- Beer and wine gardens
- Cultural and outdoor activities unique to Arizona
- Football themed activities
- Home of NBC and NFL Network studios
- Showcase Arizona community groups and schools
“Today’s announcement is a testament to the incredible work our downtown community has done to broaden and deepen our urban culture,” said David Krietor, CEO of Downtown Phoenix Inc. “Whether it’s the arts, music or sports, downtown Phoenix is fast becoming our region’s gathering place. I am 100% confident the NFL and the Host Committee will be pleased by the vitality and diversity they will experience in downtown Phoenix.”
Watch the Host Committee’s video depicting Super Bowl Central, and get a sneak peak of downtown as a backdrop to the week-long festivities.
Photography by Stephen G. Dreiseszun/Viewpoint Photographers
DPJ writers Hillary Brody and Jill Bernstein contributed to this story.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
PHOENIX SUNS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP WITH ARIZONA RATTLERS
Partnership to include the Gorilla and Friends Greenhouse and Lucky Row giveaway at Suns home games
The Phoenix Suns are proud to announce a marketing partnership with the Arena Football League’s (AFL) Arizona Rattlers. The new agreement is one of a limited number of partnerships between a professional sports franchise and an AFL team.
The two teams already share a unique relationship as the Rattlers were owned by the Suns organization from its inception in 1992 until 2005. Since separating, the two teams have continued to share US Airways Center as their home playing venue. Now nine years later, the teams have joined forces once again.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Phoenix Suns organization,” said Rattlers majority owner Ron Shurts. “It is an honor to support the longest-running professional sports franchise in the Valley and it is only natural that our two organizations come together again. We look forward to uniting our fans and connecting with the community in a new and exciting way.”
“The Suns are excited to be a part of this unique partnership with the four-time Arena Bowl Champion Arizona Rattlers,” said Suns President Jason Rowley. “Between our long-standing relationship and both teams’ dedication to providing fans with exceptional service and entertainment, this partnership is a natural fit.”
Highlighting the partnership is a redesign of the Phoenix Suns Gorilla Greenhouse to include “Gorilla and Friends” where the Rattlers’ mascot Stryker joins the Gorilla and Phoenix Mercury’s Scorch in the play area located in the upper concourse. The Rattlers branding includes an interactive football game to be projected on the floor for children to enjoy during both NBA and AFL games. It also features multiple video screens and a collage of photos showcasing the exciting atmosphere of Rattlers football.
In addition to the Gorilla Greenhouse re-design, Rattlers signage and promotions will air on the video screens during Suns games as well as a monthly Lucky Row contest where fans of one lucky row will win a Rattlers Fan Pack.
Tickets are still available for the Suns matchup against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, February 21 at US Airways Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Like the Suns on the court, good seats are going fast! Make sure to get yours today at Suns.com, before they’re gone.
Occupation: Director of Membership Development, Downtown Phoenix, Inc.
What’s your favorite thing about Downtown Phoenix? I love the culture and diversity between the arts and the professional aspect. The juxtaposition of the sports venues, business towers, open spaces and public art.
What are your favorite places downtown? They’re based on neighborhoods. I love Roosevelt Row, all the way from Pita Jungle to Welcome Diner and everything along the way. Hance Park and What Should Go Here Pop-up Park. The restaurants on 1st and 2nd Streets like FilmBar and Angels Trumpet.
What’s would you consider your style? It’s a hybrid between professional and trendy and sometimes chic. My best friend is a fashionista so whatever she tells me. More specifically, it’s blazers mixed with skinny jeans, stilettos and a statement necklace. It has to work to go to board meetings with lawyers and finance people, while also hanging out with arts people and able to wear to evening events.
Biking fashion tips? I like to mix it up and sometimes wear skirts or dresses and bike in heels, but I always have backup flats or flip flops with me. It’s all about the step through bike.
Biking Essentials: A basket, bell, lights, my briefcase is always with me with a backup mini purse that can hang from my wrist, and sunglasses!
What she’s wearing: Black patent flats, black skinny jeans, a blouse from Target, and a vintage houndstooth-print jacket purchased in Los Angeles.
How do you think Grid Bikes will change/improve bike culture in downtown Phoenix? It’s for people like me who carpool. It’s a great opportunity to leave the car and not drive from garage to garage and have to remember where you parked. It’s great to have options.
Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks? To many football fans, this is the most pressing question leading up to Sunday’s big game. To others, it’s which car company will have the most outrageous commercial, or if Bruno Mars will live up to Beyoncé’s power-outage inducing half-time performance from last year.
For Mayor Greg Stanton, the question was how to enjoy the game and showcase how Phoenix will welcome visitors for next year’s Super Bowl here in the Valley.
To begin the countdown to 2015′s Super Bowl XLIX, Stanton—in partnership with Downtown Phoenix, Inc.— is inviting everyone in the Valley to his Super Pool Party on Sunday at Hotel Palomar‘s Lustre Rooftop Garden, beginning at 2 p.m. Mayor Stanton will speak at 4 p.m., welcoming guests and starting the countdown clock for the 2015 Super Bowl return to Phoenix.
“The Phoenix region is ready to play host for Super Bowl festivities next year,” Stanton said. “Our Super Bowl party will be a great way to enjoy the game and remind people what a fantastic place Phoenix is this time of year.”
While the majority of the country has been experiencing a winter of record-breaking low temperatures, Phoenix has been basking in above-average temperatures and not even a drop of rain. While the East Coast braces for another blizzard, and sportscasters stand on the sidelines dressed as if they were hitting the slopes, Stanton and DPI couldn’t envision a better way of showcasing the Valley’s temperate winters than an afternoon poolside.
Downtown Phoenix, Inc.’s CEO David Krietor shares the mayor’s enthusiasm: “Downtown Phoenix is the front door to our region, so what better place to have a party on Super Bowl Sunday. It will be good practice for 2015.”
Lustre will be serving a tailgate-inspired menu that includes mesquite-smoked brisket sliders, buffalo chicken wings, and buckets of beer for you to eat and drink while lounging by the pool, enjoying the game on the big screen.
Additional party guests will include Arizona Cardinals players Alameda Ta’amu, Franks Sanders and Anthony Clement (maybe they’ll be the ones on the field next year?), and the Arizona Rattlers Sidewinder cheerleaders, ensuring festive football fun.
If You Go
What: Super Pool Party – Countdown to Super Bow XLIX
When: Sunday, February 2, starting at 2 p.m.; kickoff 4:25 p.m. — end of game.
Cost: Free admission.
Sponsors: The Mayor’s Super Pool Party is presented by Downtown Phoenix Inc. and its affiliates Downtown Phoenix Partnership and Phoenix Community Alliance in partnership with Downtown Phoenix Journal, CityScape, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix, Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau, Four Peaks Brewing, Shamrock Foods and Pro2U.
DPJ’s Suns Spot blog series features a fan’s perspective of Phoenix’s first major league sports franchise.
I admit, I have mixed emotions about the injury to Eric Bledsoe. Prior to his surgery to repair a torn meniscus the Suns were the surprise of the NBA, solidly in playoff contention with a 19-11 record. They are 5-6 since and clinging to a playoff spot.
Every indication is that Bledsoe will take his time rehabbing the knee to make sure he’s 100% healthy before returning to action, so there’s no telling when we’ll see him again this season. Part of me feels he should take as much time as he needs, and maybe even more.
Here’s my theory…
There are six elite teams in the Western Conference. The ageless Spurs continue to be the class of the league. The Thunder, Rockets, Clippers, Blazers, and Warriors are all loaded with young talent and are only going to get better.
All these teams are on pace to win at least 50 games this season, and are built for long-term success. Even a completely healthy Suns team would be hard pressed to crack that group this season. To once again reach the top level of the Western Conference, the Suns, as much as I love this year’s model, need to a few more key pieces. Adding another quality young player with a high draft pick would help.
On the other hand…
I can’t wait until Bledsoe gets back on the court. It would be great to see what kind of run this team could make with everyone healthy. The total domination of the Pacers on Wednesday night, who happen to have the best record in the league, proves that this team can play with anyone, with or without Bledsoe.
Everyone in the rotation is playing at or near career best levels. Miles Plumlee is averaging nearly a double-double and is in the top 10 in blocks. Channing Frye is having a truly miraculous comeback season. Gerald Green is finally in a situation that is allowing his incredible talents to emerge (did you see that dunk?). PJ Tucker has settled in as a starter and team leader. The Morris twins are providing a great spark off the bench. Leandro Barbosa is back, and hasn’t missed a beat. Jeff Hornacek is a strong candidate for NBA Coach of the Year.
With Bledsoe back, he and Goran Dragic can pick up where they left off, quickly becoming one of the top backcourts in the NBA. Did I mention that I love this team?
OK, maybe my emotions aren’t as mixed as I thought.
If You Go
Event: Suns vs Washington Wizards
Date: Friday, January 24
Time: 7 p.m.
Where: US Airways Center