Panel OKs funding help for Glendale Super Bowl costs

2014-02-19T12:20:00Z 2014-02-19T12:26:32Z Panel OKs funding help for Glendale Super Bowl costsBy Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star
February 19, 2014 12:20 pm  • 

PHOENIX — A House panel agreed Wednesday to help Glendale with some of its 2015 Super Bowl costs, but with a warning that similar relief may not be available to other communities.

The legislation approved by the Committee on Public Safety, Military and Public Affairs would allow any community to seek reimbursement of its police costs for any "major event.'' That is classified as something which is awarded by a bid, is broadcast live and that attracts at least 14,000 people.

But the panel trimmed the cap in HB 2547 in half, to just $2 million. That is less than Glendale lobbyist Brent Stoddard told lawmakers the city expects to have to spend on public safety.

And the legislation self-destructs at the end of next year without legislative reauthorization.

Rep. Justin Pierce, R-Mesa, said it may be appropriate to have the state share in the costs rather than saddle the host city with the entire burden.

But Pierce said the original legislation would have put the state on the financial hook for other events that communities hope to land. That includes efforts by Phoenix to land the 2016 Republican National Convention and future hopes for an NCAA Final Four basketball tournament.

With the self-destruct clause, Pierce said that sets the stage for a special eight-member committee to review what was done, whether improvements in public safety can be made — and whether the Legislature should agree to fund similar events in the future.

While the funding wasn't what was sought by Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, he seemed resigned to the fact this is the best he's going to get.

"It's a whole lot better than nothing,'' he said. But that assumes the measure survives the rest of the legislative process.

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