Members of the Glendale City Council are calling on lawmakers to pass a bill that would reimburse the city of Glendale for public safety costs associated with hosting next year's Super Bowl.
The heavily watered-down House Bill 2547 would require Arizona to cover half the costs Glendale will incur in providing public safety for the 2015 Super Bowl, which will be played in the University of Phoenix Stadium. The House of Representatives approved the bill earlier last month.
Officials say threats to safety such as the Boston Marathon bombings last year have increased costs of security at major events.
Glendale officials estimate they will spend $3.2 million next year on public safety. The city spent $2.3 million on public safety for the 2008 Super Bowl.
Here is the full statement from all seven members of the Glendale City Council.
"All of Arizona is proud that this great state will be host to the upcoming 2015 NFL Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. As a result of modern facilities, a preferred climate and the support of the citizens, the State of Arizona will be hosting several major events like the Super Bowl and the College Football National Championship Game in the coming years. These events bring tremendous economic benefits to the entire state. Our public safety professionals are also proud of Arizona's record of providing unparalleled service to protect the public at these events.
"Unfortunately, the current model of hosting these major events obligates the local host city to provide and pay for the significant federally mandated public safety requirements. These major events require enormous expenditures for public safety, when compared with the needs of more regularly-scheduled events. For the 2008 Super Bowl, the city of Glendale incurred actual public safety costs totaling $2.27 million. After accounting for the revenues the city received from the event, the Super Bowl resulted in a net loss to the city of Glendale of over $1.6 million because of the overwhelming public safety costs.
"We must remember that in 2000, when the voters of Maricopa County passed Proposition 302, to among other things, provide funding for a multi-purpose stadium facility, the world was a much different place. The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) did not exist, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not exist, the Patriot Act did not exist and the word terrorism was not part of our everyday lives. The world has changed and now state and local government has more responsibility and mandates for the safety and well-being of people, especially at large mega-event type gatherings. It is critical that we recognize the unreasonable and unsustainable burden of expecting a local city to pay for the extreme costs of public safety at these national events that in turn create a benefit for the entire state of Arizona.
There is currently an important piece of legislation sitting in the Senate awaiting floor action which will help ensure Arizona will continue to pursue hosting such large events that bring economic impact to the entire state. HB 2547 (MAJOR EVENTS PUBLIC SAFETY REIMBURSEMENT), would allow the host city to seek reimbursement of up to 50% of its public safety costs, not to exceed $2 million, from the state. The bill passed out of the Arizona House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support in early March. In the Arizona Senate it passed unanimously out of the Senate Government Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee. There is no more time to wait; the Super Bowl will be here in less than 300 days. As the session is coming to a close, it is time for this critical bill to come to the floor for a vote and passage.
"The state legislature has already demonstrated that they understand the importance of these major events to the state when they recently appropriated an additional $2 million in their FY 2015 budget to promote the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl to tourists through marketing and advertisements. We would expect that public safety would receive an even higher degree of importance. We understand and agree there is great value in marketing our state to visitors, but it is even more critical that whichever city in Arizona is hosting a large scale event, that city has similar financial support from the state for public safety requirements.
"We realize that legislators are faced with difficult fiscal policy decisions each session. However, the decision to provide public safety funding reimbursement for major events is consistent with the long term safety and economic interests of our state. Without the support of the legislature, the city of Glendale is going to be placed in a position where we may no longer be able to support future bids to attract these types of events.
"Finally, the event business is competitive and due to the financial gain that large scale events bring to a state, Arizona often competes with other states for opportunities such as Super Bowls, NCAA tournaments, national championship games, Wrestlemania events and political conventions, etc… However, several other states, Texas, New York, Florida and Louisiana, have already recognized the public safety costs involved when hosting lucrative events, and those states have mechanisms in place whereby the public safety costs are not the burden of the host city.
"We respectfully call on the legislature to pass HB 2547 and for the Governor to sign it in to law."
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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