Super Bowl XLIX, the 2015 Pro Bowl and related events in the Phoenix area this year attracted 121,755 visitors and had a gross economic impact of $719.4 million in the region, according to a recent study.

The study, conducted by the L. William Seidman Research Institute in the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, focused on the period leading up to and including the Super Bowl, Jan. 24–Feb. 1. The Pro Bowl on Jan. 25 and the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 were both held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Researchers combined these and related events during the nine-day period, considering them as one event.

Team Irvin beat Team Carter, 32-28, in the 2015 Pro Bowl, and the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24, in Super Bowl XLIX. Combined with related activities, they had the greatest economic impact of any special event ever held in Arizona. The amount is 30.8 per cent higher than the 500.6 million impact of Super Bowl XLII, which was held at the same site in 2008.

The gross economic impact was determined by finding the amount of money spent by visitors and organizations that came from outside of the state to participate in or create events directly related to the Super Bowl, as well as the indirect and induced impacts of those expenditures. Spending by local businesses and residents was not included.

Among the other findings:

This year, out-of-town visitors stayed in the Phoenix area for an average of 7.1 nights during the Super Bowl period, compared with 4.1 nights in 2008.

More than 1 million people visited Verizon Super Bowl Central in downtown Phoenix and 500,000 people enjoyed events in Scottsdale.

Some 177,000 people attended the NFL Experience at Phoenix Convention Center, breaking the attendance record.

Valley Metro Light Rail had 389,500 riders during the Super Bowl period and 126,000 riders, double the previous daily high, on January 31.

Sky Harbor Airport served 175,000 people, a single-day record, on February 2, the day after the Super Bowl.

Phoenix became the first host community to provide a website and social media in Spanish and to establish cross-border partnerships with Mexico business and tourism organizations.

Verizon Wireless Super Bowl Central was the first large reduced-waste site at a Super Bowl. The Kick the Waste Initiative resulted in 73 percent of waste being diverted from landfill to recycling.

The event sponsors—the Super Bowl Host Committee, Arizona Cardinals and NFL—awarded more than $2 million to 27 Arizona nonprofit organizations, benefitting 400,000 kids.

The study was commissioned by the Arizona Commerce Authority, in partnership with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.

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