Arizona was the favorite coming into today's vote for who would get to host the Super Bowl XLIX but it still had to sweat. After missing out on the 75% (24 out of 32) of the vote it needed to win the super majority vote on first ballot, the vote went to a simple majority (17 out of 32) to decide who would host between Arizona and Tampa.
But in the end, Arizona won out and will now host Super Bowl XLIX, seven years after hosting one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory in 2008 when the Giants upset the Patriots.
"We'll be returning for our third Super Bowl in Arizona. We're thrilled to be back. I will say this, it was a difficult choice. Both Tampa Bay and Arizona put together terrific bids. But we're also thrilled to be back in Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said after the decision was announced.
Arizona Cardinals team president, Michael Bidwill was obviously pleased with the decision and explained the impact to the Greater Phoenix Metro area.
"I think the whole community is behind this and they're going to be really excited about the news as it continues to break over the next couple of hours. It's really exciting for our community. It was over a $500 million economic impact in Arizona in 2008. And I think it's going to be a great economic impact this time around in 2015 to give our community something to really rally around over the next couple of years as we go through these economic times," Bidwill said.
Though the excitement is current, it is still some ways away from actually happening as Arizona waits for Indianapolis, New Orleans and New York/New Jersey to host their own Super Bowls before making its way back to the desert.
Nonetheless, Arizona can begin preparations to continue its growing reputation as a prime location to host major sporting events.