Feb 13, 2023 - Sports
Glendale LVII

The Valley shows its stuff as host of Super Bowl LVII

State Farm Stadium with the Super Bowl 57 logo on the side.

Photo: Jessica Boehm/Axios

The Chiefs defeated the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII Sunday night, but the Valley was also a big winner.

What's happening: Phoenix and other cities will continue to reap the exposure and tax revenue the big game bring to town.

  • Oh, and our perfect winter weather, which didn't disappoint with a high of 75.

Why it matters: The Super Bowl gave the Valley a big stage to show off its restaurants, nightlife, natural beauty and all-around hospitality.

What we heard: Krista and Maurice Quick, Eagles fans from Biloxi, Mississippi, told us that Phoenix Uber drivers were the friendliest they'd ever encountered.

  • "I thought that the city was really prepared to put on a great show. Really organized," Calvin Ricks, of Overland Park, Kansas, told us.

Between the lines: Visitors took advantage of everything we've got to offer.

  • Chris Henry, Skip Henry and Holli Bibler, who traveled from Philadelphia for the game, hiked Tom's Thumb and enjoyed the Scottsdale restaurant scene.
  • Father-and-son Eagles fans Nick and Charlie Troxel spent Thursday night in Old Town Scottsdale, Friday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Saturday at the Super Bowl Experience in downtown Phoenix.
  • "I partied. I gambled. I partied a little more," said Evan Lazarus, who stayed at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass, the Eagles' team hotel.

Yes, but: Some visitors learned about the Valley's sprawl the hard way.

  • Chiefs fans Karen and Mark Bustamante from Orange County, California, booked a room at the Drury Inn & Suites Phoenix Chandler Fashion Center, not realizing that it was 40 minutes from the stadium.
  • It all worked out, though, because parking at the game was way easier than what they've come to expect from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, they told us.

By the numbers: Anecdotally, Philly fans dramatically outnumbered Chiefs fans at State Farm Stadium.

Two men serve pizza at the counter of an outdoor restaurant.
Celebrity chef Chris Bianco, left, serves up his own pizza at the Club 57 Super Bowl event at State Farm Stadium. Photo: Jeremy Duda/Axios

1 celebrity sighting: Not only was Chris Bianco's award-winning pizza available at the exclusive Club 57 party outside State Farm Stadium, the superstar chef was serving it up himself.

  • Roberto Fierro, who traveled from Tijuana, Mexico, for the game, told us he gave his veggie-and-pepperoni slice "10 out of 10."
  • Milind Desai from Cleveland told us it was "top notch."

Arizona game connections: Colin Denny, a Navajo man who is deaf, signed "America the Beautiful" in an interpretive mix of American Sign Language (ASL) and Plains Indian Sign Language.

  • Oscar winner and Mesa native Troy Kotsur performed the national anthem in ASL.
  • Four Pat Tillman scholars served as honorary coin-toss captains.
  • UofA alum and retired NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski starred in a live commercial for FanDuel in which he was unsuccessful in kicking a field goal.

1 betting thing: Jeremy signed up for FanDuel and placed his first legal sports bet in Arizona.

  • His first bet was that either Travis Kelce of the Chiefs or Miles Sanders of the Eagles would score the game's first touchdown, a bet that he lost.
  • For the sake of absurdity, he bet that both Kelce brothers would score touchdowns, which would've required the first touchdown by an offensive lineman in Super Bowl history.
  • Most of his wagers fell short, but he won his bet that there would be at least one defensive or special teams touchdown.

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