ORLANDO, Fla. -- The NFL awarded Phoenix Super Bowl XXVII in 1993, giving the Arizona city its first league championship.
In a close battle with Super Bowl veterans Los Angeles and San Diego, the 28 club owners needed five ballots before awarding the Super Bowl to Phoenix, which has been an NFL city since 1988.
'We're elated,' said Bill Shover, chairman of the Phoenix coordinating committee. 'To be in competition with two cities that have hosted successful Super Bowls brought us into the big time.'
The Los Angeles area has been the site of six Super Bowls. Super Bowl XXII was played inSan Diego in 1988. The next two Super Bowls will be in Tampa and Minneapolis.
'I think its fantastic,' said Senate President Robert Usdane. 'I think it will enhance the image of Arizona not only nationally but worldwide.'
'I think it's a good day for Arizona and a good day for this community,' said House Minority Leader Art Hamilton, D-Phoenix.
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Philadelphia owner Norman Braman, chairman of the Super Bowl site selection committee, said all three cities made equally strong presentations.
No city received the 21 votes needed for election on the first four ballots. A simple majority is needed from the fifth ballot on.
Super Bowl XVII will be played at 72,000-seat Sun Devil Stadium in suburban Tempe, home of the Phoenix Cardinals. Los Angeles wanted the game for the 103,000-seat Rose Bowl in Pasadena. San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium holds 60,750.
'All three cities presented extremely attractive proposals,' Tagliabue said. 'It was a very difficult decision for the owners.'
Democratic Gov. Rose Mofford, who accompanied the Phoenix '93 Committee to the Florida meeting, said in a statement released by her office that there will be 'unmeasurable excitement in the state of Arizona' because of the game.
It should have a beneficial impact upon several sectors of our economy such as tourism, retail sales and hospitality services, she said.
Braman said Cardinals owner Bill Bidwell was a big part of Phoenix winning the Super Bowl.
'Phoenix is a new city in the NFL,' Braman said. 'Bill Bidwell has been in the league many years and he's made a major effort to turn the franchise around.'
Bidwell, who moved his team from St. Louis, said he had been trying to convince owners for months on the merits of Phoenix.
'We did a little lobbying, both in the last few days and on the telephone prior,' he said. 'Also at the last Super Bowl in New Orleans. But so did everybody else.'