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Sunday, September 16, 2018



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Super Bowl host city's effort to become sports destination has it reeling financially

Super Bowl host city's effort to become sports destination has it reeling financially

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The entire world will be watching Glendale on Sunday as it hosts the Super Bowl and the legions of fans who are shelling out big bucks to see the big game.

What may be not visible amid all the hoopla is a sobering reality about the Super Bowl host city: Glendale is suffering deep financial issues over its troubled effort to become a sports destination.

Glendale bet big on professional sports in the last 15 years, spending millions of dollars on a hockey arena for the Arizona Coyotes and investing heavily in a spring training ballpark for the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. Then the economy tanked, and the hockey team went through bankruptcy, with several different owners in recent years. It got so bad for Glendale that leaders were talking about bankruptcy at one point as its credit rating faltered.

The city has found stronger financial footing since then and its bond rating has improved markedly, but not without having to raise taxes, trim 25 percent of the municipal workforce, cut back on paving projects, and reduce hours at municipal swimming pools and libraries. The 9.2 percent sales tax that shoppers and diners pay in Glendale is among the highest in the state.

To fiscal conservatives, Glendale serves as a cautionary tale for suburban cities across the United States that want to throw public money at professional sports projects.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.