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Super Bowl 2023: Phoenix impressed fans who came out for the big game

Photo: Jessica Boehm/Axios

The Chiefs defeated the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII on Sunday night, but the Valley also won.

What is going on: Phoenix and other cities will continue to reap the exposure and tax revenue that the big game brings to the city.

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

Because matter: The Super Bowl gave the Valley a big stage to showcase its restaurants, nightlife, natural beauty, and all-around hospitality.

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

  • “I thought the city was really ready to put on a big show. Really organized,” Calvin Ricks, of Overland Park, Kansas, told us.

Between the lines: Visitors have taken advantage of all that we have 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.
  • Eagles father and son 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 have discovered the Valley sprawl the hard way.

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

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

Celebrity chef Chris Bianco, left, serves his 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, but the superstar chef was serving it himself.

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

Arizona Gaming Connections: Colin Denny, a deaf Navajo man, signed “America the Beautiful” in an interpretive mix of American Sign Language (ASL) and Plains Indian Sign Language.

  • Academy Award winner and Mesa native Troy Kotsur performed the national anthem in ASL.
  • Four Pat Tillman Scholars have 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 failed to kick a field goal.

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

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

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