Super Bowl XLII Host Committee Appoints Wardrop CEO

Executive Brings 25 Years of Hospitality/NFL Special Events Expertise

PHOENIX, March 3 /PRNewswire/ — Although the big game is nearly three years away, Arizona has taken another critical step in preparing for a world- class experience at Super Bowl XLII.

Super Bowl XLII Host Committee Chairman Mike Kennedy announced that Debbie Wardrop has been named CEO of the organization. Wardrop, a resident of Greater Phoenix for the last 23 years, has served as NFL Director of Special Events — Corporate Services since 1999. During that span, she worked closely with previous host committees while planning and overseeing major Super Bowl events.

“Debbie brings invaluable experience and insight from the NFL,” Kennedy said, “and she is very familiar with the Arizona hospitality community, which is another tremendous asset for our committee.”

Previous to joining the NFL staff, Wardrop was the director of catering and conference services for the Boulders Resort & Spa in Carefree, Ariz., for five years. She spent the prior 15 years of her career with the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa as director of conference services.

“I’m delighted to accept this position,” Wardrop said. “My professional experience in hospitality and special events has prepared me for this remarkable opportunity. I look forward to developing a team and working with our partners in fulfilling all of our bid commitments to the NFL.”

Super Bowl XLII will be held in Glendale, Ariz., at a new football stadium currently under construction. The stadium will debut in 2006 as the home of the Arizona Cardinals, who currently play their NFL home games in Tempe, Ariz. at Sun Devil Stadium. Super Bowl XXX was held in Greater Phoenix in 1996 at Sun Devil Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 in that game.

“Super Bowl XXX was perceived by fans and corporate attendees as a fabulous time, so we have a really good base,” Wardrop said. “I think our community is ready to take everything that happened in 1996 to the next level.

“When you look at all of the development from the standpoint of new resorts, improved infrastructure, more attractions and the magnificent new stadium … we’ll be able to show the NFL fan base around the world how much Arizona has grown and improved.”

Over the next few months, Wardrop said, establishing sponsorship agreements and educating the community on what to expect for, and from, the Super Bowl will be top priorities. Once logistical challenges such as establishing a physical office and a website are taken care of, the roles and responsibilities of host committee members will be determined, additional partnerships will be formed, and then it’s off and running, according to Wardrop.

“Thankfully, I have an incredible executive committee to work with,” she said. “And, our hospitality community is very savvy. Many of our resorts and hotels have taught the rest of the country the best way to do business. As a community, we understand our commitments. And we know how to best support those commitments in order to produce the ultimate Super Bowl experience.”

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