Originally Published: October 11, 2011 10 p.m.
The Super Bowl is returning to Arizona. It's a win-win situation for all Arizonans in terms of economic boosts and statewide promotion. Judging by the waning boycotts over SB1070, it may be win-win-win.
The NFL announced Tuesday that University of Phoenix Stadium will host the 2015 Super Bowl. The Glendale stadium hosted the hugely successful big game in 2008 in a coming-out party for Phoenix and, to a greater extent, Arizona. Eli Manning and the underdog Giants overthrew previously unbeaten New England, and the state made itself a cool $500.6 million in spending by visiting fans and organizations, according to the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
Whereas once businesses were boycotting the state as a result of Arizona's controversial immigration measures, one of the most high-profile businesses of all, the NFL, came calling again.
The abating boycotts should not diminish the goal all Arizonans share for immigration reform: policies for public services that secure financial sustainability, but with incorruptible constitutional authority. It's proven that undocumented immigrants have a clear monetary impact on the viability of public services. And anyone in this country illegally with a criminal record to boot should get the boot.
But not all Hispanics in Arizona are illegal. Hardly. According to the 2010 Census, nearly 1 in 3 of the state's 6.3 million residents are of Hispanic or Latino origin. The controversial SB1070's unintended consequence, critics say, could force anyone who "looks illegal" to show citizenship papers based on appearance. So far, the questions of potential civil rights violations have won over the courts.
Maybe that's been enough to cool the boycotts and protests. The MLB All-Star Game had a triumphant host in Phoenix this past July. Threats of 1070-related protests loomed, but in the end only a couple dozen people reportedly organized efforts outside of Chase Field, and even then baseball fans largely ignored them.
It's impossible to predict where the political and social climate in Arizona will be come kickoff in February of 2015. It's a safe bet that the economic climate will still be fragile, however. And immigration issues aren't going anywhere.
But a Super endorsement can go a long way.