Former NFL vice president of football operations and current Arizona State University athletics director Ray Anderson is excited about Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona.
Former NFL executive Ray Anderson is excited about the Super Bowl returning to Arizona.
Arizona State University Journalism and Mass Communication student Danny Shapiro interviewed Anderson on Dec. 22 to get his thoughts on the big game in Glendale. Anderson is the NFL's former vice president of football operations and currently the school's vice president for university athletics and athletic director.
Anderson told Shapiro he wasn't able to enjoy Super Bowl XLII between the New York Giants and New England Patriots because as the league's vice president of football operations back then, he had a multitude of responsibilities. Now, he fully intends to sit back and enjoy Super Bowl XLIX as a fan.
Anderson considers the big game in Glendale on Feb. 1 as a reunion. He told Shapiro he believes the trend will continue in the ensuing Super Bowl games.
Here are some of Anderson's thoughts on Super Bowl XLIX as captured by Shapiro:
"I'll find my way into some pretty fun things without having the responsibility of actually having to run operations so I'm looking forward to enjoying it.
"This is one of those places where once you come here and you're in late January or February, it's 70 degrees and sunny and beautiful and people seeing on TV are able to appreciate this whole geographic region for being a wonderful place.
"(Phoenix) is a destination that's easy to get to, there are tons of golf and tennis, and you have the Grand Canyon here, and very frankly that's why it's going to continue to be in the rotation for Super Bowls.
"It has its act together and is able to handle these major events with a lot of ease and funcitionality. Phoenix is just a great place to do this."
Anderson also told Shapiro it would be great for the league if the home team Arizona Cardinals make it to Super Bowl XLIX. He quipped,"I think the Cardinals getting in will be a plus for a variety of reasons including the fact it's novel and never happened before. People will be out spending money and going to events. I think it would be outstanding."
Anderson did not divulge his Super Bowl XLIX preference to Shapiro, citing his current NFL connections. Right now, he is enjoying himself at ASU and is looking forward to the game five weeks from now.
In other Super Bowl XLIX news, the NFL plans to retract the University of Phoenix Stadium's dome for the game on Feb. 1. According to USA TODAY Sports' Tom Pelissero, the stadium also has a unique feature: a retractable field. He describes it as "a Bermuda grass surface that grows outside and rolls in on a slow-moving barge for Arizona Cardinals training camp and games."
Pelissero interviewed NFL vice president of events Peter O'Reilly on Dec. 17. The latter reiterated the league will be flexible when it comes to retracting the stadium's dome, depending on prevailing game-day weather conditions:
"In 2008, we had planned to have the roof open for that game (Super Bowl XLII), which we ended up closing with rain on the horizon and rain during the pregame.
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"So, we know that even though weather's not typically a factor out there, we need to account for that. Our plan is, as of now, to have the roof open for that game.
"We feel good about making sure we've got a great field in place for that."
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