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Super Bowl 2023 in Arizona: Chiefs fans celebrate win

Arizona Republic 2/13/2023 Arizona Republic

Huge crowds descended on Arizona for Super Bowl weekend where the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

Find road closures, news updates and all you need to know to get through the weekend and beyond safe and sound.

National Weather Service warns travelers to prepare ahead of winter storm

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Many visitors who came to metro Phoenix for the Super Bowl are traveling out of town Monday. The National Weather Service Flagstaff and the Arizona Department of Transportation are urging drivers in the high country to avoid travel ahead of a high-impact winter storm set to hit high-elevation areas on Tuesday.

Tuesday and Wednesday will bring widespread snow, bitter cold and dangerous wind chills across high-elevation areas in northern and central Arizona, according to the weather service.

“Winter returns today through Wednesday,” the weather service said in a Monday forecast discussion.

Rain and snow showers are in the forecast on Monday for northern Arizona starting in the morning and lasting until the evening, according to the weather service.

“If driving is unavoidable, be sure to prepare ahead of time,” said ADOT in a Monday morning tweet.

Tuesday’s winter storm is shaping up to be high impact with potential travel delays and possible road closures, said the weather service.

The weather service gave the following tips for winter travel safety:

  • Check the road conditions and forecast before you leave.
  • Build an emergency vehicle kit in your car.
  • Allow extra travel time to accommodate road closures.

Emergency vehicle kit essentials:

  • Jumper cables
  • First aid kit
  • Tire chains or snow tires
  • Flares
  • Full tank of gas
  • Bag of sand or cat litter
  • Tow rope
  • Shovel, ice scraper, snow brush
  • Blanket
  • Warm winter clothes such as boots and mittens
  • Flashlights
  • Water and snacks
  • Cell phone charger

Residents can check for road closures at

― Sydney Carruth

NFL Shop offering sale on Monday at Phoenix Convention Center

The NFL Shop at the Phoenix Convention Center announced it will hold a fan appreciation sale on all products, with the exception of championship gear, on Monday.

To celebrate Super Bowl LVII, discounts of up to 50% will be offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A large variety of NFL items are for sale at the pop-up shop, including Hunt Auctions collectible items, Wilson NFL footballs, and a wide variety of officially licensed team and Super Bowl LVII apparel and memorabilia.

The Phoenix Convention Center is located at 100 N. Third St. 

― Lillian Boyd

Damar Hamlin made it to the Super Bowl

Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin, center, is surrounded on the field prior to the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. © Charlie Riedel/Associated Press Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin, center, is surrounded on the field prior to the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz.

The Buffalo Bills safety made his third appearance in Phoenix during Super Bowl week, this time on the field at State Farm Stadium prior to Sunday's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.

It’s been a little more than a month since Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and needed to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati. Sunday’s appearance was another milestone in his remarkable recovery.

“I’m allowing that to be in God’s hands,” Hamlin said in an interview with FOX’s Michael Strahan. “I’m just thankful he gave me a second chance.”

During the pregame pageantry, the NFL honored the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals training and medical staffs, along with the staff at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. A minute later, Hamlin joined them, putting his hands together to form a heart. He also received hugs from several of the first responders.

― Associated Press

Chiefs fans celebrate Super Bowl win while visiting from Missouri

At the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, crowds of fans erupted into cheers after the Kansas City Chiefs scored the final points with a field goal to win 38-35. 

While crowds were dwindling during the third and fourth quarters, people rushed out of the bars cheering when the close game came to an end. 

Jalyn Armendariz flew in from Kansas City just for the game and plans to go out to the bars to celebrate the win. 

And it's been a constant party since she got on the plane — her flight Saturday was full of Chiefs fans. The flight attendant even had to ask everyone on the plane to sit down because the fans were too excited, Armendariz said. 

"Missouri is a huge, huge sports state so this is really exciting for us," Armendariz said.

Tonya Talifero also flew from Kansas City (with the cheerleaders and Tech N9ne) for the Super Bowl and describes herself as a die-hard Chiefs fan. 

"I feel great. This is a wonderful feeling, for real," Talifero said. 

She said her favorite moment was when the Chiefs recovered a fumble and then came back for a touchdown.

"We're going to go home, and we're going to party for the Kansas City Chiefs," Talifero said. 

― Alex Hardle

ADOT: 'Be mindful of heavy traffic' in Glendale following Super Bowl

The Arizona Department of Transportation urged drivers to be mindful of heavy traffic near the State Farm Stadium in Glendale following the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

Chiefs win Super Bowl 38-35

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are the winners of Super Bowl 57.

Mahomes — hobbling around on a hurt ankle — led the Chiefs downfield for the winning drive that was capped by Harrison Butker’s 27-yard field goal with 8 seconds left, sealing a 38-35 victory.

“He's the MVP,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said about Mahomes. “That's all that needs to be said. MVP. And you saw it tonight.”

The Eagles took the ensuing kickoff but there would be no miracle. Jalen Hurts’ desperation heave on the final play fell way short of the end zone, and the Chiefs’ celebration began.

The Chiefs won the Super Bowl for the second time in four seasons. They beat the 49ers following the 2019 season before losing to the Buccaneers after 2020. This time, they trailed for most of the evening before rallying in the second half to beat the Eagles.

It’s a tough loss for Philadelphia, which got a great performance from quarterback Jalen Hurts, who threw for 304 yards and ran for three touchdowns.

Mahomes, who was named the AP NFL MVP on Thursday, threw for three touchdowns. The Chiefs overcame a 10-point halftime deficit and never led until taking a 28-27 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Associated Press

'The game is hyping us up, so why sit down?' Chiefs and Eagles fans celebrate friendship in crowded bar

Matthew Bowers and Amaris Rodriguez enjoy the game by McFadden's at Westgate in Glendale on Sunday, Feb. 12. © Dianne Chavez Matthew Bowers and Amaris Rodriguez enjoy the game by McFadden's at Westgate in Glendale on Sunday, Feb. 12.

At Westgate, the crowds began to drop in numbers along with the temperature by the halftime show. But despite the chilly temperatures and wind picking up, loyal fans stayed crowded around a large TV outside McFadden's. 

Eager game-watchers also crowded around behind a gate of a tailgate area to catch a glimpse of the TV screen. Others chose to watch the games on their phones. Bar Louie, which earlier had a line wrapping around the building, only had a few people in line. 

Amaris Rodriguez met Matthew Bowers, who is in town from Las Vegas visiting friends, last night in Tempe. Despite their differences, the two decided to watch the game together. Rodriguez is rooting for the Eagles, while Bowers is rooting for the Chiefs. 

"Making friends is what I'm all about," said Rodriguez. 

While Rodriguez lives in the Phoenix area, her family is originally from Philadelphia. She and most of her family members are Eagles fans. 

Rodriguez said she decided to watch the game at Westgate because of its proximity to the stadium. And with most parking lots in the area charging rates of $50 to $100, Rodriguez and Bowers both got there via Uber. 

Rodriguez, who had been at Westgate for more than five hours by halftime, said she hadn't sat down since she arrived. 

"The game is hyping us up, so why sit down? Enjoy it while it's on," said Rodriguez. 

And despite his team being behind, Bowers was enjoying the game regardless. 

"Even though she's an Eagles fan, she's one of the coolest people I've ever met in my life," said Bowers of Rodriguez. 

― Alex Hardle

Brittney Griner attending Super Bowl

Brittney Griner is in the crowd representing the Philadelphia Eagles at the Super Bowl.

It was the third public appearance for the WNBA star since her release from a Russian prison.

Griner has said she’ll play for the Phoenix Mercury again this season, although she’s still an unsigned free agent. She hasn’t talked about her international future and potentially playing in the Olympics next year in Paris.

Associated Press

Chiefs fan finds 'next best thing' to Super Bowl at Westgate

Donny East drove 18 hours from Kansas City to be in Glendale for the Super Bowl on Sunday. Unsurprisingly, he's rooting for the Chiefs to win.

Ahead of the kickoff, East had been in line at Bar Louie in Westgate for an hour and a half. He plans to stay at the bar for the rest of the game.

So far, East said he's enjoying the Westgate area but he would have gotten a better feel of the area if it wasn't so crowded.

"I wasn't going to the Super Bowl so this was the next best thing," East said, of spending the day at Westgate.

― Alex Hardle

Chiefs' Allegretti welcomes Super Bowl twins

The Kansas City Chiefs welcomed two new fans to the world on Super Bowl Sunday with a third apparently on the way.

Chiefs offensive lineman Nick Allegretti's wife, Christina, gave birth in the early hours to twin girls back home in Chicago, a team official confirmed to The Associated Press. Allegretti was able to watch everything unfold on FaceTime from the lobby of the team hotel while the rest of the Chiefs slept ahead of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Allegretti, who has started three games this season, will be available for the Chiefs in the big game.

About the same time his wife was giving birth, Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman tweeted that his girlfriend, Chariah Gordeon, had gone into labor. Hardman went on injured reserve this week and was not available to play in the game.

There are plenty of Eagles on baby watch, too.

Starting center Jason Kelce, whose brother Travis is a tight end for Kansas City, and his wife are expecting their third child at any moment. In fact, Kylie Kelce, who is 38 weeks pregnant, has said that her obstetricians would be on hand at State Farm Stadium on Sunday should the baby make a dramatic appearance during the game.

“We haven't talked too much game plan if it happens during the Super Bowl,” Jason Kelce said, "but I like to think my wife will not tell me. And just find a way to hold off, hopefully 'til after the game for the actual delivery.

Associated Press

Fans crowd at Westgate in Glendale to enjoy the game

Mark Anderson, who is spending the day at Westgate in Glendale on Super Bowl Sunday, was born and raised in the Phoenix area and still lives here.

"This is built for a Super Bowl," Anderson said, of Westgate.

He's been an Eagles fan since he was 7 years old, picking the team since he loved the players and Phoenix didn't have a football team when he was growing up.

"Go birds!" Anderson cheered.

― Alex Hardle

A general overall view of the fan plaza outside before Super Bowl 57 between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium on Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. © Joe Rondone, The Republic-USA TODAY Sports A general overall view of the fan plaza outside before Super Bowl 57 between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium on Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz.

'It's a great place to enjoy the game'

Westgate in Glendale is nothing short of a zoo on Super Bowl Sunday. Fans in Eagles and Chiefs jerseys are crowded among the bars and restaurants, with a few random Steelers and Cardinals jerseys in the mix.

Alejandrina Limon came from Nogales with a few of her friends to spend the day at Westgate.

While Limon is rooting for the Eagles, she said the Patriots are her team.

"I like Tom Brady," Limon said.

She plans to find a bar with her friends to watch the game and is so far enjoying the busy scene at Westgate.

"It's a great place to enjoy the game," she said.

― Alex Hardle

'Stop the chop': Protesters march against Chiefs' name and logo near State Farm Stadium

About 50 protesters gathered outside State Farm Stadium on Feb. 12, 2023, calling for the Kansas City Chiefs to reevaluate the team's logo and name. © Ellie Willard/The Republic About 50 protesters gathered outside State Farm Stadium on Feb. 12, 2023, calling for the Kansas City Chiefs to reevaluate the team's logo and name.

“Stop the chop and change the name,” chanted a group of about 50 protesters gathered outside State Farm Stadium Sunday afternoon calling for the Kansas City Chiefs to reevaluate its logo, name, and “war” cries during games that appropriate Indigenous culture.The group first gathered north of the stadium at 95th Avenue and Sunrise Boulevard and marched through crowds of football fans chanting and holding signs reading “end cultural appropriation.”Met with boos and mockery from fans, the protesters pushed on to the stadium calling for respect for Native peoples.The protest, led by Arizona To Rally Against Native Mascots and No More Native Mascots, planned to rally in front of the stadium before the ticket entrance until the game begins.

― Ellie Willard

Glendale Avenue exit off Loop 101 northbound closes

Loop 101 northbound exit to Glendale Avenue, north of State Farm Stadium, closed Sunday just before 3 p.m., said the Arizona Department of Transportation.

East and westbound lanes of Glendale Avenue sustained traffic backup between 101 Loop and 91st Avenue as of 3:30 p.m according to, a website that tracks traffic alerts. 

Drivers can still exit onto Cardinals Way, Northern Avenue or Camelback Road, ADOT said. 

The freeway's north on-ramps at Camelback Road and Cardinals Way remained closed.

There wasn't an expected time of reopening. Drivers were advised to consider alternate routes. 

― Laura Sepulveda


Camelback Road and Cardinals Way north on-ramps to Loop 101 closed due to traffic

Loop 101 north on-ramps at Camelback Road and Cardinals Way, just south of State Farm Stadium, closed Sunday afternoon due to heavy traffic in the area, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

According to ADOT, traffic started to accumulate on the northbound lanes of the freeway around 11:30 a.m. The on-ramps closed around 12:30 p.m. to improve traffic flow, ADOT said. 

There wasn't an expected time of reopening. Drivers were advised to take alternative routes, unless they're heading to the game. 

― Laura Sepulveda

Valley's Afro Caribbean community celebrates Rihanna at the Super Bowl

For Casa Grande resident and Jamaica native Gayle Reid, 47, no beat or jam compares to the “island vibe” that music from the Caribbean embodies.

Music is the biggest unifier among people from the predominantly English-speaking region, Reid and other Phoenix-area expatriates are quick to share.

This week, that island vibe is reverberating even stronger with Barbadian singer Rihanna’s upcoming performance during the Super Bowl halftime show Sunday night at Glendale’s State Farm Stadium, Afro Caribbean residents told The Arizona Republic. They are looking forward to seeing her in the spotlight, in their adopted city.

“She's raw, she's authentic, so she's embraced,” Reid said.

The excitement Black Caribbean residents hold for Rihanna comes some struggle to grow a bigger sense of community in the Valley, they said during a conversation at Reid’s Jamaican eatery, Topnotch Island Flavor Kitchen in north Phoenix.

The Grammy-winning 34-year-old Rihanna will become the third woman of color to solo headline a Super Bowl halftime show.

Jose R. Gonzalez

Slow going: Game day arrivals at State Farm Stadium

Super Bowl 2023 kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. At noon, more than a mile from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, traffic crept by at a pace no snail would envy. A woman held a bright green poster advertising parking on her street for $80.

By 12:30 p.m., hundreds of people were trudging down the street in a line toward the stadium.  

— Ed Masley

Super Bowl 57 champs will have more State Farm Stadium wins than Arizona Cardinals. Ouch. 

Super Bowl 57 will be played at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, the home of the Arizona Cardinals. 

But the Kansas City Chiefs or Philadelphia Eagles could both stake an ownership claim in the stadium if they win the NFL championship there on Feb. 12. 

Ouch. That's not something Arizona fans want to remember. 

Here’s what the Super Bowl could mean for the two teams and the Cardinals. 

Jeremy Cluff 

Arizona Super Bowl's grass turf required a nearly 2-year process 

The NFL's players have made it no secret they prefer playing on natural grass as opposed to synthetic turf. They'll get their wish in Super Bowl 57 — thanks to Nick Pappas and his small group of field specialists who are getting the surface ready at State Farm Stadium for Sunday's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. 

“For this one, obviously, we're giving it a little extra care,” said Pappas, who is one of the NFL's field surface directors. “We've got a lot of groundskeepers here for about a month, putting eyes on it, putting hands on it, working on it all day, every day, getting it ready for game day.” 

The home field of the Arizona Cardinals is unique in that the grass is on a giant, rolling track. Every day, the entire field is rolled outside of the retractable roof stadium, where it can get unobstructed access to Arizona's abundant sunshine. Then it can be rolled back inside for the chilly winter nights. 

Here’s how the two-year process rolled out. 

Associated Press 

Marijuana is now legal in Arizona. What this means for those visiting Super Bowl, Phoenix Open 

Marijuana is legal in Arizona, and you can buy it from more than 100 dispensaries, in case you're in town for a big football or golf event. 

Neither State Farm Stadium nor the Phoenix Open specifically list marijuana as prohibited, but state laws may still apply in public places. 

Here is your guide to dispensaries near the Super Bowl and the Phoenix Open, including the laws for marijuana in both locations. 

Ryan Randazzo 

Complaint says Mexican avocados take environmental toll 

As Mexican avocado growers reach their most profitable season — the American Super Bowl — an environmental complaint warns that unregulated growth of the agricultural industry is causing an "ecocide" in the Mexican state of Michoacán. 

A Mexican citizen filed the complaint anonymously on Feb. 2 to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a trilateral entity that is part of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The complaint said that Mexico has failed to protect water resources and forest ecosystems and is in violation of its own environmental laws, something that, in turn, violates international treaties. 

The charges were made as avocado sales soar in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Football fanatics in the U.S. can consume about 105 million pounds of avocados in a single day, some estimates say. The big game is celebrated weeks in advance by farmers in Michoacán, Mexico, who lead the avocado world market and supply over 80% of the U.S. demands. The football season brings the biggest sales of the year. 

Last month, with a symbolic kick-off, the governor of Michoacán, Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla, celebrated the departure of the first cargo load with over 120,000 pounds of avocado heading from the city of Uruapan to the United States. Shipments start four weeks prior to Super Bowl weekend. 

Here’s more about the anonymous complaint over unregulated avocado production in Mexico. 

Clara Migoya 

Native activists to hold demonstration against Chiefs' name and logo

When the Kansas City Chiefs take the field against the Philadelphia Eagles on Super Bowl Sunday, they will sport white uniforms with a distinctive logo: an arrowhead with the initials KC emblazoned on the surface.

And greeting them among thousands of football fans: Native activists who have been urging the team to retire the name "Chiefs," the arrowhead and the rest of an accumulated 60-plus years of cultural appropriation and stereotyping.

Activists with Arizona to Rally Against Native Mascots (Az Rally) will hold a demonstration at State Farm Stadium at 2 p.m., just hours before the big game.

The Chiefs have, over the years, dumped what activists say were the worst of its motifs – as they banned fake headdresses and Native-themed warpaint from fan faces and initiated a working group of local Native people to advise them.

But some Indigenous people told The Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY Network, that fans still use the same chant, appropriated from old Hollywood Western movies, and continue to enter Arrowhead Stadium with inappropriate Native-themed headdresses and war paint.

East Garage in downtown Phoenix closed

The Phoenix Convention Center, host of the Super Bowl LVII Experience, announced the East Garage is closed Saturday night and urged attendees to find alternative parking if they are headed to downtown Phoenix.

Alternative parking garages within walking distance of the Convention Center include:

  • North Garage ― 475 E. Monroe St.
  • West Garage ― 185 N. Second St.
  • Heritage Garage ― 125 N. Fifth St.
  • Regency Garage ― 40 N. Second St.
  • Orpheum parking ― 305 W. Washington St.

Metered street parking is also available near the Convention Center, at the price of $1.50 per hour and $1 per hour for coin-only meters.

Those planning to travel to downtown Phoenix on Saturday night can also use the Valley Metro light rail to avoid parking. Electric scooters are also available downtown.

Saturday is the last night that the Super Bowl LVII Experience, which features football themed games and NFL exhibits, will be open to the public. The event had its opening night on Feb. 4 and has been drawing crowds of visitors to the Phoenix Convention Center in the week that followed.

― Sydney Carruth

Pub Rock offers year-round gathering place for Chiefs fans

Dozens of Chiefs fans found a haven of their own at Pub Rock in Scottsdale. The bar has been owned by Chiefs fan and Montana native Nancy Stevens for a decade and was decked out in red arrowhead decorations both inside and outside the building.

Pub Rock has seemingly become a go-to spot for Chiefs fans year-round, according to bar regulars Jennifer and Eric Donn. The Scottsdale couple said "we're going to be here every day" during Super Bowl weekend and added that they've been hanging out there since Wednesday.

Kansas City transplant Hotchy Kiene, a friend of Pub Rock's owner, has been the driving force behind making it a gathering spot for Chiefs fans. He runs a Facebook group for local fans of the team called AZ Chiefs Kingdom and said they all started regularly gathering at Pub Rock about nine years ago.

"What we all do is try to create an environment where people from Kansas City feel comfortable, they can hear and watch the game and they can have a good time and be around friends," said Kiene, who explained that the bar does things like shouting Chiefs chants over the speaker to mirror the feel of being at a Kansas City game.

― Sam Kmack

Eagles fan's first football game will be the Super Bowl

Eagles fans such as Rasheta Junious were well-represented in Scottsdale's downtown on Saturday. She traveled all the way from Philadelphia on Friday to root for the Eagles this weekend, which will mark the first time she's ever attended a professional football game.

She was most excited to see R&B artist Babyface, who will sing at the beginning of the game, as well as Rihanna's halftime show performance.

“Everybody's having a good time, it's real chill,” said the Philly fan as she walked past Scottsdale’s new Civic Center, just a stone’s throw from the packed Old Town Tavern. “This is my first football game ever. My first football game is going to be the Super Bowl, so I'm blessed."

― Sam Kmack

Chiefs and Eagles fans alike engage in lighthearted digs

Kansas City native Larry Richter was greeted with boos and obscenities as he walked by Philadelphia fans enjoying drinks on Rockbar's outdoor patio and who spotted the Chiefs fan's red shirt with the team's logo.

But the ribbing was seemingly lighthearted as Eagles fans laughed, and Richter stopped to take a bow as he was heckled by a mob of green-shirted partyers.

The Chiefs fan was unbothered by the jeers and said things have been friendly between fans of either team during his time in Old Town Scottsdale.

He plans to keep drinking cocktails around the Scottsdale area, where he said he will watch the game on TV because in-person tickets were far too pricey.

"It's been awesome. It's a great area, Old Town is a great area," said Richter, who added he's spent the weekend with his friend from Scottsdale, "bar hopping and just watching people have fun."

― Sam Kmack

Eagles fans flock to Rockbar in Scottsdale

About five minutes away from the Scottsdale Civic Center, scores of Philadelphia Eagles fans filled Rockbar to the point that bouncers had to start turning away customers by midafternoon Saturday. The bar took on an Eagles theme for Super Bowl weekend, a move that seemingly made the business magnetic for Philadelphia natives who were in town.

One of those fans was Eric Wyatt, a CEO of a restaurant business in the city of brotherly love, who came into Scottsdale to attend the big game on Sunday with about a dozen friends and family members.

This weekend will mark the third time Wright has attended an Eagles' Super Bowl. He said his team lost one and won one of their previous Super Bowls, and he's hoping to see the team clinch another win this year.

"We come to Scottsdale and there's an Eagles bar in Scottsdale," he said about Rockbar's Eagles theme. "How much better is it going to be for Eagles fans coming from Philadelphia to have our own bar for the Super Bowl? It's perfect."

― Sam Kmack

Phoenix Zoo's Chutti the rhino predicts Super Bowl winner

As millions across the nation debate which team will leave State Farm Stadium with the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy following Super Bowl LVII, one beloved 5,000-pound resident of the Phoenix Zoo gave his prediction Friday.

Chutti, an 8-year-old male rhinoceros who lives next to the elephant enclosure at the Phoenix Zoo, made his pick Friday when he was presented with two boxes decorated with the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles team logos.

After much careful deliberation, Chutti picked the Eagles to win over the Chiefs in the big game.

Each box was given a different scent to help intrigue the rhino, whom Phoenix zookeepers describe as rambunctious, agile and spunky.

The Eagles' box had a mint scent while the Chiefs' box had a strawberry scent. Chutti's hard work was rewarded with a toy that was hidden inside the Eagles' box.

The greater one-horned rhino has predicted football games in the past, though not always successfully, with his most recent prediction incorrectly favoring the Michigan Wolverines over the TCU Horned Frogs in January's Fiesta Bowl.

Chutti's Super Bowl excitement was amplified by Boboo, the Phoenix Zoo's male African lion, who gave a roar for responsible drinking from his habitat on Friday after playing with an empty keg-shaped toy.

Sydney Carruth

Super Bowl visitors shuffle to events on Valley Metro Rail

Music playing on speakers drowned out the motors of passing vehicles Saturday afternoon in downtown Phoenix. The sidewalks and street corners were filled with throngs of people on foot, with many donning NFL jerseys under sunny skies.

It was a day of firsts for 62-year-old D’Lynn Pokorney, visiting from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She had never ridden a light rail train, the Kansas City Chiefs fan said as she boarded a train car at the Third Street and Washington stop. It was also her first time visiting a Super Bowl city.“I’ve never done anything like this ever before,” Pokorney said.

The financial analyst flew down to partake in festivities ahead of Super Bowl Sunday. She had hiked the Superstition Mountains near Apache Junction earlier in the day. On Sunday, she plans to watch the game with her sister and brother-in-law, who live in Gold Canyon.

The light rail stops in downtown had about a couple of dozen people waiting at them between each train. The cars were filled with some people standing at the doors during the ride, which was free of charge due to the weekend events.

“We’ve done very well since Patrick Mahomes became the quarterback,” Pokorney said.

Sporting a Philadelphia Eagles cap, Gary Forster, 56, flew from Newcastle, England, for his third Super Bowl game supporting the team. A self-described “massive fan,” Forster said the team would win by three points.

As Forster waited at the Adams Street and Central Avenue stop, he remarked on the light rail’s limitations.

“I’m disappointed I can’t get to the stadium on it,” Forster said. “It’s so far out.”

A few steps away, friends Marie Harris, 57, and Nettie Robinson, 57, waited on the train to get to Margaret T. Hance Park. The two retirees and longtime Philadelphia residents flew to town to support their Eagles.

Harris credited “a connection” with helping her and Robinson get tickets to the game just this week.

As much as they were enjoying the weekend, Robinson was quick to say there was no comparison between mass transit systems in Phoenix and Philadelphia, which includes subways and trolleys.

“Our system is all of Philadelphia ― the airports, every part of the city, north, east, south and west,” Robinson said.

Harris added mass transit is far more accessible there than in the Valley, but acknowledged the streets were cleaner out here than back home.

Jose R. Gonzalez

Looking to travel to south or north Arizona after the big game? Here are the weather conditions

In Flagstaff, a winter storm travel advisory begins on Sunday night as a light snowstorm starts and is expected to last until Monday. Stronger and colder storms will peak late Tuesday into Wednesday, according to NWS.

Road closures may be possible as well as hazardous driving conditions.

Near the Grand Canyon, conditions will remain clear and breezy throughout Super Bowl weekend until late Sunday night when a 30% chance of rain is possible.

Before 11 a.m. on Monday, the chance of rain continues, and snowstorms may be possible.

On Tuesday, rain and snow showers are highly expected all day with a breezy high of 44°F. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch is possible.

Tucson can expect sunny conditions with high 70s and a windy breeze, upwards of 25 mph, according to NWS Tucson meteorologist Marc Singer.

"But the pattern is going to change early next week, much cooler weather is coming in," said Singer. "There is the potential for snow at the higher elevations and, believe it or not, at the lower elevations as well."

Throughout most of southern Arizona, a chance of showers and snow showers begins low on Sunday evening and then increases throughout Monday, according to NWS.

— Jose Gonzalez and Ellie Willard

Going to the Super Bowl? Most Arizona politicians we asked said no 

The crowd at the Super Bowl will be a star-studded group filled with A-list celebrities, sports stars, musical performers, business executives and even the first lady. 

Most of Arizona’s elected officials will not be among them. 

Only two of Arizona's elected officials said they will be there. 

Corina Vanek 

As Arizona hosts its third Super Bowl, the state could make hundreds of millions off the big game 

The last time Arizona hosted the Super Bowl in 2015, the state made more than $700 million in 10 days. 

But the Super Bowl's effects can be uneven, and it does come with costs, too. 

Listen to this episode of The Gaggle where hosts Ron Hansen and Mary Jo Pitzl are joined by reporter Corina Vanek to discuss what goes into putting on a mega-event like the Super Bowl. 

Amanda Luberto 

Scottsdale art gallery owner faces charges after racist tirade against Native performers 

Scottsdale police charged the owner of a well-known Native art gallery with three counts of disorderly conduct. 

The shop owner yelled racist language toward Indigenous performers who were recording a Super Bowl segment for ESPN. 

Now, the owner faces three misdemeanor counts. 

Arlyssa D. Becenti 

'No credible threats' as law enforcement prepares for Super Bowl, FBI and Phoenix police say 

During the past 18 months, more than 40 law enforcement agencies were involved in planning security efforts to ensure fan experiences remained safe and convenient. 

On Tuesday, a panel of law enforcement officials at the local, state and federal level gathered at the Phoenix Convention Center to discuss fan and citizen safety. 

Here’s their plan to keep the Valley safe ahead of and during Super Bowl 57. 

— Perry Vandell 

Dry, warm weekend ahead for Super Bowl 57

Saturday will be dry and warm with a high in the mid 70s, according to the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

Warm, dry conditions are expected to continue through the weekend.

Weather will take a turn early next week with increasing chances for rain and a drop in temperature, according to NWS Phoenix. Windy gusts on Tuesday will likely surpass 30 mph.

— Lillian Boyd

Sinema gets NFL to commit to making AZ model for trafficking victims go national

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Friday toured the Phoenix Dream Center and led a roundtable discussion with the NFL and others about innovative ways Arizona combats human trafficking.

During the event in west Phoenix, Sinema, I-Ariz., was able to secure the NFL's commitment to bringing Arizona's victim assistance model to the rest of the country.

Bob Alder, the NFL's senior director of security and innovations, and Brendon Plack, the NFL's senior vice president of public policy and government affairs, committed the league's support in helping Sinema make national Arizona's system of assistance to sex workers for the first 23 hours after they are taken in by police.

"I was most impressed by the innovative strategy that Arizona uses to provide assistance to survivors of human trafficking," Sinema said. "What I learned today was that by having the first day of interaction with these young girls and women be one of support and services, we're more likely to see girls and women interrupting the cycle of trafficking and violence. ... And as we've heard from the Phoenix PD, we're more likely to see arrests and prosecutions of the traffickers who are actually the perpetrators of these crimes."

Here’s how Sinema highlighted Arizona's system at a roundtable event with NFL directors and the Phoenix Dream Center in west Phoenix.

— Tara Kavaler

Multiple agencies to secure airspace during Super Bowl 57

North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, will work with multiple agencies, including the FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations and local law enforcement, to ensure airspace over and near State Farm Stadium in Glendale will remain secure during Super Bowl 57 on Sunday.

Continental U.S. NORAD Region, or CONR, aircraft will be available to enforce the temporary flight restrictions during the game.

"This is a total team effort," CONR Commander Lt. Gen. Kirk Pierce said. "The teams playing in the upcoming Super Bowl have practiced working together as a team to accomplish a single goal. Our interagency team does the same to accomplish our single goal: monitoring and defending the airspace for this year's big game."

— Perry Vandell

Stadium flyover:All-female aircrew will make Super Bowl history

Hosting its third Super Bowl, Glendale is no longer 'the middle of nowhere' 

As Glendale prepares to host the big game on Sunday, the rapid expansion of the city, especially around the stadium, has taken center stage. 

The city aspired to create a commercial corridor along Loop 101 in the area that is now Westgate, but the amount of growth the area has seen is unprecedented. 

“Would we have thought in our wildest dreams it would turn out to be the way that it is?” said Elaine Scruggs, former mayor of Glendale. 

Here’s how Glendale has evolved into a sports-centric district. 

Corina Vanek 


ADOT: No weekend construction closures for Phoenix area freeways

The Arizona Department of Transportation announced on Thursday that the usual weekend freeway advisories will not be in effect for the Super Bowl as no construction closures are planned.

Instead, ADOT is advising drivers to focus on safe driving, allow extra time for travel in heavy event traffic, stay alert, don't speed and buckle up.

— Kye Graves

Mayor Gallego to attend pop-up grocery market on Super Bowl Sunday

Visible by Verizon and Goodr are working together to bring relief to 1,000 families with a free pop-up grocery market during the Super Bowl with an appearance from Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.

The free shopping experience will provide families with a week’s worth of groceries, including meat, seafood, eggs, dairy, bread, fresh produce, shelf stable items and more. The free grocery market is expected to provide 40,000 meals to the families attending.

The event will be at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church on Sunday, Feb. 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is required to participate and families can register at

The event is during a time when Phoenix will be hosting its fourth Super Bowl, drawing more than a million visitors and generating close to a billion dollars in revenue for a city that is still struggling under the weight of record inflation, a news release said.

— Andrea Ramirez

Will the Super Bowl spike COVID-19? The chances are low to medium, CDC measure suggests

While the federal government ranks the COVID-19 level in Maricopa County as low, that's not true in Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania, where many Philadelphia Eagles fans are traveling from to watch Sunday's game.

Philadelphia County's COVID-19 "community level" is rated "medium," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, while the level in Maricopa County and in Jefferson County, the home of the Kansas City Chiefs, is "low."

The community level designations are based on COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the past seven days; the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients; and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days.

Masks are not recommended in indoor public places when communities are in the low level, nor for most at the medium level except for certain people, including those who are immunocompromised, and at high risk for severe disease, or if they have a household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease. The CDC also recommends "enhanced prevention measures in high-risk congregate settings" in communities designated at the medium level.

The community levels should be used to determine the impact of COVID-19 on communities, and for taking personal action, CDC officials recommend. So while masks aren't recommended indoors in areas designated at a low community level, visitors to Arizona this weekend may be coming from areas with higher levels of the COVID-19 virus in circulation.

— Stephanie Innes

What to know about parking for Super Bowl 57 in Glendale 

 Parking at State Farm Stadium on Sunday will open at 11:30 a.m. The stadium will not allow tailgating of any kind in its parking lots and parking permits are only available to Super Bowl 57 ticket holders, according to the Super Bowl LVII Transportation Center. 

 Ticket holders looking to park at State Farm Stadium on game day can purchase General Fan parking reservations in advance through the Super Bowl LVII Transportation Center website. 

 Each vehicle type has a unique permit type and cost associated with it and the permits are not interchangeable. Pricing for parking permits is per tiers: 

 Tier 1 Pricing, includes lots closest to State Farm Stadium: 

  • Car or SUV: $120. 
  • Sprinter and luxury vans: $240. 
  • Mini bus: $300. 
  • Bus and limousine: $360. 

Tier 2 Pricing, includes lots farther away from the stadium: 

  • Car or SUV: $100. 

—  Sydney Carruth 

Road closure in Avondale over Super Bowl weekend

Avondale announced via Twitter on Thursday night that Avondale Boulevard and Lower Buckeye Road would be closed over Super Bowl weekend.

Construction crews will be installing a new traffic signal and making other improvements.

The southbound and northbound lanes on Avondale Boulevard between Lower Buckeye Road and Miami Avenue will be closed Friday night at 10 p.m. and will remain closed until 10 p.m. Sunday.

Kye Graves

Jehovah's Witnesses offer literature in Phoenix ahead of Super Bowl 57

In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, an increased presence of members of Jehova's Witnesses has been seen across downtown Phoenix.

Many members have been seen near the Convention Center and Margaret T. Hance Park handing out literature and sharing information related to their beliefs with residents and tourists.

In 2019, nearly 40,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses were present in downtown Phoenix for the three-day “Love Never Fails” International Convention. Worldwide, there are more than 8.5 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in 240 countries.

Joanna Jacobo Rivera

Life goes on as usual at Phoenix homeless encampment

It was business as usual on Thursday afternoon at Phoenix’s biggest homeless encampment, commonly referred to as the Zone.

Several people who live in the encampment, located roughly a mile from downtown’s Super Bowl festivities, said they didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Residents milled about while a handful of nonprofit staff swept the streets and a police car drove past, patrolling the area.

Phoenix did not change its protocols related to the Zone in light of the game, said a spokesperson for the city’s office that works with people experiencing homelessness. 

“Regardless of any major events happening in our city, the Office of Homeless Solutions will continue to conduct outreach to help connect people experiencing homelessness with services and safe, indoor spaces,” Kristin Couturier said.

— Juliette Rihl

What to know about rideshare programs for the Super Bowl

The Phoenix area is expecting one of its busiest weeks ever with not only Super Bowl 57 but also the PGA golf tournament in north Scottsdale, meaning both heavy traffic and unprecedented demand on rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.

Those who need rides might have to wait longer than usual — and they may also pay much more than usual. That's thanks to the dynamic pricing rideshare companies use to increase fares when there are more requests for rides than drivers available.

Uber added a $20 fee for pick-ups and $10 for drop-offs near SoFi Stadium in California for last year’s Super Bowl, and will do the same this year for rides to and from State Farm Stadium, with the fee meant to encourage drivers to serve the area.

Both Uber and Lyft recommend entering the name "State Farm Stadium" for rides to and from the game. The designated drop-off/pickup spot at the game is the "Black Lot" on Cardinals Way south of the stadium.

Ryan Randazzo

Man arrested in $100,000 theft from vendor of NFL Experience

Phoenix police announced Thursday that a man was arrested in connection to the theft of $100,000 worth of production equipment destined for the newly opened NFL Experience store in downtown Phoenix.

Officers located George Rodriguez on Feb. 7, where he was arrested. He has since been booked into jail.

Phoenix police spokesperson Sgt. Robert Scherer said in the statement that all the stolen equipment was located and returned.

— Kye Graves

Roads closures in metro Phoenix for Super Bowl 57

The Super Bowl is coming to metro Phoenix this Sunday and that means plenty of traffic in cities where major events are happening all week. Phoenix, Scottsdale and Glendale have announced street closures, some of which are already in effect.

Here are some of the road closures in Glendale:

  • Cardinals Way between 95th Avenue and 91st Avenue (from Feb. 12 to Feb. 13)
  • Montebello Avenue between 91st Avenue and 95th Avenue, open to NFL vehicles only (until Feb. 12)
  • 95th Avenue between Maryland Avenue and Cardinals Drive, closed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (until Feb. 17)
  • 95th Avenue between Georgia Avenue and Cardinals Way, northbound right lanes will be closed from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. (until Feb. 12)

— Andrea Morabito

Exterior of State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 7, 2023, ahead of Super Bowl 57. © Michael Chow/The Republic Exterior of State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 7, 2023, ahead of Super Bowl 57.

A perfectly spring-like weather day for the Super Bowl

Game day weather is set to be slightly cooler than the rest of the weekend, but a pretty nice day overall.

“The weather should be fairly warm,” said Mark O'Malley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix. “During the weekend, we expect a cloudy sky and breezy weather. Luckily Sunday, we don’t have more than a 5% chance of rain.”

High temperatures should be in the 60s, slightly cooler but less windy than Friday and Saturday's forecasted highs in the 70s.

Andrea Morabito

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Super Bowl 2023 in Arizona: Chiefs fans celebrate win

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