Rarely does a Senate Bill garner this much attention in the sports world. But, if Arizona Governor Jan Brewer doesn’t veto Senate Bill 1062 the state of Arizona could lose the Super Bowl in 2015.
The game has already been awarded to Glendale but there is increasing talk that if Brewer signs the bill into law then the NFL could pull the plug on the nation’s biggest football game.
Senate Bill 1062 was passed by the Arizona House and Senate and awaits the Governor’s signature. This week Arizona’s Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake urged Brewer to veto the bill, but she has not given any indication of what she will do.
The bill would allow business owners to refuse service to same-sex couples based on the grounds of “religious freedom.”
There is precedent for yanking a Super Bowl from a state. In 1993 the NFL pulled the Super Bowl from Phoenix after Arizona voters refused to authorize Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday a holiday. Eventually voters approved the holiday and Tempe was awarded the 1996 Super Bowl. It is believed Arizona missed out on 100 million dollars by losing the 1994 Super Bowl.
The Arizona Republic newspaper says the tourism industry is concerned about the residual economic impacts of the law if Brewer signs it into law. The Super Bowl is due to be played in Glendale in 2015. There is fear in Arizona that if the Brewer signs the bill, the NFL will do as they did in 1993 and pull the Super Bowl from Arizona.