One million people expected in downtown Phoenix for Super Bowl LVII festivities

Pack your patience if you plan on driving anywhere near downtown Phoenix this week.
Pack your patience if you plan on driving anywhere near downtown Phoenix this week.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:48 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The City of Phoenix is expecting a record number of visitors in downtown this week with more than one million people anticipated in the area over the next seven days.

“We’re very excited to have you, downtown has changed tremendously since the last time we hosted a mega event,” Devney Majerle, President & CEO of Downtown Phoenix Inc., said.

If you do plan to head downtown, organizers encourage you to take the light rail. It’s free to people who are going to any Super Bowl event downtown.

“If you have a pass or a ticket to any of the events at the convention center, Hance Park or Footprint Center, you can ride the light rail for free, both to and from downtown and in between those venues and we really encourage people to take light rail,” Majerle said.

Majerle says even if you’re going to a free event, just download the NFL OnePass app and register. If you’re on the light rail, all you need to do is show the QR code to fare inspectors. The light rail will be free starting Thursday and lasting until Sunday.

If you do plan to drive downtown, organizers say to figure out your parking ahead of time. You can click here to pre-book your parking.

“You can buy now, you can buy today, doesn’t matter which day you’re coming down, you can select the day, which garage you want to park in, take a look to see how close it is in proximity to maybe which event you’re going to and then there’s also micro-mobility options. Our e-scooter program is back and involves e-bikes as well as pedal bikes now,” Majerle said.

Downtown Phoenix Inc. will have its ambassadors out all week long, helping to guide people around downtown. Just look for them in orange!

“Our ambassadors will be here in full force with many working as many hours as we’re able, and we’ll have them stationed where we know we’ll have a lot of people maybe coming out of light rail, coming out of parking garages,” Majerle said.

Valley Metro is preparing for what could be the busiest day in the light rail’s history. As of now, the busiest day ever recorded was back in 2015 during the last Super Bowl week in Arizona. On the Saturday before the game in 2015, 126,000 people rode the light rail.

“We already know that we’re going to have 57 trains running we hope to be up to 60. We’re working on them right now to make sure they’re ready for passenger service. That’s 10 additional from the last Super Bowl because we know there’s lots of people coming to the valley for all the fun,” Brittany Hoffman with Valley Metro said.

Hoffman says trains will be running every 15 to 20 minutes with more trains moving when there’s large crowds in downtown like when concerts end at Hance Park.

Ride share is also be an option with two designated rideshare areas, one around Hance Park and another outside the Phoenix Convention Center.