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Super Bowl kicks off unprecedented 26-month stretch for the Valley

A friendly reminder to Valley residents: don’t forget to sync your calendars.

2015? Super Bowl.

2016? College Football Playoff Championship.

2017? NCAA Men’s Final Four.

With this hat trick of America’s most prominent sporting events, Phoenix will cement its reputation as a sports Mecca. Only one other city – New Orleans, from 2002-04 – has hosted a Super Bowl, College Football Championship and Final Four in three consecutive years.

First up is the Super Bowl, and Bagnato Pflipsen Communications is proud to work with two clients who are involved in the big game.

The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) owns University of Phoenix Stadium and has been a backbone of the Valley’s successful bids to host the three mega sporting events. Under AZSTA’s stewardship, University of Phoenix Stadium has clearly delivered on the promise made to taxpayers who approved Prop. 302.

Loosely translated, that promise was: if we build it, they will come.

University of Phoenix Stadium has won numerous architecture and design awards, but it is more than a pretty place. It’s also an economic engine. At a time when Arizona is emerging from the worst recession in its history, the stadium has attracted three events that will generate hundreds of millions in tourism dollars and tax revenues.

AZSTA has helped build lasting partnerships with the Arizona Cardinals, local municipalities, CVBs, tourism organizations and Arizona State University – each of them vital to the success of these mega sporting events.

Another Bagnato Pflipsen Communications client, Barrow Neurological Institute, also will have a presence at the Super Bowl.

Dr. Javier Cárdenas, a Barrow neurologist, will work the Super Bowl a and Pro Bowl sidelines as an Unaffiliated Neurotrama Consultant (UNC). That may sound glamorous, but as Dr. Cárdenas told KPHO/CBS 5 in Phoenix, “The truth is, we are working. Don’t get me wrong, it’s enjoyable work but we are there for a purpose.”

The NFL added UNCs in the 2013 season to provide another layer of medical expertise for in-game diagnosis and treatment of concussions. Dr. Cárdenas performs the same duties at Arizona Cardinals home games and also works the sidelines as an observer at Arizona State home games in Sun Devil Stadium.

"So just like at any other level of sport, the earlier you’re able to intervene, mostly to prevent further injury is most important," said Dr. Cárdenas, a member of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee.

Those who are lucky enough to score a Super Bowl ticket can spot Dr. Cárdenas to the side of the team bench areas wearing a headset that connects him to a press box spotter. Those who can’t make it to the game can find him at the “Barrow Brain Ball Experience” at First Avenue and Washington Street, a few yards from Super Bowl Central’s main entertainment stage. The “Barrow Brain Ball Experience” will be open from Jan. 28-31 and will offer a chance for children and parents to run a simulated football obstacle course and learn about preventing concussions at the same time.

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