“As a longtime Arizonan, I’ve watched the Fiesta Bowl over the last four decades grow into a point of Arizona pride and one of the nation’s premier amateur sporting events. So, it has been with great disappointment and sadness that I’ve learned in recent days of the many serious allegations now being made against this Arizona institution.
“First, to the extent that there is truth to the allegations now being made, there can be no excuses. I look forward to the legal process bringing clarity to this situation. A little sunlight is in order at a time like this.
“While that process plays out, I will focus my attention upon the restoration of the Fiesta Bowl. To that end, I will in the coming days convene a panel of some of the state’s leading figures in business and athletics. Their mission: to offer counsel and a roadmap so that the Fiesta Bowl can repair its image, restore its reputation and retain Arizona’s position on the national stage. This panel will work in cooperation and consultation with the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors so that steps are taken to ensure that the Bowl emerges from this painful process a stronger, more accountable institution.
“The importance of this mission cannot be overstated. The Fiesta Bowl is not just a signature Arizona sporting event. It’s an economic driver, annually generating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact for the state as sports fans from across the country flock to Arizona. Drawn by our beautiful state and Southwest hospitality, many of them return again and again. It’s impossible to put a value on the national publicity and goodwill for Arizona generated every time the Fiesta Bowl plays host to a national championship game, as it did in January. Quite simply, we cannot fail in the mission now before us.
“The Fiesta Bowl was founded as a showcase for the state of Arizona. It flourished with the simple passion of community volunteers, sports fans and everyone who loves this state. That passion will now be needed more than ever as we do the hard work to ensure the Fiesta Bowl remains true to its founding.”