PHOENIX - Planning is well underway for Super Bowl LVII, which is set to take place in Arizona in 2023. The host committee is looking for diverse businesses to sign up for their connect program, which allows businesses to compete for contracts for the event.
"When the Super Bowl comes to town, it changes the whole game of the restaurant business," said Mark Smith, who owns Honey Bears BBQ.
Smith knows what it takes to serve customers during the big game, with more food needed, as well as more employees, and a lot more time to prep.
"You triple, and you double," said Smith. "A lot of people don't know what they are getting involved with, so you better be prepared. You have to prepare over and above."
Smith's business is signing up for the Super Bowl's Business Connect Program, which is a partnership between the National Football League (NFL) and the Arizona Super Bowl 2023 Host Committee. It is a supplier diversity initiative that connects Arizona businesses with opportunities to compete for contracts for the big event.
To take part, companies applying must be 51% owned by a minority, woman, a veteran, or a member of the LGBTQ community. Officials with the planning committee say 800 businesses have signed up, and now, they are extending that deadline so more businesses can apply.
"Equity and inclusion is always top of mind for us, and we want to make sure we are leaving the biggest impact on our Arizona community we can, and setting them up with opportunities to bid on contracts is forefront for us," said Jennie Patel, head of Social Responsibility and Volunteers for the Arizona Super Bowl 2023 Host Committee.
Smith said this is a step in the right direction, and even though he is only applying now, he says it is already time to think about planning for the big day.
"Not only does it do very well for the time of sales of Super Bowl, you have people trying your food, and whenever they come to Arizona, they will come back to your store," said Smith.
Business Connect with the Arizona Super Bowl 2023 Host Committee
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- Torch passes off to Arizona for Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium next year
- Super Bowl LVII expected to mean big business in Arizona, economic growth and visitors from all over