Friday, July 8, 2011 at 4:04 p.m.
Phoenix Councilman Claude Mattox won't disclose how many Super Bowl games he attended, but New Times has been able to piece together that he may have attended at least three games.
We posed the question as part of our ongoing examination of elected officials' in jetting off to sporting events -- on the heels of the Fiesta Bowl fiasco.
Mattox traveled to Miami, Florida, along with Councilman Michael Johnson and Assistant City Manager Ed Zuercher in 2007 for Super Bowl XLI.
Phoenix picked up the tab for the three to stay at a Miami hotel for four nights and for the cost of one Super Bowl ticket -- a total of about $4,100. Zuercher did not attended the game. It's unclear whether Mattox was in the stands, or who paid for his ticket and other travel-related costs.
Kennedy says the NFL makes tickets available for certain public officials to purchase, and that the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee gives its allotment of tickets to Super Bowl sponsors as part of sponsorship packages to raise money to market the game.
He says that once those tickets are issued to sponsors, the Host Committee has no control or knowledge of how they are used.
The trio's trip to Miami took place the year before the Super Bowl landed in the Valley, and Mike Kennedy, chairman of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, says that cities routinely send scouts to a Super Bowl in advance of hosting one themselves.
"I think they were there because they have a responsibility," Kennedy tells New Times. "To me, there is a huge difference between going purely to enjoy the experience as a fan and going because you have a responsibility to understand what it takes to host a successful event."
Perplexing that Mattox doesn't at least offer a similar explanation when he is asked about his attendance.
We also know that Mattox was in Florida for another Super Bowl game in 2005 because he wrote a letter to the Florida Times-Union talking about the great experience he had at the game and game-related entertainment.
In that letter, Mattox wrote that he was a "member of the Arizona Super Bowl XXXXII Host Committee delegation," but Kennedy tells New Times that Mattox has never served on the Host Committee.
Kennedy speculates that perhaps Mattox may have been appointed to serve as a liaison between the Host Committee and the city.
Johnson, however, did serve on the Host Committee at the time. He is no longer a member.
And Mattox was spotted in photographs at the 2008 Super Bowl with music legend Willie Nelson, suggesting that he also attended the game in Glendale.
So much speculation, and yet it could be easily cleared up if Mattox and his camp would just answer simple questions.