Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport's banners for the upcoming Super Bowl. Photo courtesy of City of Phoenix.
With Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport expecting about a 60% increase in traffic for Super Bowl weekend, the airport — as well as local rental car companies — will be busy. Taking place at the University of Phoenix Stadium, 100,000 people are anticipated to visit the Phoenix area for the big game.
Most visitors will arrive between Thursday Jan. 29 and Saturday Jan. 31 before Sunday’s game. Monday Feb. 2 is expected to be the airport’s busiest day. According to Heather Lissner, public information manager for the City of Phoenix Aviation Department, the airport could see 180,000 passengers on Feb. 2 — an average day has around 110,000 passengers.
If visitors are planning to rent a car, the airport has encouraged them to reserve a car in advance. The airport expects a 50% increase in car rentals, which could limit vehicles for walk-up customers, according to the Sky Harbor Public Information Office.
“Our staff has been preparing for more than a year,” said Tamie Fisher, aviation director. “We have been working with the airlines, TSA, car rental companies, law enforcement, the Arizona Super Bowl Committee, the NFL, our restaurant operators and other organizations to develop special operational and staffing plans to give our visitors a world class airport experience.”
Walter Butler, general manager of Fox Rent-A-Car’s Phoenix store, says his location has added more staff to handle reservations for Super Bowl visitors. As of last Friday, the Fox location had only a few vehicles left for the days leading up to game day.
“For the two-week period before the Super Bowl, we expect about a 60% increase in business,” says Butler.