NFL stakes out hotel rooms for Super Bowl

The Associated Press

PHOENIX Super Bowl XXX is more than 11 months away, but fans planning to attend the NFL championship game in Tempe might have trouble finding a hotel room.

''It is virtually impossible to find a room in the Valley,'' Phoenix and Valley of the Sun Convention and Visitors Bureau spokesman Tony Alba said Tuesday. ''You cannot find one right now.''

There are various reasons.

The National Football League has blocked off 15,000 rooms and won't release any if any until late October, Alba said.

Then, hotels may be holding rooms to sell to tour groups or other agencies as well as for regular winter business.

''They don't want to commit every room because it could lose regular business,'' said Linda Exley, director of the Valley Innkeepers Association.

In any event, it will be a tight squeeze. In Miami last month, Super Bowl visitors took up 40,000 rooms. The Phoenix area has only 35,000 available.

''It's like trying to get a size 14 foot into size 12 shoe,'' said Steve Patterson, executive director of Super Bowl XXX committee.

The committee plans to meet next week with the innkeepers group to discuss plans for next January after the host panel attended the Super Bowl in Miami last month.

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