(AZCentral) - Salt River Project officials are offering a $1 million donation to support the 2015 Super Bowl in Glendale, raising questions from some customer advocates whether ratepayers should help fund the game.
SRP, a non-profit municipal utility, routinely donates to a variety of schools, museums and other community organizations. In fiscal 2011, SRP reported $3.2 million in cash and in-kind contributions for a variety of organizations, from the American Cancer Society to the YWCA.
Utility watchdogs say they are puzzled by the proposed donation for the National Football League’s signature game. When the donation is considered by a SRP board committee on Thursday, some board members said they would question what benefits the sizable deal brings to the utility and its customers.
SRP’s elected president, David Rousseau, also is chairman of the Super Bowl Host Committee, which is responsible for raising about $25 million from local businesses to help the NFL produce the game, and which would receive the money from SRP.
The $1 million donation to the host committee would consist of $225,000 cash, $575,000 of in-kind services, and $200,000 in electricity generated by solar power for the game, which is scheduled to be played at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Rousseau has been out of town for the holiday, and SRP officials said he was unavailable to discuss the deal and his role as part of the Super Bowl Host Committee.