Years ago, the NFL chose University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona to host Super Bowl XLII. Since that announcement, the Phoenix Metro area tirelessly prepared for the monumental sports event. In the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Arizona transformed and become the celebrity hot spot. From the Par and Poker Celebrity Challenge, to P. Diddy's block party, 944 Super Village, all the way to the Playboy Party; celebrities were all enjoying the Super Bowl craze. The list of performers on Super Bowl Sunday was quite impressive. Alicia Keys performed a mixture of her most famous songs for the pre-game show. Jordin Sparks followed singing the National Anthem to a roaring home crowd. Finally, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers preformed their relaxed, but classic All-American hits during the twelve minute half-time show. On February 3, 2008 the undefeated New England Patriots faced off with the wild card New York Giants. Kick-off at 4:32 pm was nothing short of exhilarating despite the gloomy weather. This highly anticipated event became a date in history! The New York Giants defeated the Patriots creating one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl History. The Giants were the first NFC wildcard team to ever win the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLII was the most-watched Super Bowl in history with a record setting 148.3 million total viewers tuned into the game. It was the second most watch television program in the United States, behind the 1983 M*A*S*H series finale!
On February 24, 2009 the City of Glendale, Ariz., Global Spectrum and World Wrestling Entertainment® announced that the University of Phoenix Stadium was selected to host WrestleMania XXVI after a year long bid process. The annual pop-culture extravaganza was scheduled to take over the Valley on Sunday, March 28, 2010. Included in the press conference to make the big announcement, were Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, Arizona Cardinals' Coach Ken Whisenhunt and University of Phoenix Stadium General Manager Peter Sullivan, along with WWE® Chairman Vince McMahon and several WWE Superstars and Divas. Thirteen months later, over 72,000 fans from all 50 states and 26 countries attended the sold out event, which even outdrew Super Bowl XLII featuring the New England Patriots and New York Giants. Visitors from around the world travelled to Arizona and participated in the weeklong festivities that led up to the phenomena that was WrestleMania XXVI. Among the activities were WWE's fan interaction event known as WrestleMania Axxess, WrestleManiArt™ exhibition, Monday Night Raw®, and WrestleMania "Rocks the Block" street party. Also included was the WWE Hall of Fame Induction, as "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, Stu Hart, Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon, Antonio Inoki, Gorgeous George, Wendi Richter, and Bob Uecker, were all enshrined in the class of 2010. WrestleMania XXVI finally arrived on March 28, 2010. The event featured a star-studed line-up as Rey Mysterio, CM Punk, Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Edge, John Cena, Batista, and many other superstars. The final two matches of the night featured WWE Legend and Hall of Famer Bret "The Hitman" Hart take down the Chairman, Mr. McMahon, in a No Holds Barred March. The event was capped off by Shawn Michaels waving good-bye to WrestleMania XXVI fans as he was defeated by the Undertaker in their much anticipated Career vs. Streak Match. The annual pop-culture extravaganza reached international audiences as it was broadcast on pay-per-view in more than 100 countries and 20 languages. To top it off World Wrestling Entertainment® made history as WrestleMania XXVI grossed $5.8 million, becoming the highest grossing and attended entertainment event ever held at University of Phoenix Stadium.