PHOENIX, NOV. 13 -- Narrow rejection by voters of a holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has hurt the pocketbooks and pride of this maverick state and reinforced what outgoing Gov. Rose Mofford (D) said is an unfair national impression that Arizona is "racist."

Bill Shover, chairman of a group of Phoenix businessmen who last year landed professional football's 1993 Super Bowl for Arizona, warned today that the state could lose "billions of dollars" and far more national respect because of defeat last week of two ballot propositions that would have made King's birthday a state holiday.

Today, officials of college football's Fiesta Bowl, to be played at Arizona State University in Tempe Jan. 1, moved to help ease the controversy by announcing they will honor the memory of the slain civil rights leader in halftime ceremonies.

Bowl officials also said they will provide an additional $100,000 for a minority scholarship fund or to endow a chair for minority students at each competing university. {Related story on Page F3.}

The King Day proposal was approved in Phoenix and other urban areas but defeated soundly in rural counties. Phoenix, nearby Tempe, Tucson and the state university system currently celebrate King's birthday as a holiday.

"This is the Wild West," said Terry Hudgins, a utility lobbyist and a promoter of King Day. "Nobody in the West wants to do something with a gun at their heads, and that's the way this issue was seen in the rural areas of this state."

A survey released today by one of the state's best-known pollsters indicated that more than 60,000 voters shifted from supporting one holiday proposition and voted against it. They did so, the poll said, after reports on network television sports shows on the Sunday before the election that the National Football League would move the Super Bowl out of Arizona if voters rejected a King holiday.

The pollster, Earl DeBerge of Behavior Research Center, said these voters interpreted the network announcement as a threat and that "this threat was what defeated King Day."

Proposition 302, one of the two holiday measures, lost by only 17,000 votes, less than 2 percent of the total cast. Pre-election polls gave Prop 302 a lead of more than 10 percentage points.

The other measure, Prop 301, would have substituted a King holiday for Columbus Day. Computer expert William Minsch said his analysis of the returns shows that a majority of Arizonans probably voted for one measure or the other. About 3 percent of Arizona's voters are black, mirroring the number of blacks in the state population.

In last-minute campaigning, King holiday opponents capitalized on the reported NFL threat to withdraw the Super Bowl.

Julian Sanders, a Mesa contractor who led the anti-holiday forces, said the most helpful issue for his side was the widespread view that state employees are not entitled to an 11th paid holiday. Sanders also said he believes that King should not be honored for reasons of character and his "Marxist" views.

There is widespread agreement that the voters' decision will be costly to Arizona.

David Radcliffe, president of the Phoenix-area convention and visitors bureau, said the state has lost $30 million in convention business since 1987 when Gov. Evan Mecham (R) rescinded a King holiday proclaimed by his predecessor, Bruce Babbitt (D).

Mofford has estimated that loss of the Super Bowl would cost $200 million, and entertainment-industry officials said this week that other losses are likely to come from cancellations by pop, rock and country singers. Skipping Arizona will become a "tempting option" for many entertainers, said Zev Bufman, builder of a new entertainment pavilion in west Phoenix.

Arizona also may have lost its lure as a site for major league baseball expansion. Martin Stone, a New Yorker who owns the Class AAA Phoenix team in the Pacific Coast League, said Monday he is abandoning plans to try to bring a major league franchise to Arizona, citing rejection of the King holiday as one reason.

Also in doubt is the year-old Copper Bowl scheduled at the University of Arizona in Tucson Dec. 31 between the University of California and University of Wyoming football teams. The influential Berkeley chapter of the NAACP has urged California not to participate.

Many Arizonans who support creation of the King holiday dispute the perception that this state is, as one said anonymously, "the South Africa of the West." While only Arizona, Montana and New Hampshire do not honor King with a statewide holiday, Arizona is the only state where the issue has been decided by popular vote.

Supporters and opponents here suggest that other states, particularly in the intermountain West, would reject a King holiday if voters were asked to decide. But that is of limited comfort to Arizonans embarrassed by their state's failure to honor King.

"I'm just devastated," said Edith Auslander, past president of the state's university board of regents. "No matter how it's explained, we still come out as a racist state."

Bill Jamieson of the statewide Episcopal Church diocese, who helped Babbitt draw up the original King Day proclamation, agreed that others' presumption of Arizona racism is of no benefit.

"DeBerge's poll is right," he said. "The Super Bowl threat cost us the election. But it also shows that too many voters were looking for a reason to change their votes."

Political and business leaders have advanced a compromise that would declare a "Civil Rights Day" on King's birthday without mentioning King. In order not to create additional holidays, the compromise would combine observance of the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln observed separately here.

This proposal pleased neither liberal legislators seeking to honor King nor Republicans reluctant to give up the Lincoln Day observance.

"It's a complete cop-out," Jamieson said. "It's telling the racists that they won."

It is unclear whether any holiday proposal will be presented at the legislature's special session next week to determine procedure for a gubernatorial runoff election.

Mofford has said she would put the holiday issue before legislators if they tell her that they have a two-thirds majority favoring a new plan. But leaders of both parties have said that might be perceived by voters as a slap in the face so soon after the election.

Holiday supporters said they will try again at the next legislative session or in the 1992 election.

"Some day, this entire state will honor Martin Luther King," Hudgins said. "He changed America in a monumental way, and he changed it for the better. Arizona is not an island to itself. We're part of America."

Arizona Population: 3,556,000 White: 83% Black: 3% Native American: 6% Other: 8%

Montana Population: 806,000 White: 94% Black: 0.2% Native Americans: 5% Other: 0.8%

New Hampshire Population: 1.1 million White: 99% Black: 0.1% Native American: 0.2% Other: 0.7%

TOTAL U.S. Population: 246 million White: 84% Black: 12% Native American: 0.6% Other: 3.4%

SOURCE: "Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1990," Bureau of the Census

Note: Native American data cover American Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts. Hispanic population in New Hampshire is 0.6%; in Arizona, 16.2%; and in Montana: 1.3%. Population data is from 1988.