Cacti, the Grand Canyon, the Valley of the Sun. All words and phrases you might hear about the great state of Arizona. What else is there plenty of in Arizona? SPORTS. Let’s go to Phoenix!

Trip Details:

  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • Dates: Sept 9-11, 2016
  • Days: Friday – Sunday
  • Events: MLB, CFB, NFL
  • Weekend Wild Card (WWC): Hiking

Almost the last half hour of your flight into the Phoenix Airport you’ll fly over what appears to be flat land and tons of sand. It’s best to start acclimating before you step off the jet bridge. Phoenix is known to be hotter than the dickens. Good news is 2 of our 3 stadiums on this trip are domes.

chase field
Chase Field during the All-Star Game

The Phoenix area itself is relatively spread out. However, the airport is centrally located so no matter which direction you head it won’t be too far down the road. Each neighborhood has its own highlights. Almost always I’m staying in Old Town Scottsdale because it’s the best mix of young professionals and recent college grads (great bars but not too crazy). If you’re part of the college crowd stick to Tempe.

Friday night we kick it off America’s pastime with the Diamondbacks facing off against NL West rival San Francisco Giants. The D-Backs built their stadium with high expectations. Chase Field seats 48,000+ and demand doesn’t meet supply. Scalping is abundant and they aren’t exactly tearing up the NL West right now. My completely unprofessional suggestion is to grab a ticket right before the game (from the ticket office or your friendly sidewalk scalper) in the upper deck and confidently head on down to your section of preference.

The ballpark is near Downtown Phoenix. Before the game your first stop should be Alice Cooper’s Tavern. Legendary Alice Cooper himself owns the place and he offers up some decent grub and reasonable drink prices. Once you’ve got a good buzz head in the game. For the seventh inning stretch walk over to section 141 for Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles. Along with its namesake you can also get great fried green tomatoes. A little taste of the south in the southwest.

four peaks brewery
Four Peaks Brewery

Saturday’s matchup against Texas Tech should be a good one. Sun Devil Stadium is right on ASU’s campus in Tempe. Ten minutes east of the stadium sits Four Peaks Brewery. A small brewery with great beer. This would be a great spot to start your day. After the game you can’t leave without heading to Mill Avenue. A collection of bars and restaurants for the local college crowd. You’ll know immediately why ASU was deemed a top party school. Take in the scenery at any of the watering holes after a short 15 minute walk from the stadium.

We’ve saved the best (and most expensive) for last this weekend. A primetime matchup in the NFL with Tom Brady and the Patriots taking on the Cardinals on Sunday night. Glendale is a good 40 minutes from downtown PHX or Tempe so plan accordingly. The drive is not too bad so long as your rental cars AC is working. The game isn’t til late so you have plenty of time to recover from pretending to be in college the night before.

Outside of University of Phoenix Stadium will be plenty of tailgating. Sometimes we’re just not in the mood to prepare burgers, set up a tent and entertain folks.. and great news, there’s plenty else to do. You’ve got a collection of sports bars like Bar Louie, Yard House or Calico Jack’s that serve ’em up with the best. The entire complex was designed to suit the sports goers. If you have free time you can stop into Gila River Arena where the NHL’s Coyote’s play. Unfortunately they won’t be in season but if you’re a sports fan like me you’d appreciate taking a tour of the facility.

u of phx
The turf rolled outside of the University of Phoenix Stadium

Due to Phoenix being a great host city, University of Phoenix Stadium has already hosted some of the biggest sporting events in the world since its inception in 2006. Multiple BCS National Titles, Fiesta Bowls and Super Bowls just to name a few. The stadium is known for is how they grow their grass for the inside, outside. Right. Their turf is wheeled out the end zone to let the sunlight keep it nice and fresh. Come Sunday morning it’s wheeled back in for game time. Get ready to witness one of the best QB’s in history on a Sunday night in primetime.

Weekend wild card you ask? If you can handle it I recommend taking a hike up Camelback Mountain. At just over 2,700 feet elevation and probably 100degree heat it’s a tall ask, literally. If you’re an enthusiast you already know that the views are worth the effort.

Not ready for an intense hike? We understand. Cholla Trail might be more suitable. The hike is just as long but doesn’t feel like you’re on the stair master. Pack a water bottle or six and a selfie stick and you’re good to go.  If you’re up for a trip to the desert it will be a memorable one for sure!

sun devil stadium
Sun Devil Stadium after recent renovations.

To create your own action packed weekend, use our filter/search function in our master calendar and see what you can put together!

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