Tostitos BCS National Championship Game
Hosted by the Fiesta Bowl
When it comes to sports, Arizona is not just another pretty place.
The 2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game was the latest showcase event for a state whose reputation as a superb host is on par with its legendary scenic beauty.
The Fiesta Bowl has hosted seven national championships, an NCAA record among all bowls and joins the state’s growing list of championship events.
The Valley also has been the scene of two Super Bowls, two NBA Finals, NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournament regional’s, NASCAR races and the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The Valley also has four major pro sports teams- the Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks, the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes and the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, the state’s first big league franchise, along with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, winners of two WNBA titles.
And don’t forget Major League Baseball spring training, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each February and March.
“The Valley has become a premier destination for sports enthusiasts from across the nation.” Fiesta Bowl Chairman of the Board Duane Woods said. “We’re thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant environment, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to host another world-class event at a challenging time for our state’s economy.”
Fiesta Bowl officials and volunteers are justifiably proud of their critical role in Arizona’s sports boom. The not-for-profit organization annually stages the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, and on January 10, 2011 it hosted the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game. It’s the second time the Fiesta Bowl has “triple-hosted” three major bowl games – a unique feat in college athletics.
The Fiesta Bowl’s growth from Western upstart to national powerhouse mirrors Arizona’s rise in the sporting world.
When the Fiesta Bowl was born in 1971, few could have foreseen a time when the Valley would grab the national sporting spotlight. Phoenix was a dusty town with only one major pro sports team – the Suns, who played in aging Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Phoenix’s West Side.
The Valley’s population exploded over time, and that helped attract a bounty of big-time sports teams and events.
“People are coming here from all over the country, and they’re bringing their love of sports with them,” Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon told The Associated Press as the Valley hosted the Super Bowl in February 2008.