Have you ever been to a bowl game?
November 6, 2005 3:16 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of going a bowl game, most likely the Fiesta Bowl. Has anyone here ever been to a bowl game? Did you buy some sort of package deal, or did you get tickets and then find a hotel and airfare? Your impressions of the Tempe area would also be welcome.
posted by Fat Guy to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
I have not, but I assume tickets would be pretty hard (or pricey). These teams routinely sell out staduims that hold 80k to 100k people. Factor in all of the alums that suddenly want to go to a game.

Sounds like fun though, that's the only way I like college football, the atmosphere is amazing.
posted by corpse at 3:56 PM on November 6, 2005

Fat Guy,

I went to the Fiesta Bowl two years ago. I got student tix so I didn't have to worry about obtaining them, but try eBay. If you're feeling extra daring, go there without tickets and scalp on gameday. I've done this at several large sporting events. If you can stomach the thought, wait until after the game starts and you are nearly guaranteed to find a scalper who will sell you a ticket for less than face value so he won't take a loss. Tempe is great. I stayed with friends, but there are a lot of hotels around Phoenix/Scottsdale. You'll probably need to rent a car unless you stay directly in Tempe. The stadium itself is amazing, and there is a commercial development nearby so shopping, eats, and bars are all within easy walking distance.

If you have any more q's, don't hesitate to drop me a line.
posted by 7878ponce at 4:19 PM on November 6, 2005

I bought Sugar Bowl tickets yesterday on Ticketmaster. Don't know when Fiesta Bowl tix go on sale, but try eBay if they've already gone on sale. The tickets will be cheaper if you can buy them now since the teams have not been selected.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:31 PM on November 6, 2005

Response by poster: Frank, I'm actually looking to go to whichever bowl Penn State plays in. Right now the prevailing thought is that it will be Penn State versus Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

Corpse, I was at the Penn State - Wisconsin game yesterday, the attendance was 109,865. It was louder than any concert I have ever been to, and it was the second largest crowd in Beaver Stadium history.

7878pounce, Thanks for the offer, I might contact you.
posted by Fat Guy at 6:46 PM on November 6, 2005

Fat Guy: I've never been to the bowl game, but I studied at Arizona State. Renting a car in Phoenix is a must, especially if you intend to do anything besides go to the game. But if that is the case, I'd be calling one of the following two hotels right now so you can get a room within walking distance:
- Tempe Mission Palms
(half a block from stadium and pretty nice); or
- the Holiday Inn Tempe (other side of campus, but still walkable and they have shuttle vans that will pick you up from the airport and drive you around the area, including to and from the game - at least, they did when I worked there as a van driver)

No matter where you stay, make your plans early. The weather in Phoenix is pretty nice in January and Phoenix/Scottsdale is a golf mecca. Hotels will fill up quickly and will be very expensive.

If you have the money, there are some beautiful resorts such as the Arizona Biltmore, the Scottsdale Princess (home of the Phoenix Open) and the Phoenician. The Biltmore/Phoenician are near Camelback Mountain which is about 20 minutes north of Tempe while the Princess is in North Scottsdale which is about 40 minutes north of Tempe. When I worked at the Scottsdale Princess, Notre Dame stayed there when they played in the Fiesta Bowl. There are plenty more nice hotels in both Scottsdale and Phoenix. I wouldn't worry about staying too close to Tempe - you're going to have to drive everywhere no matter what and Phoenix/Scottsdale/Tempe is very spread out. Feista Bowl events will be going on all over the Phoenix metro area.

One extra piece of advise - hire a town car or cab to take you to and from the game. Arrange it ahead of time through your hotel. Parking will be terrible and this is the best way to handle it.
posted by mullacc at 7:07 PM on November 6, 2005

And feel free to email me as well.
posted by mullacc at 7:11 PM on November 6, 2005

Woo! I was just in Tempe yesterday, walking through the fun collegey area (Mill St). It's lively, with plenty of bars, shops, and for some reason, eight jillion Philly cheesesteak places. We found parking easily -- it was a Saturday, but obviously under Bowl conditions it could get nuts. We stayed in Scottsdale, maybe 20 minutes away, at a Hampton Inn ($99 night).
posted by GaelFC at 7:46 PM on November 6, 2005

I live in Tempe, about 2 miles from the stadium. You'll like coming here during winter.

I'm not sure exactly what you want to know, but I'd be happy to point you in the right direction if you have specific questions. My email is in my profile.
posted by ph00dz at 7:56 PM on November 6, 2005

FatGuy...a buddy of mine will be going wherever PSU is. Drop me a line when you decide.

P.S. GOD that was a great game.
posted by filmgeek at 10:35 PM on November 6, 2005

Response by poster: filmgeek, I was lucky this year and happened into some really great seats an alum in Florida was selling. I went to every home game except Purdue. I went to PSU in 1986 and only went to one game that year. I wanted to make up for that. The Wisconsin and O State games really made up for that.
posted by Fat Guy at 3:21 AM on November 7, 2005

I went to the Peach Bowl last year. I started the process of getting the tickets on ticketmaster, and during the window they give you when the tickets are reserved but you haven't paid yet, I booked the hotel on priceline.com. That way, I knew I had the hotel and the tickets before laying out any money.

Good luck - bowl games are AWESOME.
posted by gatorae at 5:23 AM on November 7, 2005

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