Arizona: where pros compete and visitors meet
With more than 330 days of sunshine each year and ideal temperatures, it is no wonder Arizona hosts the country’s biggest sporting events, tournaments, and races. Before a sporting event even begins, the fun has already started with Arizona communities offering plenty to do and see outside of the stadium.
Super Bowl LVII
February 12, 2023
The biggest night of football came to Arizona with Super Bowl LVII being played in the State Farm Stadium in Glendale. Football fanatics embarked on a wide variety of adventures leading up to kickoff. Fans were able to experience the pre-game hype at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix which hosted Super Bowl fan festivities that include immersive activities, local cuisine, and live music. Just steps away from the stadium, Westgate Entertainment District offers visitors a wide variety of restaurants, sports bars, shopping boutiques, and entertainment. Only a 3.5 hour drive from Glendale, a trip to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim offers breathtaking views of one of the Seven Wonders of the World and many adventures to choose from. Trek down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail or soar up above in a helicopter for a bird’s eye view before visiting the Desert View Watchtower for a 360 view of the Grand Canyon. Foodies must visit Tucson, a UNESCO city of gastronomy, only a two-hour drive south of Phoenix to indulge their taste buds with savory cuisine. Less than two hours north from Phoenix, Verde Valley draws visitors in with its small-town charm and a remarkable variety of wine-tasting options that make Verde Valley a bucket list trip for wine lovers.
WM Phoenix Open
February 6-12, 2023
Occurring the same weekend as the Super Bowl, the biggest names in golf battled for victory on the iconic TPC Scottsdale Golf Course. Known as “The Greatest Show on Grass”, the WM Phoenix Open is the best-attended golf tournament in the world due to the TPC Scottsdale golf course being the most fan-friendly venue on the PGA TOUR allowing spectators to watch the tournament unfold up close. After cheering on their favorites, fans can rock the night away by attending Coors Light Birds Nest, a four-night Concert Series that runs during the WM Phoenix Open. End the night at the vibrant bars within Old Town Scottsdale, a charming neighborhood & art district that has a vibrant nightlife. Thrill seekers will enjoy mountain bike riding the twist and turning trails within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve while hikers set out to see the historic landmark, Tom’s Thumb, on Tom’s Thumb Trail.
Men’s Final Four – 2024
April 6 -8, 2024
After hosting the Men’s Final Four for the first time in 2017, the college basketball tournament returns to Arizona in 2024. With the tournament played at the State Farm Stadium, fans will be within walking distance from remarkable bars. At Westgate, enjoy a pint at the retro arcade bar Carousel or play a round of bowling while trying a new flavored craft beer at State 48 Funk House Brewery. Work up a sweat at Lumberjaxes, an axe-throwing experience with a full-service bar. Greater Phoenix has countless nightlife options, especially in Scottsdale & Phoenix, that basketball lovers will cherish.
Women’s Final Four -2026
April 3 -5, 2026
Excitement builds as Arizona prepares to host the Women’s Final Four for the first time in 2026. Taking place in the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix, explore the city in between the college basketball games. For a night out on the town, downtown Phoenix offers award-winning cuisine, stellar bars, and a wide variety of speakeasies to explore. Patrons of the arts can admire the street art murals on Roosevelt Row or observe rare instruments from around the world at the one-of-a-kind Musical Instrument Museum. Outdoor enthusiasts must visit the Desert Botanical Garden where they can see more than 50,000 desert plants before marching up the Double Butte Loop and Hole-in-the-Rock trail in Papago Park.
NASCAR CUP Series Championship Race
November 3-5, 2023
The fastest NASCAR Drivers will soon race the NASCAR CUP Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway for the fourth year in a row. The Raceway hosts two NASCAR race weekends every year, one in November and the other in March. Fans can be at the center of the action thanks to the renovations made to the raceway in 2018 and through the FanShield Infield Experience where fans can see the cars being worked on by the crews from within the garage. Take a break from the race track to challenge yourself to hike the Ford Canyon Loop Trail in White Tank Regional Park.
El Tour de Tucson
November 18, 2023
More than seven thousand cyclists, both pros and amateurs, head to southern Arizona every year to bike either 32-, 63- or 100 miles to complete the El Tour de Tucson race. Starting and ending at the Tucson Convention Center, cyclists will appreciate the scenic views of mountain ranges and cacti throughout the race. After the race, visit downtown Tucson to experience Southwestern art, music and cuisine found throughout this lively city or take a scenic hike at Mount Lemmon.
Cactus League Spring Training
February – March 2023
Ever since 1947, the Cactus League has been a hot spot for baseball fans since it allows fans to get up close with their favorite teams as they train for the upcoming season. Thanks to metro Phoenix’s sunny spring weather, 15 Major League teams currently train in Arizona across 10 stadiums: Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians, and Milwaukee Brewers.
Out of the Ordinary Pro-sports in Arizona:
- Arizona Ridge Riders in Glendale – a professional bull riding team at the Desert Diamond Arena.
- Jet Boating World Championships in Lake Havasu– more than 500 of the world’s best personal watercraft racers.
- Team Roping in Wickenburg – known as the “Team Roping Capital of the World” due to its many roping venues, ropers compete in Wickenburg from November to April.
- Tree climbing championship in Snowflake for 2023 – the best tree climbers race for victory.
Attend at least one game of the main six pro-teams in the state of Arizona and fond memories will be made.
Pro-teams in Arizona:
- NFL’s Arizona Cardinals – Football
- NBA’s Phoenix Suns – Basketball
- MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks – Baseball
- NHL’s Arizona Coyotes – Hockey
- WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury – Women’s basketball
- Arizona Rattlers – Indoor Football League
- Phoenix Rising – a pro soccer team in Arizona