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Tempe Tourism Blog

Patrick reviews Disney’s THE LION KING at ASU Gammage

October 23, 2013

This season, I’m lucky enough to be a Gammage Goer for ASU Gammage.  What is a Gammage Goer you ask?  There are a few of us who are assigned to watch some of the shows performing at Gammage this season and we review them.  As I’m sure you’re well aware, Disney’s THE LION KING opened last night and will be running through November 17th. Before I get into what I thought about the performance, here’s a little background about me when it comes to Broadway.  I’m originally from Freehold, NJ (Springsteen’s hometown to all you fans out there) and grew up about an hour or so south of New York City.  I’ve been to some shows on Broadway and it’s something I enjoy doing whenever I find my way back to the Garden State.  By no means do I consider myself to be a theater buff or super into it.  I like to think of myself as just an average person that doesn’t mind seeing some theater every once in a while because they like to be entertained.  I think this helps me relate a lot to most of the people that will be at Gammage this season. I’m assuming 99.99% of you reading this have seen THE LION KING or at least know what it’s about, so we’ll skip that part.  Having seen the movie a few times, as well the Broadway show years ago, it was great to see it again because I was surprised at how much […]

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Family Weekend at the ASU Tempe Campus

September 17, 2013

As a senior at Arizona State University, my favorite time of year is when I get adjusted to my new fall schedule, college football has officially started, and I am finally getting settled into my new place and feeling a sense of freedom. Now that we’re past the first month of the school year, there is one more rite of passage – Family Weekend! It’s time for the annual checkup from parents to make sure that students are doing more studying than socializing and it’s a great time to show off ASU. This year’s ASU Family Weekend events will be held September 27-29 on the Tempe campus. Ever since I was a freshman, I have had my parents attend the ASU Family Weekend festivities to get a feel for the spirit, pride, and tradition that ASU has to offer. As a Tucson native, there is really only one thing expected of you and that is to attend the University of Arizona. Being the rebel that I am, I naturally had to go against this tradition and go to the Sun Devil side! Although this made my parents question my judgment, I knew that they would understand my decision as soon as they experienced ASU for themselves. Although they will never admit that Arizona State is the number one school in Arizona, they do see why I choose ASU and that’s all thanks to the memories they have made at Family Weekend. ASU Family Weekend 2013 offers tons of activities that […]

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Get pumped for a Tempe triathlon, walk or run

September 10, 2013

Fall is the best time in Tempe to get active! There are several fun and unique races in Tempe that come in every shape and size. From relaxed 5k walks to competitive marathon courses, there is something for every level of fitness in Tempe to get you motivated! Here is a list of runs, walks and triathlons in Tempe this fall: Cruiserman Triathlon – September 28: Cruiserman is a unique twist on traditional triathlon…forget Aero helmets, carbon bikes and racing flats…think happy thoughts…floaties, cruisers and flip flops. Cruisermen & Cruiserwomen will swim (flotation devices — no boats allowed) , roll around town on a cruiser, and jog on an obstacle laden trail. As the sun begins to set, expect good times and beers lakeside! And there’s a duathlon option if you would prefer to stay out of the lake! A Race for Maggie’s Place – October 6: Maggie’s Place is a community that provides houses of hospitality for expectant women who are alone or on the streets. This walk/run starts at the Arts Park at Tempe Town Lake and includes a 9K run, 10K run, 3 mile run/walk, and a kid’s dash. Also includes raffles, prizes for top 3 winners in each race, and fun activities for kids. 100% of the proceeds of these races benefit Maggie’s Place. Das 22nd Frank Kush/Oktoberfest Foot Race – October 12: The 41st Annual Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake presents Das 22nd Frank Kush/Oktoberfest Foot Race with distances of 5 Mile, 5km and 1 Mile on a scenic […]

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The best events in Tempe? ASU football

August 30, 2013

  “In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are.”  – Arnold H. Glasow  As August says goodbye and we ready for September, I was sitting at home the other day thinking about how much I love this time of year.  Simple things like cooler weather, the return of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte and the start of fantasy football always bring a huge smile to my face. Like most guys, I love football.  Growing up in New Jersey, I was always a New York Jets fan and anyone who walks by my office will see some Jets décor.  But if you know anything about football, you know that my beloved Gang Green is horrible, constantly bringing to mind that famous Marlon Brando scene in Apocalypse Now when he says, “The horror…the horror” every time I see them play. But I’m a guy.  I need football to survive, just like I need air to breathe and food to eat. This is why I’m all in this year for ASU football.  They have the talent and the coaching staff that makes fans like me believe this will be a special year.  ASU football games will be the most exciting events in Tempe this fall. As evidenced last season, his first with the team, Head Coach Todd Graham knows what he’s doing.  His fast paced, aggressive play was a breath of fresh air to the Sun Devils.  Quarterback Taylor Kelly will be one of – if […]

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Small Talk with Sesty : Phoenix FC Head Coach David Robertson

May 24, 2013

Like most guys, I love sports.  ESPN is always on my TV and I spend countless hours every year, conducting important research for my fantasy football league in the fall.  One sport I’ve been desperately trying to learn more about is soccer aka futbol.  I’m one of a handful of people that never played soccer growing up and I regret that.  Like most of us, I become a dedicated fan during the World Cup but I have wanted to get more into the sport for a while now. So you can imagine my excitement when the Phoenix FC Wolves were formed.   The Wolves are a part of the 13-team USL-Pro league here in the U.S.   They play their home games here in Tempe, at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium and are coached by former international soccer star David Robertson.  Robertson played professionally in Scotland (he’s from Aberdeen) for Aberdeen FC, winning the Scottish League Cup in 1989 and the Scottish Cup in 1990.  In 1991, he was transferred to the Glasgow Rangers and helped lead the team to nine consecutive championship titles. Six years ago, he moved to Arizona to serve as Director of Coaching at Sereno, Arizona’s elite youth academy.  He now splits time between his duties at the academy and Phoenix FC.  Coach Robertson realized that there was an opportunity for soccer here in the valley and wanted to do something about it. “Tempe is a great city,” Robertson says.  “It’s modern, nice and always busy.” Home games at […]

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Cactus League offers a glimpse into major story lines

March 7, 2013

With the Cactus League in full-swing, some of the great story lines that developed this winter are finally on display this spring.  There are too many to list, but here are a couple of things that I’ve already started paying attention to. There was a time not long ago when the Yankees had a payroll that would rival the entire economy of most countries.  Now, their financial way of thinking has made its way to California.  The Los Angeles Dodgers’ new ownership group, led by Magic Johnson, who I’ve always felt was a greater basketball player than Michael Jordan, have been increasing payroll in leaps and bounds.  They made a blockbuster trade with Boston last year, bringing over Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, along with Josh Beckett.  Add in the signing of Zack Greinke and the Dodgers have a team that many expect to be playing deep into October. The last two winters, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have made a splash, signing some big bats in free agency.  Much like LeBron and Co. down in Miami, the Angels boast their own “Big 3” with Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout.  They’ll be fun to watch this year but their bullpen continues to be their Achilles’s heel. In San Francisco, it wasn’t long ago that Tim Lincecum was one of the top pitchers in baseball.  He’s had a rough couple of seasons and last year, was sent from the starting rotation to the bullpen.  The Giants have said […]

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Tempe Baseball Food is Always a Home Run

February 19, 2013

I grew up playing baseball through high school, so it’s safe to assume that I’m pretty excited about the start of spring training.  Growing up, my dad used to take me to games at Shea Stadium (R.I.P.).  I remember when we drove up to Queens, the topic of food would always come up.   We would discuss how many hot dogs we planning on eating that game, whether or not nachos sounded pretty good and what inning my dad would go and get his usual box of Cracker Jacks.  To us, “baseball food” was almost as important as the game itself. To me, baseball food is what officially ushers in spring.  Two of the main staples are, of course, hot dogs and hamburgers.  If I can’t get a hot dog at the ballpark (the old Yankee Stadium had the best ones) then I want to go someplace that is just as good. If you can’t make it over to Tempe Diablo Stadium but still want the other ballpark experience (great baseball food) be sure to check these two restaurants. Ted’s Hot Dogs, located on Broadway and McClintock, is here in Tempe.  Ted’s has been around for 85 years, so it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing.  They have everything from hot dogs, to polish sausages to hamburgers.  They also have incredible onion rings and their shakes are some of the best around.  Last time I was there, I got an Italian Sausage with onions, peppers and Dijon. It was amazing. Another […]

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Sparky: unmasked and uncut, the interview with Tempe’s favorite mascot

December 18, 2012

Whenever any of us thinks of Arizona State, one of the first images that jumps into our heads is that of Sparky.  He’s our lovable mascot.  The pre-game football intros featuring him are some of the best in all of sports.  But Sparky is more than just a college mascot.  He’s a symbol of Tempe.  He brings a smile to all the faces attending the big game or the child he’s visiting at the hospital. I was fortunate enough to recently interview the student who puts on the costume.  For those of you who don’t know, being a college mascot is like being a member of an elite fraternity of super heroes, kind of like The Avengers.  We all recognize the mask but rarely know who’s wearing it.  With that being said, we have to keep Sparky’s identity a secret.  I can tell you that this person is a student at ASU, but that’s about it. The same individual has been Sparky for the last four years, since their freshman year at Arizona State.  In high school, this Sparky-to-be was known for having lots of school spirit.  While at ASU, there was a push-up contest at a basketball game against Sparky and this student won.  Afterward, he spoke to the coach and was invited to try out for Sparky.  After exchanging contact info, he received the call for a try out. What do you have to do to be Sparky?  As you know, push-ups are pretty important, so Sparky had […]

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Tempe hosts Michigan State and TCU at the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

December 5, 2012

The Spartans and Horned Frogs are coming to Tempe! We’re so excited that Michigan State and TCU were selected as the teams for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, December 29, 2012 at Sun Devil Stadium. The Tempe Tourism Office provides all of the information that Big Ten and Big 12 football fans need to plan their trip at www.tempefootball.com. The Tempe Tourism Office’s Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl landing page includes ticket information, where to stay and things to do in Tempe, such as outdoor recreation options and a list of sports bars that are popular with football fans. Tempe’s Mill Avenue District is a natural gathering place for fans in the days leading up to the game. There are more than 100 restaurants, taverns and shops located in the Mill Avenue District, just a few blocks from Sun Devil Stadium. The sunny restaurant patios usually become unofficial fan headquarters before the big game. Buffalo Wild Wings is a new sponsor for this bowl game, formerly known as the Insight Bowl, and they are really getting behind this game. Patrons of their restaurants are very familiar with their excellent food and fun, sports-themed atmosphere and “table-gating,” their version of tailgating inside the comfort of their restaurants. Michigan State Spartan and TCU Horned Frog fans will be treated to an official Buffalo Wild Wings Tablegate. From 4:30-7:30 p.m. on December 29, this ultimate tailgating experience will include Jumbotrons showing team highlights, interactive games, cheerleading and marching band performances. The $25 ticket price to the […]

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Running Season in Tempe

September 28, 2012

Can you feel it? Running season in Tempe is finally here! The morning temperatures are absolutely perfect for an early training run. And evenings are starting to cool off too. It’s the perfect time to pick a 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, or for those really ambitious athletes, a triathlon to start training for. No matter what your level of fitness, there’s a race that’s sure to get you walking or running this season! Here’s a list of my favorite races in Tempe to either participate in or watch from the sidelines to get motivated. Soma Triathlon – The 9th annual Soma Triathlon, produced by Red Rock Co., kicks off the season on Sunday, October 21, 2012. Fans can cheer on athletes at Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake where the event takes place, starting with a 1.2-mile swim in Tempe Town Lake, a 56-mile bike course and a 13.1-mile run. Both fans and athletes can enjoy the scenic course, offering great views of the lake, ASU and the surrounding landscape of Tempe. Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half Marathon & 5K – The Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half Marathon & 5K race, held on November 4, 2012,  is the perfect race for mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends to get together for an unforgettable weekend in Tempe and support the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  The scenic half marathon course will take you from Old Town Scottsdale to Tempe Town Lake for an extraordinary finish-line party. For those looking for something less intense, the 5K race […]

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