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Tempe Tourism Blog

Batter Up!

February 6, 2009

This weekend is the annual Kajikawa Classic softball tournament, hosted by ASU. Nearly 20 softball teams from around the country will be in Tempe for the tournament, which is named after former Arizona State coach Bill Kajikawa. The tournament takes place this weekend from Friday, February 6 through Sunday, February 8 at the Tempe Sports Complex on Warner Rd. and Hardy Dr. If you are looking for a great day outside and enjoy watching softball, this is a fun event to attend! The Tempe CVB is hosting a tent at the event, so be sure to stop by and say hello!

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Light rail to provide more trains for Suns games, special events

January 9, 2009 reports: “Metro light rail says it will have plenty of trains working late tonight to handle Phoenix Suns fans who want to take the train to the game. The National Basketball Association game against Dallas starts at 8:30 p.m. Metro light-rail’s last trains leave both ends of the line at 11 p.m. Provided the game ends before then, metro says there will be trains waiting for fans at its downtown Phoenix station that serves Washington and Jefferson streets at Third Street near US Airways Center. Metro says one of its goals is to have plenty of trains for big events. That could be an Arizona Diamondbacks game, a football game at Arizona State University, an event at the Phoenix Convention Center, or anything that draws a big crowd at a venue near the rail line. “Accommodating special events is a huge point of our operations plan,” Metro spokeswoman Hillary Foose said. She said the extra-train plan covers sports, entertainment events, and arts and cultural festivals that attract 10,000 or more people. Metro makes the decision to add trains based on attendance estimates from the venues. The $1.4 billion Metro line opened Dec. 27. The 20-mile system connects Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa and runs near some of the region’s biggest people attractors.”

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Kansas Fans Say Insight Bowl Worth Trip

December 29, 2008 reports: “Packing up and heading out, Seve Palacioz is among the thousands of Kansas Jayhawk fans on their way to Arizona for the Insight Bowl. “It’s exciting just because it’s back to back bowl games,” Palacioz says.  “That’s never happened in KU history.” ” Last season it was the Orange Bowl. This ’07 KU grad and his dad were right there for all the action. While the Insight Bowl doesn’t have the same prestige, this year’s matchup between Kansas and Minnesota looks to be the first sellout in the bowl’s history. “KU fans travel really well and everyone is really nice,” Palacioz says. “We will all just get together and root on the Hawks.” Fans flying by charter will leave from Kansas City on Monday, but others like Seve and his dad have made their own arrangements, trying to save money in these tough economic times. “It’s hard to describe being a Jayhawk fan and being one your whole life and just knowing how much every little game means to you.” The Insight Bowl kicks off on Wednesday, December 31st at 4:30 pm Central Time.  You can watch it on the NFL Network.”

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Economic relief an ‘Insight’ for Tempe businesses

December 29, 2008 reports: “Businesses along Mill Avenue in Tempe are making big plans for the upcoming Insight Bowl. Ticket sales are strong and the economic impact for the New Year’s Eve game are expected to top more than $60 million. The game is followed by Tempe’s New Year’s Eve Bash which draws around a hundred thousand people. “Cities are dependent on sales tax revenue,” said Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman. “It is important that people shop here.” Businesses along Mill Avenue have seen sharp decreases in business over the past year, game day will offer a chance to offset a small portion of the losses. “It has been slow, ” said Yianni Ioannou, the manager of My Big Fat Greek Restaurant. “We’ve lowered prices and have several promotions to try to get people in the door.” Ioannou said one night will help but it will take some time before they can get back to where they used to be. The game holds high hopes not just for Tempe. “It doesn’t matter if Tempe succeeds and every town around us fails,” Mayor Hallman said. “We’re in this together.” The Insight Bowl matches up the Kansas Jayhawks against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on New Year’s Eve.”

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Record-setting ticket sales show rising popularity of Insight Bowl

December 29, 2008 reports: “Tickets for the Dec. 31 Insight Bowl at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium are almost gone, and organizers say this year’s sales have far exceeded record ticket sales for the event. Fiesta Bowl/Insight Bowl organization spokesman Shawn Schoeffler said more than 55,000 tickets have been sold for the contest between the Kansas Jayhawks and Minnesota Golden Gophers. The previous record, set in 2006, was 48,391. Each school bought 10,500 tickets, Schoeffler said. Insight Bowl organizers estimate the financial impact of the game at about $62 million, much of it spent in Tempe hotels, bars and restaurants. The financial impact goes on after the game, which is followed by one of the nation’s top New Year’s Eve parties, where about 100,000 revelers will crowd the Mill Avenue District. A study done last year by the Sports Business Program at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business details how good the games and celebrations are. The study noted that fans in town for the Insight Bowl spent $272.50 per day. The report also said that of the people that attended the 2006 Insight Bowl, 57 percent were visitors and stayed an average of four nights. “The Insight Bowl is fun for the fans and good for Tempe,” Schoeffler said. “It’s good for everyone.” “Our tickets are affordable and the Insight Bowl has been steadily gaining in popularity and has great promise for the future,” Schoeffler said. “We think a lot of people remember when the Fiesta Bowl was beginning and […]

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Tour de Tempe – Tempe’s Free Community Bike Ride

October 13, 2008

More than 1,500 people are expected to participate in the 13th annual Tour de Tempe community bike ride Oct. 26. The ride starts and ends at Tempe’sKiwanis Park (Parking lot off All-America Way just north of Guadalupe Road ). Riders will enjoy some of the most distinct bikeways in Arizona during this 10 mile ride that begins at 8:30 a.m. Registration starts at 7 a.m.   Tour de Tempe, Tempe’s free leisurely community bike ride, is a fun, non-competitive ride that weaves through diverse neighborhoods, public art projects and other Tempe sites. All riders will receive free breakfast snacks, and artist-designed T-shirts will be distributed to the first 800 registrants.  Helmets are required.  Tour de Tempe sponsors include Back East Bagel Company, Berning’s Fine Jewelry, REI, Starbucks, Whole Foods Market, Wildflower Bread Company, Clif Bar and Tempe in Motion. For more information, call (480) 858-2215 or visit

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I’m inspired

April 10, 2008

My office is located on Mill Avenue and for the last couple of days, I’ve seen a ton of Ironman participants. These athletes are amazing. The training that goes into preparing for an Ironman is staggering and the actual event, with a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile marathon is astounding. Now that all of these stellar athletes have descended upon Tempe, I am truly inspired. Not to participate in an Ironman, but to set my sights on a goal and see it through to the end. They prove that their is no limit to what can be done when you set your mind to it. I’ll be at the finish line on Sunday, cheering for a few athletes that I know and shedding a few tears of joy.

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Herb’s Garden

January 14, 2008

That noise you heard coming from Wells Fargo Arena on the campus of Arizona State University on January 9 wasn’t the earth moving. It was the sound of seeds being planted. Over the past year and a half ASU head basketball coach Herb Sendek has been breathing energy and confidence into a program that has been ploughed under for years. With ASU’s win over archrival University of Arizona last Wednesday – along with an earlier victory over then Number 17 Xavier – the seeds of success have firmly taken root. With ASU now a factor in the highly competitive Pac-10, there is no better ticket in Tempe than an ASU basketball game. They’re affordable enough to take the whole family or an entire group and, with ranked teams like UCLA, Washington State and Stanford coming to town, the games are sure to be exciting and entertaining. And with a trio of freshmen leading the Devils, ASU promises to be a force for some time to come. So join the “Herbivores” at Wells Fargo Arena and Go Devils!

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Go Devils!

October 18, 2007

7 and 0. Let me say that again: 7 and 0. I can’t remember a time when there was such a frenzy about the Sun Devils football team. Perhaps it was the 1996 season that led us to the Rose Bowl. Maybe this year’s excitement even surpasses that. I think it does. According to the NCAA Football Rankings this week, we’re ranked #8 in the nation. In my heart, of course, we’re number one. I can’t wait to see us crush Cal on the 27th. Wildcats, consider yourself warned. We’re coming after you too. Go Devils!

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