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The Fiesta Bowl is one of the biggest bowl games in college football. It is also in the rotation of bowls that host college football playoff games. It is definitely one bowl every college football fan should experience at least once in their lifetime. To guarantee you have the best experience, here are some tips to remember!
My family attended the Fiesta Bowl in 2022. It was a semi-final playoff game between the Michigan Wolverines and the TCU Horned Frogs. We had so much fun! It was one of the best bowl games we’ve ever been to!
- When and where is the Fiesta Bowl held?
- Tips to improve your Fiesta Bowl experience
- Tip #1: Don’t stay near the stadium.
- Tip #2: Plan to have a car.
- Tip #3: Get the Seat Geek app on your phone.
- Tip #4: Beware of the clear bag policy.
- Tip #5: Read their tailgate policies before planning your own tailgate.
- Tip #6: Check out the team pep rallies.
- Tip #7: Get there early.
- Tip #8: Check out the Fiesta Bowl pregame party.
- Tip #9: Be prepared for no bathroom in the upper deck.
- Tip #10: Be prepared to show your ticket a lot.
When and where is the Fiesta Bowl held?
The Fiesta Bowl is held every year at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. This is a suburb of Phoenix. While the game is played inside a dome, you can be sure that you will have beautiful weather during your trip to Phoenix.
The game is held a day or two before New Year’s Day each year. To find out the date and time of this year’s game, head over to the Fiesta Bowl’s official website.
Tips to improve your Fiesta Bowl experience
Overall, this is one of the best bowl game experiences around. However, they do have some unique policies that are strictly enforced. Some of these tips will help you be aware of these policies, while others will help you better plan your trip.
Tip #1: Don’t stay near the stadium.
While there are some hotels in Glendale, I would recommend to stay in another part of the Phoenix metro area.
There are definitely more hotel choices in downtown Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale. And, by staying a little further away from the stadium, you will be able to get a better deal on your hotel.
You can find great deals on hotels at Agoda.
Tip #2: Plan to have a car.
Phoenix is a huge city that is very spread out. So, you definitely want to plan to have a car with you during your trip. If you will be flying in for the bowl game, rent a car for your time there.
While this means you will have to pay to park at the game, it will make getting around on your trip easier and much more convenient. And it will probably be cheaper than paying for ride shares the entire time.
Tip #3: Get the Seat Geek app on your phone.
The Fiesta Bowl is the only college football venue that I have ever seen that only accepts tickets from Seat Geek.
So, this means that before the game, you will need to download the Seat Geek app on your phone and create an account. Regardless of where you buy your game tickets, you will need to transfer them into your Seat Geek app.
Showing the tickets in the app is the only way you will be allowed to get past the gates at the stadium. They will not accept tickets that have been printed out.
Tip #4: Beware of the clear bag policy.
The State Farm Stadium, like most college and professional sports venues these days, have a clear bag policy that they strictly enforce.
Basically, you are not allowed to take any bags into the stadium unless they are made of clear plastic or vinyl. And they must not be any larger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″. Alternatively, you can bring in a gallon size Ziploc bag.
The only exceptions to this clear bag policy are clutch purses or wallets that are 4.5″ x 6.5″ or smaller or bags that are medically necessary. Be aware that these medically necessary bags will be searched before they are admitted into the stadium.
Seat cushions are not allowed.
Tip #5: Read their tailgate policies before planning your own tailgate.
The Fiesta Bowl event staff strictly enforce their tailgate policies. And they have some of the strictest tailgate policies I have ever seen. So, if you plan to throw your own tailgate before the game starts, I highly recommend you read their tailgate policies in advance.
You are allowed to tailgate in front of or immediately behind your vehicle. You just can’t obstruct the driving lanes between the rows of parking spots.
They do not allow you to tailgate in empty parking spots. So, you are not allowed to purchase additionally parking spaces to use for tailgating.
We actually knew someone who bought 5 spots at the 2022 Fiesta Bowl for tailgating purposes. After he was all set up, they shut him down and made him move his tailgate. He ended up buying 5 parking spots for nothing.
Tip #6: Check out the team pep rallies.
In the day or two before the game, the two participating teams usually will have a pep rally to get their fans hyped up for the game. These pep rallies are a lot of fun! You should try to attend one or both of them if you can.
These pep rallies are free to attend, but are not held at the stadium. When we were there in 2022, they were held at Scottsdale Stadium, a baseball spring training stadium in Scottsdale.
Tip #7: Get there early.
On the day of the game, get to the stadium early. The parking lots usually open about 6 hours prior to kickoff.
An early arrival will allow you to miss much of the pregame traffic. It will also give you a better selection of parking spots to choose from. Lastly, this will give you a chance to enjoy some of the pregame festivities.
Tip #8: Check out the Fiesta Bowl pregame party.
On game day, you will find a pregame party hosted by the Fiesta Bowl. This party is located in a large grassy fan zone area out in front of the stadium.
This party is free for anyone to attend. You don’t even need to have a ticket to the game to attend.
In this fan zone, you will find live music, yard games such as corn hole, inflatable games for the kids, several large screens showing other games, and plenty of food and drink vendors. There are also tables set up so you can hang out with your friends and family.
I usually hate these fan zone type experiences because they are usually either too crowded or full of drunk people that you wouldn’t want your kids around. But, this one is very well done. There is so much space that it never felt crowded even with thousands of people in there. And everyone was well behaved.
Tip #9: Be prepared for no bathroom in the upper deck.
If you have tickets in the third deck up in the nose bleed section of the stadium, be prepared for a long walk to the bathrooms during the game. There is no bathroom up on that level. So, to use the facilities, you will have to go down to the 2nd level.
During the 2022 Fiesta Bowl, our friends were up on that third level. They said it was miserable!
This could be really difficult if you have mobility issues or have small children with you. In these cases, I would recommend getting seats in either the bottom or second level if at all possible.
Tip #10: Be prepared to show your ticket a lot.
At many stadiums, unless you are sitting in a VIP section, you only have to show your tickets to enter the stadium. Here, however, we had to show our tickets every time we left the concourse to head to our seats.
This was really annoying considering that the tickets are only in a digital format in the Seat Geek app. I found that there were times where there were long lines of people waiting to get to their seats because someone was having trouble accessing the app.
This would be miserable if you have small children with you and are juggling food at the same time.
The Fiesta Bowl is an awesome bowl game for anyone who loves watching big time college football. I highly recommend going to this one if you get the chance. With the help of these tips, I know you will have a great time!
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