Over its 40+ year history, the Fiesta Bowl has drawn over 3 million visitors to Phoenix and the state of Arizona. Still, the advent of the new college football playoff championship system brings even more attention to the renowned contest. In the past, the stadium was a regular host of the BCS National Championship Game - most recently in 2010 - but now the Fiesta Bowl will be one of only six stadiums to host the NCAA Division 1 college football semifinal and championship games on a regular, albeit rotating, basis.
Though not one of the semifinal games, the 2014 Fiesta Bowl featured two football powerhouses - the 16th ranked Boise State Broncos (12-2) vs the 19th ranked Arizona Wildcats (10-4) in a 68 point slug fest. The game saw the Broncos jump out to an early lead - they scored the first touchdown on a 56-yard run, and dominated the first quarter leading 21-7 at the end of the first 15 minutes. They kept up the pressure and went into the locker room at halftime with a 31-17 lead.
The Wildcats tried to close the gap in the second half of the 2014 Fiesta Bowl but the Broncos defense stepped up as both teams only scored 20 points in the second half. The end result, Boise State over Arizona by the score of 38-30. It was a wild a wooly game that even saw a TD on a "Statue of Liberty" play. The 2015 game promises to be even more exciting as the stadium at the University of Phoenix will host next year's national championship.
Located in Glendale, AZ, just 10 minutes from the downtown area of the state capital, the University of Phoenix Stadium is one of the premier stadiums in the United States. The stadium seats over 63,000 people but standing room increases the number to 78,600. In fact, the attendance is 78,603 for the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. Who were those three extra people who sneaked in?
The stadium used for the 2014 Fiesta Bowl is also renowned for its authentic sod grass field. Of course, the players love it for its natural "spring" that reduces injuries and improves performance and fans love the aesthetics of the field - especially it lush green color. In case you are wondering why the stadium has no corporate sponsorship like all the other "bowl" stadiums, it does. The stadium is actually named for the online educational institution, University of Phoenix, an institute of higher learning located nearby. It is also the home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals.
The odds are against the Oregon Ducks and the Buckeyes of Ohio State meeting again but who knows? In any event, the beautiful and meticulously maintained University of Phoenix stadium will be ready to provide a stunning venue for the 2015 Fiesta Bowl for both the players and the fans alike. Make your plans early - right now, even - if you plan to attend the game next year. We look forward to seeing you there on January 11th, 2016.
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