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The Fiesta Bowl is an Arizona tradition dating back to the early 1970s. Two teams meet at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale for a night of festivities and of course, the sport of college football. When over 70,000 screaming fans fill the stadium on game day it becomes abundantly apparent just how big and exiting this game is for the state of Arizona. Accompanying the spectacular celebration day is a wide variety of events and demonstrations that just add to the growing anticipation. One of the most notable of the events is the Fiesta Bowl Parade, another large event that occurs annually. Presented by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation this fantastic time honored tradition remains a fun filled experience every year! With a wide variety of colorful floats themed for everything thought possible and local marching bands topped off with massive helium balloons its easy to see why this parade is a well anticipated event. The Fiesta Bowl is currently coming up on its fortieth anniversary, and the expected participation and excitement continue to pick up momentum, however the history behind the bowl rarely is discussed. This is very unfortunate since the Fiesta Bowl has one of the most interesting histories out of all the bowls. Many of the other bowls started out of curiosity, however the Fiesta Bowl which has made its way into the top bowls started out of frustration. Arizona State was tired of being bypassed for bowl positions, even when the team was playing at the top of their game, going undefeated in 1970. After rejection after rejection the state of Arizona arranged the first Fiesta Bowl in 1971, where Arizona State faced off against Florida State. By the 1980s the bowl had taken an unexpected turn for the better, drawing the attention of more teams and allowing the Fiesta to begin gaining momentum. The University of Phoenix Stadium wasn't the original stadium the bowl was founded in. The choice to move from the Tempe, Arizona Sun Devil Stadium was only a recent change, to accommodate the growing numbers and larger crowd. The Fiesta Bowl is part of the Bowl Championship Series or BCS for short, a group of five bowl match-ups that involve the ten top ranked teams in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. This is a huge accomplishment for any bowl, especially one as young as the Fiesta Bowl. The expectations for the future of this bowl have never been higher, and the participation in the coming Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be bigger and better than ever.


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