Phoenix is no stranger to top sporting events like the Super Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, all-star games and more. On Jan. 11, the area will again play host to one of sports’ biggest events — college football’s 2016 national championship game.
This is only the second championship game since college football introduced a playoff format for its top teams, so no matter the outcome, the event will be historic.
While much of the world can watch broadcasts of the game played at University of Phoenix Stadium, area residents can be a part of the experience by participating in many of the festivities accompanying the contest.
Here is a rundown of some of the events put together by the Arizona Organizing Committee:
Playoff Fan Central
A three-day event at the Phoenix Convention Center with a variety of activities to involve college football fans. Interactive games, exhibits focused on college football, guest appearances and sponsor activities are all included.
Team bands, cheerleaders and mascots will participate in mini pep rallies on a special 50-yard football field. On Saturday, the site will be the location for media day live with the student-athletes and coaches from both teams.
Events take place Friday from 3-8 p.m., Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday from noon-8 p.m. Ticket information is available at this link: http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/playoff-fan-central.
AT&T Playoff Playlist Live!
This free outdoor concert series happens Friday, Saturday and Sunday near the convention center in downtown Phoenix. Friday’s headliners are Grammy-winning trio The Band Perry and country recording artist David Nail. Saturday features Grammy-winning performer Ciara and pop band Walk the Moon. Sunday’s entertainers are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Mellencamp, Andy Grammer and Moon Taxi.
Each night will include fireworks displays.
College Football Playoff Foundation
The charitable arm of the College Football Playoff is hosting three events to benefit Extra Yard for Teachers, a philanthropic initiative to honor, celebrate and empower teachers.
The Extra Yard for Teachers Summit is a half-day event Saturday recognizing teachers who helped students and student-athletes achieve a dream of attending college.
The Extra Yard 5K takes place downtown Sunday at 9 a.m. The race starts and ends at the intersection of 1st Street and Madison Street outside of Talking Stick Arena.
Northwestern Mutual Taste of the Championship is an opportunity to sample gourmet food and drinks from across the country. The event is Sunday at 5 p.m. in the South Ballroom of the Phoenix Convention Center. Proceeds support the foundation and local food banks.
And much more
Residents can learn more about ancillary events for the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship at www.collegefootballplayoff.com or by following @CFBPlayoff on Twitter. Fans can also download the official College Football Playoff game day app. The free mobile app, “CFP Gameday,” available on Apple and Android, includes detailed information on fan events, schedules, interactive maps, scores, stats and more. For more detailed information on getting to events and logistics, visit KTAR.com‘s guide to weekend events.
Of course, Monday night is when the real fun begins with the big game. Whether you’ll be attending a festive activity or watching from the comfort of your own home, Hensley Beverage Company and Anheuser-Busch remind you to drink responsibly. No matter which team comes out on top, we’ll all end up winners.
Best Damn Brewing Co. offers approachable flavors with bold personalities, starting with a new, harder take on root beer. On shelves in Arizona now, Best Damn Root Beer is the brand’s first mission released nationally and the first hard root beer produced by Anheuser-Busch. It’s a full-flavored, well-balanced take on a favorite classic taste, aged on real vanilla beans during the brewing process.