PHOENIX — While the National Championship Game may be over, fans from both Clemson and Alabama were very impressed with the atmosphere and the weather in the Valley.
With all the fans at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona for the big game, businesses at the Westgate Entertainment District reaped major economic benefits.
“To have something like (the National Championship Game) is awesome,” said Scott McIntire, general manager of McFadden’s at Westgate. “Not only does the establishment make money, but there’s a lot of servers, bartenders and staff that actually gets to make extra money on days like this.”
He said the crowds were not quite as large as they were for last year’s Super Bowl, but stressed that these big games are important for Westgate and its businesses to survive.
“These places are able to open and keep expanding to the West Valley as long as these games keep happening,” McIntire said. “Without of a lot of these major events, probably a lot of these places wouldn’t be able to survive.”
Adam Kariotoglou, co-owner of Opa Life Greek Cafe at Westgate, agreed, saying the big games in Glendale are vital to the businesses at Westgate.
“Games, events, hockey, football, playoffs, all of that makes it worthwhile to invest in this center, and to be in business,” Kariotoglou said.
Many fans on both sides also said they would like to make a return trip to Arizona in the future.
“It’s awesome, we played golf for the last two days,” said Clemson fan Jacob, who declined to give his last name. “It’s beautiful (and) incredible, so we like it here.”
Alabama fan Danny, who also declined to give his last name, brought his family to Glendale from Boise, Idaho, and said he is planning on bringing his family back to Arizona soon.
“We’ve already looked at multiple things and talked about coming down during the summer,” he said.
Many fans enjoyed the comfortable temperatures and the abundant sunshine, but for others, it was the mountainous scenery.
“Arizona is one of the most gorgeous scenery places I’ve ever been to in my life,” said Clemson fan Andrew, who also declined to give his last name.
Westgate is expected to be a busy place again this Saturday. The Arizona Coyotes play at noon, followed by the Arizona Cardinals playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at 6:15pm.
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