Any Oregon or Auburn fan wild enough to make the trek to the desert to see his beloved team is probably going to spend more than the quick one night and then head to the airport after the game.
So, since you're there, you should probably take in the sights, and the Phoenix area has 'em.
This slide show will take the BCS Championship Game fan through a quick tour of the various and sundry things to do in Phoenix before and after the Big Game.
Oh, and if you get there but can't get in the game, we have a special slide just for you guys.
The Heard Museum boasts one of the finest collections of Native American art, culture, and artifacts in the United States.
Focusing primarily on native tribes of the American southwest, the museum features 10 galleries, both inside and out, that house historic and contemporary Native American art.
The collection includes woven baskets, jewelry, pottery, and textiles.
Adult admission only $12; kids under 12 only $3. Museum open 9:30am-5:00pm.
Sure, the Biosphere 2 has been the butt of jokes ever since the idea of a self-contained 'mini-earth' was proposed a couple of decades ago.
But the place is actually pretty neat. One recent publication included the place in its Top 50 must see "Wonders of the World".
Now a part of the University of Arizona research facilities, Biosphere 2 has over 3 acres under glass where experiments were performed, "To explore the complex web of interactions within life systems in a structure that included five areas based on natural biomes and an agricultural area and human living/working space to study the interactions between humans, farming and technology with the rest of nature."
It is still the largest closed system ever created, and it includes a rain forest, an ocean with a coral reef, wetlands, grasslands, a desert, and an agricultural area.
Located a little more than an hour south of Phoenix, Biosphere 2 would please any science geek in your crowd. Check out their website at least:
Funky, fun, and just plain weird, the Mystery Castle has been an object of tourist fascination and local amusement for almost 70 years.
Built by a man who had moved to Phoenix for his health, the house used to be open for tours, but all you'd probably get to do these days is drive by it and take a look at the odd place.
"Said to be held together by a combination of mortar, cement, calcium, and goat milk, the sprawling 18-room, three story castle is built from a wide range of materials—stone, adobe, automobile parts, salvaged rail tracks from a mine, telephone poles, etc. It features a chapel, cantina, and a dungeon."
Parts of the castle remain unfinished and will likely stay that way for now; the owner died last month. The state is thinking about taking over the historic home and turning it into a museum.
Even so, the house is one of the 33 Phoenix Points of Pride, a local list of the best attractions in the city.
The Arizona Center (thank goodness they didn't spell it 'centre') features tons of shops, several dining options, and even entertainment.
Yes, it's incredibly mall-like, but, hey, you can't go too long without shopping, right?
The place features market stalls and carts as well as most upscale shops, and there are ten restaurants (two are fast food, the rest are sit-down eateries). All of these dining options feature outdoor eating options.
There's even a 24 screen movie theater to drop the kiddies in whilst you spend money you don't have.
This vast complex, built in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, has been listed as one of the top luxury hotels in the world.
Besides the hotel proper, there are several areas of interest including a nearby neighborhood where celebrities, politicians, and even the odd president's wife or two have homes.
The Wrigley family (yes, the gum folks) built a mansion next door that is now part of the complex as well.
You can come in and soak up what it's like to have a jillion dollars and, if you have some of that cash, treat yourself to a massage or something.
If you do, the tip will probably cost more than your hotel room, by the way.
For the fit and fine. Get out and hike, bike, trek, and climb on the Phoenix area's most recognizable physical feature.
Camelback Mountain is the can't miss hill that you'll see as soon as you get out of the airport. Rent a car and head over there one morning for some massive views of the surrounding area.
If you want to actually hike on the thing, "Two hiking trails ascend 1,280 feet to the peak of Camelback Mountain. The Echo Canyon Trail is 1.2 miles long and the Cholla Trail is 1.4 miles long. Both trails are considered strenuous with steep grades."
"The hiking path has dirt, gravel, boulders, and some handrail-assisted sections. The average hike requires a round trip time of 1.5 to 3 hours."
In other words, this thing is for the serious outdoor types.
Yeah, probably visiting the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is one of the last thing a die-hard football player would want to do, but maybe that special someone in your family would let you buy that giant foam #1 finger if you took her there.
And the place might pleasantly surprise you.
The garden now has more than 21,000 plants, mostly variations of cacti, and most of them are indigenous to the American south west. "Plants from less extreme climate conditions are protected under shade houses."
There is a collection of plants from Australian from Baja California, and a large number from South America, but all of these are adapted to desert climates. Also, several different types of ecosystems are represented in the garden.
Adult admission is $15, half that for students, and $5 for kids.
If you dread seeing some guy in a tiger suit (Aubie?) and some large foam-padded duck with a navy hat being carried around the stadium, head over to the Phoenix Zoo for a day and see some real animals.
Founded by the Maytag washing machine family, the zoo is the largest non profit zoo in the United States. Boasting some 1300 animals and almost three miles of walking trails, the zoo can help you work off some of that nervous tension before the game.
For the wee ones, there is a large kids petting zoo, but that's not all. The park is divided into three zones of concentration-an African, Arizonan, and Tropics section-that makes it easy to pick one section of the large zoo and concentrate on that.
Rare and endangered animals such as the Oryx, white rhino, and the Mexican gray wolf find a home here in Phoenix.
It's definitely worth checking out. And ask someone in the know there why Auburn is known as the Tigers, but are also called the Plainsmen, and still have a cry of "War Eagle!"
Phoenix's history doesn't begin with the settlement by the descendants of Europeans. The area's legacy goes back much farther as evidenced by some pueblo ruins in the city.
An early native tribe called the Hohokam set up a village the ruins of which are now be excavated and examined.
"It is believed that this area was settled around 450 AD. Due to major population movements among other factors, the site was abandoned by 1450 AD."
The discovery of this early habitation in the Phoenix area is considered to be so important that the site has been granted protected status by the National Register of Historical Places.
The city of Phoenix runs the archaeological site and charges little to see the ruins and some of the artifacts unearthed.
Man, we wish Texas were playing in this game so we could use a "Hohokam Horns" joke right here.
While we at BR do not recommend or represent any of the establishments listed on the link below, we did feel obligated to give the average Auburn and Oregon fan some good places in Phoenix to watch the game if he could not make it to the stadium.
After you've run yourself ragged to get to the game, you might find that, given the choice, you would rather pay for your child's college education than purchase a game ticket from that incredibly trustworthy looking scalper. So, you saunter over to your nearest sports bar to capture some of the magic from TV.
Besides, TV has better instant replay.
And who can say 'no' to buying another round of drinks at the bar for all your new best friends when your team wins and wins big.
Here, then, is where to go in Phoenix to watch the big game on TV: