Over the past week, there has been an influx of visitors to the Valley of the Sun. Mainly, visitors wearing green and gold or blue and orange. Fans of the Auburn Tigers and Oregon Ducks are everywhere, showing their colors with pride and spending their money in bars across the city.
Getting into the BCS Championship Game is an expensive endeavor, possibly the most expensive event ever. Fans are spending a decent-sized fortune to fly into Phoenix, get a rental car, pick up a parking pass and tickets, and spend a few evenings in a hotel. A trip to Paris would be cheaper.
But it doesn't matter much for these diehard sports fans, who wouldn't pass up an opportunity like this. Who knows how often this will happen in your lifetime? Two undefeated, unparalleled teams facing off for the greatest prize in college football?
The cities surrounding Phoenix have benefitted greatly from hosting the BCS National Championship Game, making money hand over fist from hotel stays, restaurant trips and bar visits. You can't drive a mile down the highway or walk a block in a crowded area without seeing a Ducks flag flying in the breeze or an Auburn logo emblazened on someone's chest.
Glendale hosted their "Glendale Glitter & Glow Block Party" on Saturday night, and it was crowded from one side of the street to the other. Hot air balloons were glowing across the downtown area, but one theme was even more apparent: BCS fever. I walked into several Oregon and Auburn fans who were enjoying the nice weather and carnival atmosphere.
The fever will finally break tonight, when the game kicks off at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Oregon and Auburn will clash and we will know who is the best of the best. But for a lot of fans of the two teams, just being in the same city as the game is enough. Good luck trying to get into a bar at Westgate tonight.