Tips for Living in Phoenix: Sports, Socializing & More
Relocating to Phoenix or any new city, for your first job or school is tough; not only do you have to juggle all the financial and logistical details, but you’re also entering a new environment without knowing many other people. Making friends means getting to know the area well so you don’t get lost or stuck in avoidable traffic. Public transportation can sometimes be unreliable or inaccessible for certain areas, knowing the area well means you’re going to have to do some driving.
Sports and the City
There’s no faster way to make friends than to follow the local sports teams. Spectator sports, from baseball to hockey, have abundant social aspects which involve traveling to event venues, hitting up sports bars, driving to a friend’s house for the game, or picking up all the supplies needed for a quality tailgating event. Here’s a few of the sports stadiums you’ll need to know if you’re new to the Valley of the Sun:
If you’re going to spend any time in Phoenix, you’ll spend a lot of time in Downtown Phoenix; that’s also where you’ll find Chase Field, the home of Phoenix’s MLB franchise, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
For 20 years, the Diamondbacks have celebrated victories and mourned defeats at Chase Field, found right on E Jefferson St. Though undergoing some controversy over needed repairs, fan after fan will tell you about their favorite memories at Chase, including witnessing a 16-inning battle between the Diamondbacks and Cardinals that turned into the longest game for the stadium in 17 years.
Don’t only see Chase as a baseball stadium. Because of its size and versatile setup, Chase can also be used to host concerts, soccer games, and even the occasional bull-riding event.
And if you’re set on seeing some pre-season baseball, Cactus League Spring Training is just a short drive over in Mesa.
Talking Stick Resort Arena
Just minutes away from Chase Field is the Talking Stick Resort Arena, named for a luxury hotel and casino in Scottsdale by the same name. Talking Stick is home to not one, but three different teams: the Phoenix Suns (NBA), the Phoenix Mercury (WNBA) and the Arizona Rattlers (IFL). Between the number of leagues playing here, the number of concerts, and its ability to seat anywhere from 15,000 to 18,000 people, there’s no doubt you’ll end up here fairly often. If cost is a concern, take note that students are eligible for a Suns Student Pass. The Suns also have a Partner Pass, so check if your employer is part of their program.
As Phoenix has grown in population and games in popularity, there have been talks of more updates and renovations being made to Talking Sticks, which is one oldest arena in the league.
University of Phoenix Stadium
A 10-minute walk to the nearest bus stop, two transfers, and an hour and 20 minutes later, you’ll find yourself at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The nest for the Arizona Cardinals, it’s also the location of the NCAA’s Fiesta Bowl.
Popular with area students despite not being the home stadium of the university (the school doesn’t have any intercollegiate athletics programs), the venue has also hosted various ice shows, WWE’s WrestleMania and Monster Jam Summer Heat.
Being one of the most modern and top-tier multi-purpose stadiums in the nation, you can also schedule a 1.5-hour tour to see and learn all about the massive facility.
Gila River Arena
Completing the tour of Phoenix’s four great sports arenas is the Gila River Arena, home to Arizona Coyotes. 12 miles from downtown and a 12-minute walk from the above stadium, NHL fans will be delighted to know they’ll never miss a game because of the arena’s 17,000 seating capacity.
In addition to hockey, Gila River also plays host to lacrosse, concerts, bull riding, and an array of high-school level sports. With a variety like this available to you, Gila River will be an excellent spot for introducing some less mainstream sports to your new Phoenix friends.
After the Game
Looking for somewhere to hangout for or after the game? Be the trendsetter in your group by suggesting a great sports bar, like the Suns-themed Majerle’s Sports Grill or a relaxed place to watch a game or two like CAPS Sports Grill.
Students in particular will enjoy the stylish Fez on Central Ave., Adams St.’s Rose and Crown Pub, or Frank Murray’s Turk Irish Pub. While they’re good spots for hanging with friends, because of the various live music shows, open-mikes and trivia nights, they’re also good sports to make new friends.
Your Next Step
Let’s face it —getting to all of these amazing locations will take some effort, and if you’re paying for public transportation for each trip, that’s fewer dollars you can be spending on new fan gear. Driving and parking is going to be crucial to getting around and meeting people, especially if you want to make it on time and not miss a single beat of the action. You’re going to need a ride that’s reliable and suits your style. Take a look through this guide and find a car that fits the new Phoenix you.
Written by Jeremy Alderman from ZOG Digital, Inc.