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Again, the spotlight shines on Arizona


First impressions matter.

Whether you’re going on a job interview or meeting a friend of a friend for the first time, it only takes seconds to make a first impression. Those results can be long-lasting.

The Valley of the Sun will once again make an impression on the entire country as it becomes the center of the national sports spotlight when the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship comes to town January 8-11. The group in charge of putting the four-day celebration together wants the experience to be epic. A major element of that experience is getting to the action.

“Public transit plays a huge role in getting people to the events,” said Stephanie Jarvis, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer of the Arizona Organizing Committee (AOC). “It’s a big part of why we won the bid for the College Football Playoff National Championship. We touted rail and bus options so that people can get to the fun.”

The AOC is responsible for hosting the huge game, which crowns the NCAA college football champion. The committee is made up of local leaders in business, tourism and sports. Its mission is to give everyone a world-class experience that focuses not only on the game but also interactive events for fans, free concerts and other pregame festivities.

“This is going to be bigger than anything that has been part of the College Football Playoff in the past,” said Jarvis.

Downtown Phoenix will become the epicenter of activity. Tens of thousands of football fans are expected to celebrate at the Championship Campus. It will encompass a variety of events like Playoff Playlist Live!, which features free concerts by The Band Perry, Ciara and John Mellencamp. alt=

Fans of all ages can enjoy hands-on sports activities, surprise guest appearances, food and more at Playoff Fan Central in the Phoenix Convention Center. The attention shifts then to Glendale when the game is played at the University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11.

“This showcases Arizona as our home,” said Jarvis. “We want people who visit and are new to Arizona to return to our state or consider moving here.”

With our sunny skies, restaurants and resorts, locals and visitors have no shortage of places to explore. Many entertainment destinations are a quick ride away with Valley Metro Rail’s enhanced service scheduled during the festivities beginning January 8. Traveling is easy with an All-day pass for $4. Ice skate in the desert at CitySkate. Browse through fashion-forward finds and locally-made gifts on Roosevelt Row. Savor the flavors of award-winning chefs at restaurants along the rail line. See all you can do and where you can dine at visitphoenix.com, dtphx.org and phxrailfood.com.

When the focus shifts to Glendale on January 11, extended bus service will be offered on Routes 60 & 70 to help fans connect to the championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Valley Metro will be a part of many fans’ game plan to help avoid traffic and parking hassles. It will also serve as a critical way to get riders to work and other destinations whether or not they want to be a part of the action.

Either way, it’s a good time for transit riders to make a good first impression on fellow passengers. Everyone can enjoy the ride with a few simple courtesies. Let those exiting the bus or train get off before you board. Offer your seats to those in need. Don’t eat, drink alcohol or smoke on board. And, remember, safety first.

“Safety is our top priority. Valley Metro will have a strong security presence along with local police,” said Adrian Ruiz, Director, Safety and Security. “If you see something suspicious, say something to a security officer, operations supervisor or staff volunteer. Valley Metro will have more than 300 ambassadors to assist passengers who may be new or unfamiliar with the area.”

The excitement all begins January 8, but visitors will retain their impression of our home for long after the final play of the game.

“We want the local community to have pride that they helped stage one of the greatest events here in Arizona,” said Jarvis.

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