The Fiesta Bowl organization and Special Olympics Arizona have come together to create the new Fiesta Bowl 3 On 3 Classic, presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community, which will raise funds for Special Olympics Arizona Unified Programs and provide a new inclusive basketball experience for the community.
Teams of four can register for the event, which will take place April 14-15 at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale. As an outdoor basketball festival with more than 100 courts, the Fiesta Bowl 3 on 3 Classic will consist of 16 different divisions, allowing for fun competition for players of all ages, gender and skill levels.
“The Fiesta Bowl 3 On 3 Classic will be an exciting weekend filled with a lot of great basketball, bringing together players of all abilities and backgrounds and ultimately raising money for worthy charities,” said Mike Nealy, Executive Director of the Fiesta Bowl. “Fiesta Bowl events such as this are driven by our core pillars of youth, sports and education. A past Fiesta Bowl Charities grant recipient, Special Olympics Arizona is a fantastic organization and one that helps us carry that mission forward with this new event.”
The two-day event will feature a bracket-style format, guaranteeing each team a minimum of three games. The games will be 25 minutes long or until the first team reaches 20 points. Official tournament rules can be found here.
“We are doing this event to raise awareness in the community about Special Olympics Arizona and its impact,” said Tim Martin, president and CEO of Special Olympics Arizona. “Our goal is to have 1,600 participating teams this year, 200 teams will be Special Olympics athletes as well as thousands more playing, competing and meeting our athletes by having fun. Our goal is for this event to be the largest of its kind in the country and proceeds will help us expand our reach with special needs athletes all over Arizona.”
“The Ak-Chin Indian Community is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this event,” said Robert Miguel, Ak-Chin Indian Community Tribal Chairman. “Special Olympics Arizona is near and dear to us and we value what their mission stands for.”
All teams must register by March 30 in order to secure a spot in the requested division. After the initial deadline, the Fiesta Bowl 3 On 3 Classic will only accept registrations if space is available until April 6. Registration prices range from $120 to $180 per team.
In addition to male and female divisions, groups will be separated by age and skill level and participants have the opportunity to create their own division. Family and first responder divisions are also offered, among many more.
Money raised will go to support the Special Olympics Arizona Unified Programs. Winners of the Elite and Unified divisions will earn tickets and an on-field recognition at the 48th Annual PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on January 1, 2019.
The Fiesta Bowl 3 On 3 Classic is one of many events that the Fiesta Bowl organization puts on throughout the year and the third of three new events for the 2017-18 year, along with the Fiesta Bowl Overwatch Collegiate National Championship and the Wells Fargo Fiesta Bowl Par-3 Challenge. Through the season’s events, the Fiesta Bowl has contributed more than $10 million back to the Arizona community in the last seven years, including $2.5 million during the 2017-18 season alone.
About the Fiesta Bowl
The Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans. As a nonprofit organization, it believes in the importance of community outreach and service. Through charitable giving, the organization strives to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that contribute to the success of communities through youth, sports and education. Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl has worked to increase its footprint across the state and work to benefit Arizonans year round, during and outside of bowl season.
Special Olympics Athletes
For people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves. For athletes, Special Olympics sports provide a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy. The lessons learned in Special Olympics also impact their life skills. Sports training enhances focus and gives participants a structure for learning important lessons about perseverance, endurance and setting goals. Many people are surprised to know, more than half of adult Special Olympics athletes in the United States are employed, versus 10 percent of intellectually disabled persons who do not participate in Special Olympics.
Special Olympics Mission
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
About The Ak-Chin Indian Community
The Ak-Chin Indian Community is nestled into the Santa Cruz Valley of Southern Arizona. The community lies 35 miles south of Phoenix in the northwestern part of Pinal County. Ak-Chin is an O’odham word translated to mean “mouth of the wash”. Ak-Chin has an enrollment of more than 1,092 tribal members and a land base of just over 22,000 acres. The Ak-Chin Indian Community has a variety of business enterprises including Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle and Santa Cruz Commerce Center. For more information, visit www.ak-chin.nsn.us
About Westgate Entertainment District
Located in Glendale, Westgate Entertainment District is the premier entertainment destination of the West Valley and a place where people come together for dining, nightlife, shopping, community events, business, concerts, sporting events and celebrations of all kinds. Offering a vibrant outdoor setting with a dancing water fountain and jumping fountains for kids, Westgate delivers an interactive experience day or night. Located just east of the Loop 101 on Glendale Avenue, it encompasses more than 40 restaurants, retailers and entertainment venues including Dave & Buster’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Yard House, Saddle Ranch, McFadden’s, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Johnny Rockets, IT’SUGAR and the state’s largest AMC Theatres featuring 20 screens. More than 250 events take place here a year ranging from live music every Friday and Saturday night at Fountain Park to Bike Nights, Hot Rod Nights, Fitness in the District, a holiday ice rink and fan experience events. No matter the season, there is something fresh, fun and exciting always happening at Westgate. Westgate is also anchored by Gila River Arena, home to the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, headlining concerts and major events, and is adjacent to the University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. For more information, a tenant directory or to see what’s happening, visit www.westgateaz.com.