Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Building Tucson Businesses: The NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl

Building Tucson Businesses: The NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl

  • Updated

What are you doing for New Year’s Eve? It’s getting to the time of year that we start thinking about how we will celebrate another annual turn. If you don’t already have plans, why don’t you finish 2019 by attending the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl?

I know, a football game. Really? Yes, really. The Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl is a family event and a whole lot of fun. There are pregame activities from traditional tailgating to a family fun zone and an antique car show. There is a fly-over of F-16s out of the 162nd Wing. Schools throughout Tucson have blocks of students and their families attending.

The Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl is the relatively new kid on the block when it comes to blockbuster annual events held in Tucson. Out of 39 college football bowl games, the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl is one of only two bowl games that is a nonprofit. All of the net proceeds from the game go to local charities, and many of those charities are focused on children.

In its short tenure the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl’s charitable impact in Tucson has been significant:

  • They have given over $3.5 million in charitable donations in support of the next generation of Tucsonans.
  • Charitable giving ranges from the Centurions, the Conquistadors, the Sanctuary Project, SARSEF, Ronald McDonald House of Southern Arizona, Tucson Indian Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona, and Boys & Girls Club, and what are referred to as Heroes Tribute tickets for groups such as active military, veterans, teachers and first responders.
  • Any 501(c)(3) nonprofit can apply for charitable giving via the Bowl’s website ( The bowl offers matching grants to nonprofits that are selected.
  • 27,000 Heroes Tribute tickets have been underwritten and given to first responders, military personnel and their families, and others in just the last two years.

The charitable impact is not the only place the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl makes a difference. Its economic impact is also impressive. In the past four years, the bowl has had an estimated $100 million in economic impact in Southern Arizona. That places it second to only the Gem Show.

By the way, the game itself is a blast. Fans come together to watch a contest between teams from the Mountain West Conference and the Sun Belt Conference.

In the four years since the Arizona Bowl started, the largest margin of victory in three out of four games has been six points. The games are competitive and exciting to watch.

Following the game are fireworks off the top of Arizona Stadium, all part of the total package that is the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl. All of this for tickets as low as $15; a family of four can attend for a total of $60.

Not done yet. Beginning this year, Tucson’s newest New Year’s Eve tradition is the University of Arizona Downtown NYE Bowl Bash. Downtown is closed to traffic and opened to revelers who want to celebrate the New Year. Think of it as Tucson’s Times Square.

From 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., downtown is open and features:

  • An ice skating rink
  • Multiple stages with live bands and entertainment throughout the night sponsored by Lotus
  • The Southwest’s largest piñata
  • A Kids Zone with inflatables, free entry into the Train Museum, games and face painters
  • Libations
  • Food trucks
  • Fireworks launched from the roof of Hotel Congress to ring in the New Year sponsored by Tucson Federal Credit Union
  • Free transportation on the SunLink Streetcar all day New Year’s Eve
  • And, of course: A massive Taco Drop at midnight.

In case you missed it on the list above, I did say a Massive Taco Drop. New York is mundane; they just drop a big ball. Tucson is doing it with style. A big, gigundous Taco Drop.

So as you plan New Year’s, come on down to the game and the party. Your attendance helps the community and contributes to the economy. It’s a family affair, and it’s a fun way to ring in 2020.

Ken Cook is the co-founder of How to Who, a program on how to build strong relationships and how to build business through those relationships. Learn more at

The business news you need

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News