Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl Generates Millions for Nonprofits
By Steve Rivera
Could there be a better hype man for the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl than Ali Farhang?
He’s the founder, the Chairman of the Board and all-out cheerleader for the bowl game that is now in its ninth year surpassing its humble predecessors the Copper Bowl and Insight.com Bowl combined.
The Arizona Bowl is back with plans of being bigger and better than ever.
“The three most often asked questions in Tucson are: Is it gonna rain? What do you think about that rain? And what are you doing on New Year’s Eve?” said Farhang, also a prominent local attorney. “Well, we’ve answered the third question.”
Well, kind of. This year’s Arizona Bowl will be on Dec. 30 at 2:30 p.m. at Arizona Stadium. There will be parties the next day affiliated with the Arizona Bowl, but point taken.
“The three pillars of why this game even started was to highlight the best of Tucson and Southern Arizona, to create immense economic impact for everybody here, and to create an organization that gives all net proceeds to nonprofits,” Farhang said. “I think that we’ve done a really good job of meeting our obligations to those three pillars. The best is yet to come.”
Farhang says it’s more than a game between two of the best teams from the Mountain West and Mid-American Conferences, but also a celebration of the city and all that it offers, a festival of sorts that highlights all the great things in Tucson.
“It’s going to be a great game and we’re going to have a great New Year’s Eve Party,” he said, “and I’m hoping we’re building it to be at that (high) level. We have a lot of good people working it. It’s a testament to their intellect and power.”
He said more than 100 volunteers have joined in to make the bowl game its best ever. And the local businesses have long contributed.
“It’s like anything, if you’re doing things the right way,” Farhang said, “then you’re building an organization that can endure and succeed without you. We wanted to make it Tucson’s game and now we’ve got a bunch of southern Arizonans who feel like they have an ownership in the game.”
Clearly, Tucson nonprofits have benefitted the most. Through the years, the Arizona Bowl has given $5 million to charities throughout Southern Arizona. In 2022, more than $1.4 million was given out to local charities by the Arizona Bowl giving back 100 percent of the net proceeds and by Barstool Sports.
In late August, 10 local nonprofits were presented checks. They ranged from food providers to those granting wishes, helping the homeless and local hospitals. Arizona Bowl officials haven’t met a nonprofit it hasn’t liked.
“We are thankful for the generous donation from the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl,” said Sarah Frost, CEO of Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center South. “Their donation will be used to help us reach our goal to build the Diamond Children’s Play Zone to benefit children receiving treatment at Diamond Children’s.”
Bowl officials want to help those who inspire and have an impact on people. According to Bowl officials, the game has generated an economic impact of $140 million through the years.
“This is why we do what we do,” Kym Adair, Arizona Bowl’s executive director said at a recent check presentation to nonprofits. “We want to build up the visibility of our community, give back to the amazing charities in our community and support the businesses of this community.”
Once again, the 2023 game will be streamed live on Barstool.TV to watch on your computer or phone. Or you can download the Barstool Sports app on your TV, Roku, Fire Stick or Apple TV. Farhang continues to say it’s the wave of the TV-viewing future.
“We may have been a little bit ahead of the game,” Farhang said of the streaming concept. “You see what’s happening with both college and pro football. They have a bunch of games that are streamed this year.
“My kids and all their friends, people under the age 45 don’t even have cable. All they do is stream. And having the partnership with Barstool is great because they help drive a lot of people to watch our game and the things that have to do with our game.”
BARSTOOL SPORTS ARIZONA BOWL
Saturday, Dec. 30, 2:30 p.m. Arizona Stadium