LSU is headed to Arizona to play Central Florida in its first New Year's Six bowl since the College Football Playoff format began in 2014.
The LSU Tigers are headed to the desert for its biggest football game in the playoff era.
The Tigers have never played in the Fiesta Bowl, which has been played since 1971. In fact, LSU has only played in the state of Arizona twice. The first time was in 2003, when LSU beat Arizona 59-13 in Tucson. LSU then opened the 2005 season with a 35-31 win over Arizona State in Tempe.
So if you're looking for an excuse to go to the Copper State, this is a chance. Here's a look at what you should know if you're thinking about taking the New Year's trip to Glendale, Arizona:
A quick rundown of LSU's opponent in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, the UCF Knights ...
How much are tickets?
• Ticket prices on the bowl's official website, FiestaBowl.org, range from a low of $95 to a high of $330. Ticket prices on secondary markets range from a low of $46 to a high of $1,479. (Be wary of counterfeit tickets). LSU also released its allotment of tickets for purchase Sunday afternoon.
Best way to get there?
• The trip from Baton Rouge to Glendale is just shy of 1,450 miles. You could road-trip to the game and spend a little more than 20 hours in a car, which would cost between $150-160 in gas traveling through Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico to get to Arizona, according to fueleconomy.gov with the U.S. average of 24.7 miles per gallon. You'll also need to factor in whether you want to drive nearly a full day straight, or stop along the way.
• An easier option is flying, if you can afford it. On Sunday afternoon, flight prices on Google Flights had several ranges. Flying out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2, ranged from $805 to $966 round-trip. Flying out of Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR) is actually a little less expensive; flights ranged from $606-$936. Extend your trip out to Dec. 30 to Jan. 3, and you're looking at a range of $437-898 at BTR and $423-$742 at MSY.
Special travel package deals
• If you're looking to travel with other Tiger fans, you can choose one of the package deals offered by the LSU Alumni Association and Tiger Athletic Foundation. A two-night, land-only package ($1,129 per person) includes a ticket in the official LSU section, a room at the Mountain Shadows Resort and opportunities for local excursions. You can do the same thing in the three-night package ($1,329 per person).
Where should I stay?
• If you're looking for a hotel close to State Farm Stadium, your best bet is the Home2 Suites by Hilton, which is less than half a mile away. It'll cost you $305 per night, though, and rooms are going fast. If distance isn't an issue, Kayak is listing open rooms in the area ranging from $40 for a cheap motel to $749 for a home rental. Airbnb also has a number of options starting at as little as $24 per night.
What's there to do, besides the game?
• Arizona is consistently ranked as one of the top states in the nation to play golf. According to Golf Digest, most of Arizona's top courses are in Scottsdale, which is less than 30 miles away from State Farm Stadium. The No. 1 course is The Estancia Club, built by renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio in 1995. It spreads out over 640 acres and is within view of Pinnacle Peak.
• The Grand Canyon, one of the most famous landmarks in the United States, lies 225 miles to the north — an estimated 3 hour, 22 minute drive from State Farm Stadium.
• If you're looking to stay in the Glendale/Phoenix area, the Westgate Entertainment District has plenty to offer with shopping, dining and entertainment all in one area and is minutes away from downtown. Other nearby attractions include theme park Castles-n-Coasters, catching an Arizona Coyotes hockey game at the Gila River Arena, checking out the Heard Museum and Phoenix Art Museum or grabbing a drink at one of the many breweries nearby.
• One last bit of information: The weather near Glendale, Arizona, is forecast around a high 65 degrees from Dec. 30 until Jan. 2, with a low of 38 degrees, so make sure you at least have a light jacket with you.