As the Kansas University football team makes its final preparations for its Dec. 31 Insight Bowl matchup with Minnesota, bowl representatives are simultaneously working to make sure the teams’ visits to the desert are memorable.
According to Insight Bowl vice president of marketing Jay Fields, in Lawrence on Friday to meet with Kansas officials, fans making the 1,150-mile journey to Tempe, Ariz., for the 5 p.m. game at Sun Devil Stadium can expect quite the experience.
“From a fan perspective,” said Fields, “we’re going to roll out the red carpet.”
One of the week’s main events — aside from the football game, of course — is the Insight Fiesta Bowl Block Party, an annual New Year’s Eve outdoor party, which usually hosts more than 100,000 attendees and this year will be headlined by the rock band Styx.
The event will be held from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. in the Mill Avenue District of Tempe, and a game ticket can be used in exchange for a half-off ticket to the festivities, cutting the cost to $10 per person.
An online concierge service also will be available for fans in the days leading up to the game, offering suggestions on local sights, night life and cuisine.
And Kansas’ players can expect a week of pampering leading up to their meeting with the Golden Gophers.
In addition to well stocked hospitality rooms and a free taxi service to “hot spots” around Tempe, players can expect to be well taken care of in the food department.
“We don’t do a tremendous amount of activities with the players, like some bowls do,” Fields said. “But one thing we will do is feed them, and feed them well. They’ll have three different dinner events where they’ll go to a nice steak house off-property, and then two other (similar) events on-property where we’ll feed the heck out of them.”
Of the player gift baskets that have become the norm during bowl season, meanwhile, Fields said only, “We will certainly hit the NCAA maximum of $500 per player.”