Fiesta Bowl, hot air balloon fest joins Rugby Bowl on April 23

Rugby Bowl 1

One of the largest rugby events in the United States is returning to Scottsdale Stadium for the second year in an all-new format.

Presented by Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale, The Fiesta Bowl Rugby & Balloon Classic will hit the fields on Saturday, April 23.

For the first time in the event’s history, the organization behind one of college football’s most storied bowl games, The Fiesta Bowl, is partnering with event, previously known as The Rugby Bowl.

“The Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale Fiesta Bowl Rugby & Balloon Classic is not only an event featuring some of the best collegiate rugby players in country, but it also brings thousands of people to downtown Scottsdale for a unique rugby event,” said Gary Lane, head coach of the nationally ranked Arizona State University Sun Devils.

For the event’s third year, the Fiesta Bowl Rugby & Balloon Classic will offer fans top-flight rugby competition. For the first time in the event’s history, a country’s national rugby team will be competing.

In the featured match, the Arizona State University Men’s Rugby Team will face the Mexican National Rugby Union Team. The team was on the cusp of qualifying for the 20-team Rugby World Cup in 2011 and 2015.

“We are excited to travel to Arizona and show off our skills in what will be a great match,” said Heriberto Lachica, head coach of the Mexican National Rugby Union Team. “We have many fans in the states and to play at Scottsdale Stadium is going to an incredible night.”

Earlier in the day, the Arizona High School Rugby Championships will take place. The high school championships will pit four of Arizona’s best high school rugby programs against one another.

After the ASU-Mexico showdown, a unique element will emerge at Scottsdale Stadium, spring training home of the San Francisco Giants. The Fiesta Bowl Rugby & Balloon Classic will feature a hot air balloon glow, incorporating some of the worlds most uniquely-designed and popular hot air balloons.

On the heels of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” two of the hot air balloons featured will be Darth Vader and Yoda.

The balloons have traveled across the world, and have been featured at hot air balloon festivals in Russia, Taiwan, Germany, and The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the world’s largest hot air balloon festival. This will be their first visit to Arizona.

Tickets for the Fiesta Bowl Rugby & Balloon Classic are now on sale and can be purchased at

Those interested in corporate sponsorships, suites or to reserve sections or blocks of tickets should contact

This is the event’s third year. Besides Arizona State University, participating teams have included three-time defending collegiate champions Brigham Young University, USC, Ohio State, and Grand Canyon University.

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