Thursday, January 2, 2003

Arizona legislators offered free Fiesta Bowl tickets

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona's top politicians have been offered free tickets to the Fiesta Bowl, though many of them are turning down the chance to see college football's championship game.

Friday's game was sold out months before it was determined which teams would play. But the Fiesta Bowl committee set aside more than 200 tickets to hand out to statewide elected officials, as well as current and incoming lawmakers.

"I don't think they are buying any favors. But it just doesn't look good," said incoming Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Mesa.

Many other lawmakers aren't taking the tickets because they're concerned they would receive an unfair perk when many fans from Ohio State and Miami can't afford to pay, the East Valley Tribune reported.

Gov.-elect Janet Napolitano was among a few who accepted the tickets, but she paid the face value at $150 apiece.

Neither Fiesta Bowl executive director John Junker nor Phoenix lobbyist Kevin Demenna, who coordinated the free tickets, could be reached for comment. But state officials said the Fiesta Bowl makes the same offer every year to build goodwill and to educate politicians.

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Arizona legislators offered free Fiesta Bowl tickets
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