Tipping Off in the Southwest

The NBA’s Phoenix Suns play home games at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix. The venue is within walking distance of the city’s convention center. Photo courtesy of Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

By Karen Robes Meeks

While much of America experiences the chill of winter, the Southwest basks in the sun. It’s a distinct advantage for organizers looking to plan their sporting events without unpredictable weather distractions. “We have great weather all year long. It’s one of our biggest strengths,” said Ed Carnathan, sports sales manager for the Las Cruces (New Mexico) Convention & Visitors Bureau. “In December and January, when other destinations are in two feet of snow, I’m out golfing on a Saturday.”

The Southwest encompasses roughly 11 million people, a variety of cultures and cuisines, and a geographic landscape that takes in the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, many national forests and the Colorado Plateau. And unlike destinations on the neighboring West Coast, the Southwest is far less expensive, making it an attractive and affordable option for sporting events.

To read the rest of this story in the digital edition of SportsTravel, please click here.