Learn Tips, Tricks At The Arizona Boat Show

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Moving the finish line of the Phoenix New Times 10K from Margaret Hance Deck Park into Bank One Ballpark was an excellent decision by event organizers.


The shift of locations provided the more than 15,000 ground-pounders who participated in November's run the rare chance to finish inside BOB while triumphantly watching themselves on the park's Jumbotron screen.


It also provided the thrilling opportunity to actually roam the playing surface after watching so many of the Arizona Diamondback games from the cheap seats where nose bleeds can be common occurrences.


Ripping a page from the 10K planning book, the Arizona National Boat Show organizers have opted to hold their Jan. 7 to 9, 2000 event for the first time in Bank One Ballpark.


Previously the boat show was held in Phoenix Civic Plaza which is an upscale facility but pales in comparison to the uniqueness and majesty of BOB.


Hosting a boat show in a baseball park was a challenge for organizers, but they say they've laid out a blueprint that should make the exposition exciting and consumer friendly.


The larger houseboats and yachts will be positioned near the main entrance to the park and on the playing field.


Other smaller boats, jet skis, water toys and wave runners will be on display in the concourse areas that surround the playing field.


Vendors are expected to bring more than 500 watercraft in BOB, but the vastness of the park will allow boating enthusiasts plenty of elbow room.


A real head turner at the show will be the nation's largest fishing tank -- about 20,000 gallons -- located behind home plate and stocked with good-sized large and small-mouths.


With plenty of prime baseball seats nearby -- the kind most can't afford during the pro season -- showgoers can comfortably settle into an upclose place to watch national-class bass pros show their wares.


It'll also be an ideal opportunity to pick up some hot fishing tips for that next trip to Roosevelt.

Most anyone who has visited BOB for Diamondbacks games has spent at least a few minutes gazing at the swimming pool in right centerfield. Like the attention it draws at Diamondback games, the pool will be a focal point for spectators during the boat show --it's slated to be used for scuba diving demonstrations.


Scattered about the park will be fishing clinics put on by pro angers, prize giveaways, casting ponds and exhibitor booths.


Whatever you're searching for --watercraft, fishing poles, lures, ski equipment or just sound advice -- it's there.


When the Arizona Outdoor News was written and published in Payson years ago, local editors and reporters of the magazine quickly learned the boat show was the premier consumer event in the state. About the only downside of the new show is that it will run only three days rather than five as it has done in past years. Organizers say the sky-high cost of renting BOB prohibited bankrolling the usual five days.


Don't want to go?

Okay, so you're not interested in boating or fishing and only are being coerced to go along by your significant other.


Before balking, consider the event represents several golden opportunities not usually found in the Rim country.


First, you'll be allowed to roam somewhat free inside one of the most awe-inspiring stadium architectures in existence. It's a building, but designers have rendered it more wide open than John Rocker's mouth.


Second, if you're there when the roof is opened or retracted, it's a spectacle you won't want to miss.


Third, BOB is known statewide as premier territory for people watching -- almost assuredly you'll catch a glimpse of some sights not seen before on Main Street.


And finally, if you find yourself a tad thirsty or hungry during your wanderings, BOB concessions feature a variety of concoctions and libations which will delight the palates of most every connoisseur.

Specifics

Tickets are $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors and free for children 12-years-and-under. The tickets may be purchased at the ballpark on the day of the show or by calling Dillards, ticket offices (480) 503-5555.


On Jan. 7, the show will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Other times: Jan 8 -- 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Jan. 9 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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