Travel Tips for KC Football Fans Heading to Phoenix

The travel experience will come at a premium cost for those wanting to be there in person for the biggest game of the season

WICHITA, Kan. – Jan. 30, 2023 – Kansas City’s and the region’s favorite red and gold clad football team is headed back to the big game, and fans are ready to cheer them on to one more win. While many will head to a local sports bar to take in the game or plan a watch party at home, others will make the trek to Glendale, Arizona, in the Phoenix area, for the in-person experience on February 12.
AAA Kansas offers the following guidance on travel costs and considerations:
Game Tickets:
If you plan to be there in person for the big game, prepare to pay a premium cost – likely thousands of dollars per seat – for tickets on the secondary market. AAA Members can search for discounted tickets with AAA Tickets to witness high-demand games in-person. AAA Members enter their valid 16-digit membership number at checkout to receive their discount.
The largest airport near State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). The sooner you can book, the better as last-minute air travel can be much more expensive. Be advised that in looking for airfare and hotel prices, you may see offers that are scams. A trusted travel agent/advisor can help you search for the best travel itinerary to fit your plans and budget.Flight availability and pricing is likely to vary rapidly based on demand, but flights out of Wichita’s Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT) to Phoenix, leaving February 10th and returning the 13th, were available as of Sunday night in limited quantities for a little over $400 on a discount airline to a range of $650-$930/person and up on other carriers. Departures from Kansas City International Airport (MCI) for the same time frame ranged from about $360 to $700/person. Availability will become more limited and prices are likely to rise as game day approaches.

Football fans may find it tough to get hotel rooms for the game. There will be a lot of people heading to the Phoenix/Glendale area just to have a fun fan experience but not to go to the game. AAA advises travelers, especially those who are booking on their own and those who go the Airbnb route to call the hotel or homeowner personally to make sure you have an actual reservation. Very few hotel rooms in the Phoenix metro area are available for less than $300/night before taxes, with most being much more expensive.
Rental Cars:
Rental cars will be in tight supply in the Phoenix area so should be booked sooner rather than later to get what you want. Car rental costs are currently ranging from $90-$130 a day.
Road Trip:
There are more than 1,000 miles between Wichita and Phoenix, and it’s about 1,200 miles from Overland Park, making for a 16- to 19-hour drive to the Valley of the Sun.
Gas costs for the drive will depend on your vehicle’s tank capacity and fuel efficiency. The average Kansas gas price is currently sixth cheapest in the nation at $3.20/gallon, while New Mexico ($3.37) and Arizona ($3.55) are more expensive. The average gas price in the Phoenix metro area is about $3.60.
If you’re up for the long football fanatic road trip, make sure your vehicle is too. AAA recommends the following tips to get your car road trip ready:
  • Windshield Wiper Blades – Worn, cracked or rigid windshield wiper blades will not adequately remove rain, grime and other debris that can obscure driver vision. If the wiper blades are sufficiently deteriorated, the metal wiper blade frame could contact and damage the windshield.
  • Tire Pressure – Check and adjust tire pressure, including the spare. Always inflate tires to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended settings located on the driver’s door jamb or in the vehicle owner’s manual – not the maximum pressure molded on the side of the tire.
  • Tire Tread – Check the tread depth by inserting a quarter upside down into a tire groove with Washington’s head facing outward. The tread should cover part of Washington’s head. If any of the area above Washington’s head is visible, it’s time to start shopping for new tires.
  • Battery – Have your battery checked, especially if it is over three years old. Winter’s cold breaks down the battery internally and accelerates the rate of corrosion on battery terminals.
  • Winter Vehicle Emergency Kit – When driving long distances in winter weather conditions, pack an emergency kit before heading out. Include deicer, shovel, ice scraper, sand or kitty litter (for traction), a blanket, extra gloves and hat, non-perishable snacks and water, and have a backup power source for your cell phone, if you need to call for help.
Additional travel savvy tips from AAA:
  • Work with a travel advisor – Given the staffing challenges that continue to disrupt air travel, flight delays or cancellations are not uncommon. A trusted advisor can help you explore options, book the best deals and advocate on your behalf should any issues arise, ensuring the best possible travel experience from beginning to end.
  • Book early – Flights, hotels, car rentals will be at a premium. The earlier you book the better to lock in favorable rates and take advantage of discounts for pre-paying.
  • Protect your investment – Consider travel insurance. A solid policy provides a safety net should something unexpected happen ahead of or during your trip. Policies vary. Talk to your travel advisor about options. They know you, your trip, your budget and your specific needs and can easily walk you through what travel insurance policy makes the most sense.
  • Protect your ID – In addition to protecting physical documents such as your passport, travelers should take extra steps to avoid identity theft, an inconvenience at any time but especially when traveling. AAA members get FREE ProtectMYID® identify theft protection, fueled by Experian, with their membership, and it is one of our most valued offerings.
  • Track your luggage – Pack peace of mind by including a tracking device in your luggage. That way, if your luggage does not arrive when you do, at least you will be able to see where it is and ensure its safe return. Trackers such as the Chipolo are available in any AAA Retail location or online at
Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

Latest News

Stay Connected


🎙 95.5 KNDY

🎙 1570/94.1 KNDY


🎙 Z-96.3 THE LAKE

🎙 1530/102.5/106.7 KQNK


- Advertisement -