EDUCATION AND SPORTS OF ARIZONA

University of Phoenix located in Phoenix, AZ
University of Arizona located in Tucson, AZ
Arizona State University located in Tempe, AZ

Elementary and secondary education
Public schools in Arizona are separated into about 220 local school districts which operate independently, but are governed in most cases by elected county school superintendents; these are in turn overseen by the Arizona State Board of Education (a division of the Arizona Department of Education) and the state Superintendent of Public Instruction (elected in partisan elections every even-numbered year when there is not a presidential election, for a four-year term). In 2005, a School District Redistricting Commission was established with the goal of combining and consolidating many of these districts.

Higher education
Arizona is served by three public universities: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University. These schools are governed by the Arizona Board of Regents.

Private higher education in Arizona is dominated by a large number of for-profit and "chain" (multi-site) universities. Only one traditional (single-site, non-profit, four-year) private college exists in Arizona (Prescott College). Arizona has a wide network of two-year vocational and community colleges. These colleges were governed historically by a separate statewide Board of Directors but, in 2002, the state legislature transferred almost all oversight authority to individual community college districts. The Maricopa County Community College District includes 11 community colleges throughout Maricopa County and is one of the largest in the nation.

Public universities in Arizona
• Arizona State University, (Sun Devils) Tempe/Phoenix/Mesa
• Northern Arizona University, (Lumberjacks) Flagstaff/Yuma
• University of Arizona, (Wildcats) Tucson/Sierra Vista and UA Agricultural Center in Yuma FBR Open, more commonly known as the Phoenix Open.

With three state universities and several community colleges, college sports are also prevalent in Arizona. The intense rivalry between Arizona State University and the University of Arizona predates Arizona's statehood, and is the oldest rivalry in the NCAA.[40] The thus aptly named Territorial Cup, first awarded in 1889 and certified as the oldest trophy in college football,[41] is awarded to the winner of the “Duel in the Desert,” the annual football game between the two schools. Arizona also hosts several bowl games in the Bowl Championship Series. The Fiesta Bowl, originally held at Sun Devil Stadium, will now be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The University of Phoenix Stadium was also home to the 2007 BCS National Championship Game and hosted Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008. The Insight Bowl is also held at Sun Devil Stadium.

Besides being home to spring training, Arizona is also home to two other baseball leagues, Arizona Fall League and Arizona Winter League. The Fall League was founded in 1992 and is a minor league baseball league designed for players to refine their skills and perform in game settings in front of major and minor league baseball scouts and team executives, who are in attendance at almost every game. The league got exposure when Michael Jordan started his time in baseball with the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Arizona Winter League, founded in 2007, is a professional baseball league of four teams for the independent Golden Baseball League. The games are played in Yuma at the Desert Sun Stadium, but added two new teams in the California desert, and one more in Sonora for the 2008 season.

• Note: The Arizona Heat is currently suspended from the NPF, with a possible return for the 2009 season.

Spring training
Arizona is a popular location for Major League Baseball spring training, as it is the site of the Cactus League. The only other location for spring training is in Florida with the Grapefruit League. The Los Angeles Dodgers will have a new spring training facility in Glendale in 2009, which makes them the 14th team in Arizona. Spring training has been somewhat of a tradition in Arizona since 1947 (i.e. the Cleveland Indians in Tucson until 1991, and the San Diego Padres in Yuma until 1992) despite the fact that the state did not have its own major league team until the state was awarded the Diamondbacks in Phoenix as an expansion team. The state hosts the following teams:

• Arizona Diamondbacks in Tucson Electric Park, but also held games and practiced in Casa Grande.

• Chicago Cubs in HoHoKam Park of Mesa.
• Chicago White Sox in Glendale Stadium.
• Cleveland Indians in Goodyear Ballpark.
• Colorado Rockies in Hi Corbett Field of Tucson.
• Kansas City Royals in Surprise Stadium, but also in Sun Cities Park near Youngtown.
• Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Tempe Diablo Stadium
• Los Angeles Dodgers in Glendale Stadium
• Milwaukee Brewers in Maryvale Baseball Park of Phoenix.
• Oakland Athletics in Phoenix Municipal Stadium, but also in Indian School Park in Scottsdale.
• San Diego Padres in Peoria Sports Complex.
• San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale Stadium, but also in Papago Park of Phoenix.
• Seattle Mariners in Peoria Sports Complex, but also in Chandler.
• Texas Rangers in Surprise Stadium.

Luciano Mende

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