March Madness: 14 sports bars locals love in Phoenix & Tucson

March Madness: 14 Sports Bars Locals Love In Phoenix & Tucson

(Photo courtesy of Santisi Brothers)

By Trinity Murchie

March 19, 2024

If you hear squeaks and cheers, have no fear, March Madness is here! Started in 1939, it has since become an anticipated time of year for sports enthusiasts everywhere.

This year, the NCAA men’s tournament runs from Tuesday, March 19 through Monday, April 8. During this window, we will get to watch the college teams of America compete in single-elimination tournaments until one team is titled the National Championship Winner! 

If you live anywhere near Tucson or Phoenix, there are places plenty where you can go to enjoy the games on a large screen with flavorful food, luscious libations, and a crowd to commiserate and cheer with. Whether this season sees a new GOAT or a Cinderella story, it is bound to be a slam dunk (cringey, I know).

Here are 14 locally loved sports bars where you can enjoy the game with some camaraderie.


Phoenix


Longshots Bar and Grill

With plenty of screens to watch the game, it is the food that makes this pick a win. Locals rave about the freshness of any meal and there has been ample mention of the wings, which are less fatty than typical bar food. This location is also family-friendly, so you can all partake in the madness together!


Santisi Brothers 

Looking for a wall full of screens to watch the games? How about two walls of screens? Look no further! Santisi Brothers is your spot.

While I could tell you all about their pizza or mouth-watering ribs, they know what sports fans are looking for and announce it proudly on their webpage: “Come and experience over 100 Tvs including our ‘WIDE WALL OF SPORTS’ featuring over 60 televisions … So if you and your friends or family have a game in mind, we’ll have a television for you.”


Cactus Tavern

Advertised as a dive bar experience, this tavern includes TV screens, affordable drinks, games, and an overall relaxed environment. Traditionally, dive bars host a great deal of locals, but if you are looking for a low-key way to watch the game while keeping the bank in check, this might just be the place for you! 


Final Round

In the college town of Tempe, this is a great place to watch March Madness while enjoying fairly priced food and libations. During happy hour, well drinks go for just $3!  As for food, it’s hard to tell which is better: the wings or the cowboy burger. Both have an avid following. As for sports, the screens are well-placed in the center and therefore easy to view no matter where you choose to sit! Perfect to find a crowd worth watching March Madness with.

March Madness: 14 Sports Bars Locals Love In Phoenix & Tucson

Photo courtesy of Final Round Sports Bar & Grill – Tempe via Facebook


O’Kelley

This bar is located east of Phoenix in Mesa and is known for track betting, poker hands, darts, and delicious quesadillas. Oh, and there are over 50 screens to watch the games on! Just be aware that although this location is great for watching games, it is necessary to check if there is live entertainment scheduled for the night. They will play the game, but you may watch a game while also enjoying live music. It could make for quite the experience! 


K O’Donnels

Sports betting, killer potato skins, and full sports packages. This sports bar located in North Scottsdale is well-rounded and has a lot to offer — including a drool-worthy menu. With several TVs and a full sports package, this family-owned facility is a great stop for a night of March Madness!


Zipps

Self-proclaimed the “The Valley’s Neighborhood Sports Bar,” this family-owned sports bar has 14 locations across the valley and has been around since 1995. It has garnered plenty of attention since then, as it includes HD screens, arcade games, pool tables, and my personal favorite, shuffleboards. According to the locals, they have excellent wings and fries, too. This could be the place to bring the whole family for a little March Madness.

March Madness: 14 Sports Bars Locals Love In Phoenix & Tucson

Photo courtesy of Zipps via Facebook


Tucson


Mulligans

This Irish sports bar is the perfect place to spend March Madness! Not only can you watch the game on one of their several TVs that surround the main room, but you can sip on Irish whiskey or a Kilt Lifter to keep the St. Patrick’s celebration going. The square design makes it easy to interact with those around you, so make wisecracks galore — afterall, the players can’t hear you!

As for the menu, despite the meat-heavy meals that tend to be synonymous with Irish cuisine, this place gets points for being vegetarian friendly; people seem to love the jackfruit tacos.

March Madness: 14 Sports Bars Locals Love In Phoenix & Tucson

Photo courtesy of Mulligans via Facebook


Home Plate Marana

This sports bar has several TV screens and has some of the best stuffed jalapenos around! It is baseball themed but is a great place to watch all the sports, including March Madness. Stop in for March Madness and come back for MLB opening day on March 28.


Growlers Taphouse

This may be the perfect place to watch the game after hiking — it seems many locals go here for a brew and a bite after a day of exploring the ample trails of Tucson. There are multiple screens and Growlers hosts several sporting events each year! There is buzz around the chicken sandwich, and they even offer discounts to military and first responders. Stop in for the game and enjoy some treats for the tastebuds, too.


Playground

This bar caters to a wide variety of people, including those wishing to take in the big game! With ample screens and a location near the heart of downtown, consider this part of your must-stops for March Madness. It is noted for having great energy and delicious banh mi!

March Madness: 14 Sports Bars Locals Love In Phoenix & Tucson

Photo courtesy of Playground Bar & Lounge via Facebook


Neighborhood

Tacos, wings, cold drinks, and sports on TV: What more could you want? This bar, known by the nifty name of Neighborhood, has two locations in Tucson and offers enough simplicity meets variety on the menu to make this a fantastic stop for March Madness. 


Trident Grill

HD TV’s, done-up drinks, and four locations. The Trident Grill makes it easy to find a place to watch the game while enjoying a yummy snack or meal. Bring the family and trust that there will be something for everyone, all while watching the game with many other excited locals!


E River Bar

Have you ever wanted to go to a bar and watch the game while grocery shopping? Yeah, I didn’t know this was a want until I heard of it, too.

At E River Bar, located in a Whole Foods, you can shop, eat, drink, and watch the game all in one fell swoop! This sounds like a great excuse to volunteer to do the grocery shopping as an excuse to watch the game; Get household brownie points while still having fun. It is a win-win. Hopefully your team will also win!

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

 

READ MORE: Forget fancy cocktails—check out these 6 dive bars in Metro Phoenix

Author

  • Trinity Murchie

    Teacher, writer, and traveler, Trinity lives in a small town and enjoys gardening, cooking, and exploring all things bizarre. Catch her at local ruins exploring haunted histories, in quaint towns with creatives, or at the farmers markets hunting for unique ingredients. Wherever you catch her, be sure to say hi; she’ll want to hear your story, too.

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