The Grand Canyon is only one of Arizona’s many natural wonders. All are amazing treasures for the people of Arizona and the world. Why do people visit Arizona? Arizona’s climate is just one of the things that attracts people to the state. Arizona’s major attraction is the Grand Canyon, in the northern part of the state. In fact, Arizona is known as the Grand Canyon State. The Grand Canyon alone draws several million visitors from around the world each year, making tourism a leading source of income for the state. Arizona has lakes and rivers that provide recreation for swimmers, boaters, and fishermen. It is surprising to learn that there are more pleasure boats per person in Arizona than in any other state. In the winter, Arizona residents and visitors alike enjoy snow skiing in the mountains or sunbathing in the valleys. Many visitors come to enjoy the state’s beauty and natural wonders. Professional and college sports bring thousands of people into Arizona at different times of the year. Large crowds annually gather in the downtown streets of Phoenix to watch the Fiesta Bowl Parade. The University of Arizona’s basketball team is nationally ranked almost every year. NASCAR racing, the Phoenix Suns, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Phoenix Coyotes all bring visitors to Arizona. Each spring twelve major league baseball teams train in Arizona. Thousands of fans come to eight Arizona cities to watch spring training. The 2001 World Series saw visitors from around the world come to Chase Field in Phoenix. All of Arizona celebrated when the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees in an emotional post-9/11 World Series. The Arizona Diamondbacks were world champions. Arizona has progressed a long way from its pioneer days. The people who live in Arizona today are trying to keep the best of the past while preparing for a wonderful and exciting future. The Arizona Cardinals football stadium in Glendale, Arizona is used for football games, concerts, and other community events. Chapter 1 • Arizona Today  11