Alaska Fighting Championship pits some of the state’s toughest combatants against each other in cards packed with intense mixed-martial-arts matches. Season after season, AFC sets the stage for homegrown fighters to showcase their skills. From lightweight to super heavyweight, AFC events feature bruisers of all makes and models, each vying to climb the ranks and become a champion in the weight class. All AFC matches unfold at George M. Sullivan Sports Arena, where fans can sit close enough to the action to hear punches land and feed the fighters handfuls of candy between rounds.
The longest-running regular-season college basketball tournament in the country, the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout invites eight men's and four women's teams from across the country for an intense tournament packed into Thanksgiving weekend. In the 34th edition of the men's field, the Seawolves host such formidable foes as Murray State, who dribbled and dunked their way into last year's NCAA tournament, as well as New Mexico State and Southern Mississippi. Gents battle to climb the brackets in four days of play so fast-paced that games must be announced by professional auctioneers.
Having adopted the nickname of Alaskan aviation innovator Bob Reeve, the Anchorage Glacier Pilots have had the state's history in their lifeblood since they first took the field in 1969. Over the years, the Pilots' rising collegiate stars have won the National Baseball Congress World Series—held in Wichita, Kansas—five times. Each game, up to 5,300 baseball fans can pack the stands at Mulcahy Stadium, which was built back in 1953 when every American was legally obligated to eat a whole apple pie during the seventh-inning stretch.
Founded as a nonprofit by philanthropist Shana Harris, the Alaska Quake strives to build confidence and character through exhibition and education of basketball. A recent expansion member of the American Basketball Association, the Quake suit up against West Coast competitors that include the Seattle Mountaineers. During games, the athletic young men of the Quake careen over the hardcourt with smooth pick-and-rolls and rim-rattling dunks, powered on by the cheers of the crowd and the energetic moves of the Quake Girls dance team. In addition to their regular-season competitive schedule, team players and coaches also lead youth skills sessions in the offseason, teaching future all-stars the finer points of foul shooting, ball handling, and ref-tickling.
Revel in the power of boxers and their damage-dispensing punches dealt during Thursday Night at the Fights. Boxers hustle in the ring, where pairs of muscle-bound pugilists can settle their scores while remaining in constant flux between underdog and overdog status. With seven fights per night, onlookers can nestle into their seats and roar to a number of matchups approved by numerous world wonders and mythologies. Though not included in this Groupon, fight followers can migrate to Chilkoot Charlie's for postfight parties, including ring-girl contests, video recaps of the game, and the opportunity to toast swollen-face victors.