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Tempe ( ; Oidbaḍ in Pima) is a city in Maricopa Countymarker, Arizonamarker, USAmarker, with a 2008 population of 175,523. The city is named after the Vale of Tempemarker in Greecemarker. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area; it is bordered by Phoenixmarker and Guadalupemarker on the west, Scottsdalemarker on the north, Chandlermarker on the south, and Mesamarker on the east. Tempe is the location of US Airways Group's corporate headquarters, and of Arizona State Universitymarker's oldest and largest campus.


Tempe between 1870 and 1880.
The Hohokam initially lived in this area and built canals to support their agriculture. They abandoned their settlements during the 1400s, with a few individuals and families remaining nearby.

Fort McDowell was established on the upper Salt River in 1865 allowing for new towns to be built further down the Salt River. US military service members and Hispanic workers were hired to grow food and animal feed to supply the fort, and less than a year later, had set up small camps near the river that were the first permanent communities in the Valley after the fall of the Hohokam. (Phoenix was settled shortly afterward, by 1867-68.) The two settlements were 'Hayden's Ferry', named after a ferry service operated by Charles T. Hayden, and 'San Pablo', and were located west and east of Hayden Buttemarker respectively. The ferry became the key river crossing in the area. The Tempe Irrigating Canal Company was soon established to provide water for alfalfa, wheat, barley, oats, and cotton.

Pioneer Darrell Duppa is credited with suggesting Tempe's name, adopted in 1879, after comparing the Salt River valley near a 300-foot-tall butte, to the Vale of Tempemarker near Mount Olympusmarker in Greecemarker.

In 1885, the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature chose Tempe for the site of the Territorial Normal School, which became Arizona Normal School, Arizona State Teachers College, Arizona State College and finally Arizona State Universitymarker.

The Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad, built in 1887, crossed the Salt River at Tempe, linking the town to the nation's growing transportation system. The Tempe Land and Improvement Company was formed to sell lots in the booming town. Tempe became an economic hub for the surrounding agricultural area. The city incorporated in 1894.

The completion of Roosevelt Dammarker in 1911 guaranteed enough water to meet the growing needs of Valley farmers. On his way to dedicate the dam, former President Theodore Roosevelt applauded the accomplishments of the people of central Arizona and predicted that their towns would be prosperous cities in the future. Less than a year later, Arizona was admitted as the 48th state, and the Salt River Valley continued to develop.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, Tempe has expanded not only as a suburb of Phoenix, but also a center of education and commerce in its own right.


Hayden Ferry Lakeside development on the north end of Downtown Tempe.
Tempe is the headquarters and executive office of two Fortune 500 companies US Airways (formerly America West Airlines) and Insight Enterprises. Limelight Networks, LifeLock, First Solar, Fulton Homes and Mobile Mini are also headquartered in Tempe. Coldstone Creamery was originally headquartered in Tempe and location #0001 is still in operation today at 3330 S McClintock Drive in Tempe, Arizona. Tempe is also home to the largest campus of Arizona State Universitymarker. It was the longtime host of the Fiesta Bowl, although the BCS game moved to University of Phoenix Stadiummarker, located in Glendalemarker, in 2007. Tempe now hosts the Insight Bowl. Edward Jones Investments has a regional headquarters in Tempe.

Tempe houses several great performance venues including Gammage Auditoriummarker and the Tempe Center for the Artsmarker.

On New Year's Eve, the city hosts the Insight Fiesta Bowl Block Party, one of the nation's largest New Year's Eve parties. The event typically has a national band heading a concert, along with several other local and national bands. Gammage Auditoriummarker was also the site of one of the three Presidential debates in 2004, and Super Bowl XXX was played at Sun Devil Stadiummarker. Additionally, Tempe is the spring training host city of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

One of Arizona's largest shopping malls, Arizona Millsmarker, sits near the border with the town of Guadalupemarker. The city also serves as the first Arizona IKEA branch location, also near the southern boundary. Tempe Marketplacemarker a large open air mall featuring live music and water and laser shows is located just north of Tempe Town Lakemarker.

Mill Avenue, located just west of Hayden Butte, is a shopping and entertainment area in the city popular with pedestrians and students. With the completion of Tempe Town Lake, commercial and high-rise development along the reservoir quickly transformed the cityscape of Mill Avenue and the skyline of downtown Tempe.


Tempe is served by multiple school districts.

Most of Tempe is within the Tempe Elementary School District and the Tempe Union High School District; however, other portions are served by the Kyrene School District (K-8), Scottsdale Unified School District (K-12), and Mesa Public Schools (K-12).

Tempe also contains one of the state's three major universities, Arizona State Universitymarker, as well as the Maricopa County Community College District administrative offices.

Tempe is also home to the University of Advancing Technologymarker, a school that offers degrees in Game Art and Animation, Game Programming, Game Design, and assorted other degrees.


Downtown Tempe from Hayden Butte.
As of the 2006 census estimate, there were 169,712 people, 63,602 households, and 33,645 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,959.4 people per square mile (1,528.8/km²). There were 67,068 housing units at an average density of 1,674.1/sq mi (646.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.51% White, 3.66% Black or African American, 2.01% Native American, 4.75% Asian, 0.29% Pacific Islander, 8.49% from other races, and 3.30% from two or more races. 17.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 63,602 households out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.4% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.1% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 21.3% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 106.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,361, and the median income for a family was $55,237. Males had a median income of $36,406 versus $28,605 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,406. About 7.5% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.6% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over. The reason for the high population poverty line is because there is a very large number of university students who live in Tempe, and this does not reflect the overall income of the area.


Within Tempe are the Tempe Buttesmarker. The Salt River runs west through the northern part of Tempe; part of the river is dammed in two places to create Tempe Town Lakemarker.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the landlocked city has a total area of 40.2 square miles (104.1 km²). The city of Tempe is bordered by Mesamarker to the east, Scottsdalemarker to the north, Phoenixmarker and Guadalupemarker to the west, and Chandlermarker to the south. 40.1 square miles (103.8 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it is water. The total area is 0.32% water including Tempe Town Lakemarker.

Tempe is generally flat, except for Hayden Butte (generally known as A-Mountain for Arizona State University's "A" logo located on its south face), located next to Sun Devil Stadiummarker, Twin Buttes and Bell Butte on the western edge of Tempe, and Papago Parkmarker northwest of Tempe, inside Phoenix. Elevation ranges from at Tempe Town Lakemarker to atop Hayden Butte.


Sun Devil Stadium
There are currently no major league professional sports teams in Tempe. However, from 1987 to 2006, Sun Devil Stadiummarker hosted the Arizona Cardinals. They have since moved to the University of Phoenix Stadiummarker in Glendalemarker. Many residents follow the teams in nearby Phoenixmarker and Glendale. (For more information, read the sports section on the Phoenix pagemarker)

The Arizona State Universitymarker Sun Devils compete in football, basketball, baseball, as well as a number of other sports in the Pac-10 Conference of the NCAA. The Sun Devils football team plays their games at Sun Devil Stadium, which had hosted the annual Fiesta Bowl, until the 2007 game moved to the new University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Their nearest rival is the University of Arizonamarker Wildcats, in Tucsonmarker. The two teams compete in the "Duel in the Desert" for control of the Territorial Cup.

The city also hosts the Insight Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium (since 2006).


Tempe is the most densely-populated city in the state and serves as a crossroads for the area's largest communities.

Freeways make up the major transportation system for the Valley. Included in the system surrounding Tempe are Interstate 10 near the western edge as it traverses the Broadway Curve, Loop 202 crossing the northern side, Loop 101 following the eastern border, and U.S. Route 60 running east-west through the geographic center of the city.

Valley Metro operates bus routes and the METRO Light rail system that serves Downtown Tempe and Arizona State Universitymarker, providing service to Phoenixmarker and Mesamarker. The City of Tempe operates a free neighborhood circulator service called Orbit involving five free shuttle routes near Arizona State Universitymarker that operate on a regular basis seven days a week. Three other FLASH (Free Local Area SHuttle) circulate in northern Tempe around the University. Tempe residents and commuters make extensive use of public transit and service is offered on a more frequent basis than elsewhere in the state.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airportmarker, located northwest of Tempe, provides extensive air service to points throughout North America and to Londonmarker, Englandmarker, and various cities in Hawaiimarker.


  • Current Mayor: Hugh Hallman
  • Current Vice Mayor: Shana Ellis
  • Current City Manager: Charles Meyer
  • Current Chief of Police: Tom Ryff
  • Current Fire Chief: Cliff Jones

  • Current City Attorney: Andrew Ching
  • Current City Council Members: Ben Arredondo, Mark Mitchell, Joel Navarro, Onnie Shekerjian and Corey Woods

The city has had 27 mayors since 1894.

  • 1894-1896: Fenn J. Hart
  • 1896-1897: E.A. Murphy
  • 1897-1902: John Knight
  • 1902-1903: Samuel Brown
  • 1903-1912: J.A. Dins
  • 1912-1914: Joseph T. Birchner
  • 1914-1916: George M. Frizzell
  • 1916-1920: J.A. Dins
  • 1920-1922: C.M. Woodward
  • 1922-1924: Curt W. Miller

  • 1924-1926: Garfield A. Goodwin
  • 1926-1928: J.L. Felton
  • 1928-1930: Hugh E. Laird
  • 1930-1932: Thanks Anderson
  • 1932-1934: F.E. Ostrander
  • 1934-1937: Thanks Anderson
  • 1937-1948: W.W. Cole
  • 1948-1960: Hugh E. Laird
  • 1960-1961: Clyde Gililland
  • 1961-1962: Ross R. Rice

  • 1962-1963: Bernard R. Caine
  • 1963-1964: Harold Andrews
  • 1964-1966: John C. Moeur
  • 1966-1968: Rudy E. Campbell
  • 1968-1970: Elmer Bradley
  • 1970-1974: Dale R. Shumway
  • 1974-1978: William J. LoPiano
  • 1978-1994: Harry Mitchell
  • 1994-2004: Neil Giuliano
  • 2004-Present: Hugh Hallman

Sister cities

Beaulieu-sur-Mermarker, Francemarker
Carlowmarker, Carlowmarker, Republic of Irelandmarker
Lower Huttmarker, New Zealandmarker
Regensburgmarker, Germanymarker
Skopjemarker, Macedoniamarker
Zhenjiangmarker, People's Republic of Chinamarker
Timbuktumarker, Malimarker
Al-Hillamarker, Babilmarker, Iraqmarker

Tempe has had a Sister City with Skopjemarker, Macedoniamarker, since 1971. The newest sister city is Carlowmarker, Irelandmarker, in 1998. Tempe has been voted "Best Overall Sister City Program" in 1998, 2004 and 2008.Each year, 28 candidates are given the opportunity to travel to one of the sister cities. Candidates undergo a rigorous interview process to travel to one of these countries completely free of charge. The Tempe Sister Cities Corporation is one made up of volunteers, and is one of the few Sister Cities programs in the United States that pays the full travel expenses for the trip.


  1. "[1]."
  2. "[2]."
  3. "[3]."
  4. "[4]."
  5. " Headquarters & Campus Locations." Edward Jones Investments. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  6. Official Tempe Sister Cities Website

External links

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