Mar 26, 2024 - News

A Charles Barkley blimp is coming to Phoenix for the Final Four

A blimp with Charles Barkley on it.

Photo: Courtesy of Capital One

It's a bird! It's a plane! Wait — it's a 128-foot-long Charles Barkley blimp!

The (really) big picture: The Capital One-sponsored "Chuck Blimp" — roughly the size of 20 Charles Barkleys stacked head to toe — will arrive in Phoenix next week for the Final Four.

  • It's part of event sponsor Capital One's latest TV ad campaign, which features the legendary Phoenix Suns player turned sports analyst.

What they're saying: "I hope you bought enough helium," Barkley said after Capital One revealed their plans to him.

1 funny thing: In 2018, Barkley joked during a pregame broadcast on TNT about wanting to own a blimp . His co-host Ernie Johnson told him to "look in a mirror."

  • When Johnson saw the Barkley blimp over the weekend, he roasted him once more, telling viewers that Barkley's head on the blimp is to scale.

State of play: The blimp made its debut over the weekend in Memphis for the first round of the March Madness tournament. It will travel to Dallas this week for the South regional Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games before arriving in the Valley.

Zoom in: Phoenix residents can catch a glimpse of the blimp — also known as "Soar Charles," "Charles Flightly," "The Up Chuck," "Air Chuck One" and "The Ugly Chuckling" — at the following locations:

  • Phoenix Convention Center during Fan Fest on April 5.
  • State Farm Stadium on April 6 for the Final Four games and April 8 for the championship.
  • Margaret T. Hance Park for Capital One JamFest on April 7.
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