State Farm Stadium - formerly Cardinals Stadium, and University of Phoenix Stadium - is an American soccer stadium in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, Arizona.
In the late 1990s, the Arizona Cardinals began to desire a new stadium. After several years of discussion, in August 2002, the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority voted to build a new retractable roof stadium in the city of Glendale. It replaces the old Sun Devil Stadium and features not only a retractable roof, but a field that can move off the structure. It is being built on 113,000 square feet of land that is owned by Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority. The total cost of the project is $455 million, including $395.4 million for the stadium, $41.7 million for site preparation and $17.8 million for the field. To finance the construction of the building, the Arizona Cardinals paid $143.2 million, or about 25 percent of the cost, and they also purchased the land for the stadium at a cost of $17.8 million. The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority paid $302.3 million and the city of Glendale paid $9.5 million. Its designers are Peter Eisenman and the firm HOK Sport.
Construction of the University of Phoenix Stadium began on April 12, 2003. Originally it was to be completed for the 2005 NFL season, but the stadium opened on August 12, 2006 when the Arizona Cardinals played a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (21-13 for the Cardinals). The Cardinals played their first regular season game at the stadium when they beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-27 on September 10, 2006. The new stadium features futuristic, modern architecture with 63,400 seats1 for American soccer. The capacity can be increased to 72,2001 for other events. It is not only the home of the Cardinals, but will host the Fiesta Bowl, Super Bowl XLII and the West Regional Finals of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament in 2009. For the first month of its opening, the building was known as Cardinals Stadium. On September 26, 2006, the University of Phoenix purchased the naming rights for $154.5 million for 20 years.
The stadium has many high-tech facilities. It has a retractable roof system consisting of two panels made of a special material called translucent Bird-Air. It is the first roof of its kind built on a slope and weighs several tons. It protects spectators and players during heat waves, which are common in this region where the mercury can reach fifty degrees. The roof is then closed to block the sun’s rays and the powerful air conditioning system is turned on. The stadium also has a removable playing area. Similar to the system used at Schalke’s Veltins Arena in Germany or the Sapporo Dome in Japan, the retractable pitch allows the grass to grow in ideal conditions as it receives sunlight. The playing area, which takes about sixty minutes to extend or retract, is fixed to a floor, which is itself in contact with steel wheels and driven by an electric motor. This system allows the stadium to host many events that would be impossible to organize on a grass surface: basketball games, concerts, trade shows and conventions, etc. The coating that covers the stadium’s facade is of the “chameleon” type and reflects a different color depending on the intensity of the sunlight. A light golden color in the morning that turns to a silvery blue during the day, and for sunset pink, orange and purple tones.
Inside the stadium, there are many recreational facilities and equipment. There are a total of 47 stands (restaurants, stores, boutiques, etc.), 7,400 club seats, 10 elevators and 18 escalators accessible to the public, 77 public restrooms (30 men’s, 35 women’s and 12 family), etc. The stadium interior also has 88 luxury lofts with private parking for tenants, separate entrance, restrooms, TV screens and food service. The stadium is surrounded by a parking lot with a capacity of 14,000 vehicles, plus another 12,000 spaces in the surrounding parking lots. On the periphery of the stadium is a grassy area that can accommodate fans who come to support their team from outside the stadium. This area will be equipped with walking areas, lighting for night matches and various activities such as musicians and cheerleaders.
The stadium’s modernity and design have earned it a place in Business Week magazine’s Top 10 most impressive sports facilities in the world. It is the only American sports facility to be named in this selection.
Latest Update - 17.01.2023