About University of Phoenix Stadium
Designed by New York architect Peter Eisenman in partnership with HOK Sports and Hunt Construction Group, University of Phoenix Stadium is a prime example of sophisticated engineering, technology, and design.
Home to the Arizona Cardinals Football Club (NFL), the annual Fiesta Bowl, and numerous other sports and entertainment events and activities, University of Phoenix Stadium has garnered notable recognition in its brief history including being named 'Event Site of the Year' by Event Solutions Magazine in 2007, Best NFL Facility by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily in 2006 and 2007, NFL's best playing surface in 2008 and Best New Venue of the 2000s by SportsIllustrated.com.
Delivering a world-class experience for fans, event organizers and participants, the stadium's innovative approach to sports facility design incorporates the first retractable natural grass playing surface in North America and the first completely retractable roof operating at an incline. The stadium's exterior skin of shimmering metal panels reflects the shifting desert light while 21 vertical glass-walled slots incorporated into the building exterior offer fans inside the stadium outstanding views of the desert horizon.
Opening in 2006, the stadium offers outstanding, unobstructed views for 63,400 fans with the ability to expand to 73,000 for mega-events. The stadium has hosted two Super Bowls (NFL), two National College Football Championship games, and in April the stadium will be welcoming the 2017 NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship. Encompassing over 1.7 million square feet of space, University of Phoenix Stadium has numerous premium seating and space options including 88 lofts and 7,505 club seats.
University of Phoenix Stadium is owned by the Arizona Sports & Tourism Authority (AZSTA) and operated by SMG.
Retractable Playing Field
The roll-out natural grass playing field is contained in a single 40 inch deep tray measuring 234 feet wide and 403 feet long. Rolling on 546 steel wheels which rest on 13 railroad-like tracks the field travels the 740 feet inside or out of the stadium in approximately 70 minutes at the push of a button.
Designed to have the feel and playability of a traditional grass playing surface, the field allows sporting events to be played on natural grass (Tifway 419) indoors while providing unrestricted access to the stadium floor for events and staging and getting the maximum amount of sunshine and nourishment when parked outside in the desert sun.
University of Phoenix Stadium presented designers with a mix of challenges requiring a blend of mechanical, electronic and controls solutions. Of these, controlling the retractable roof which operates at an incline was one of the most difficult. To solve this, designers created a 480-horsepower system to move the two roof panels and maintain control of the structure while in motion. Made of translucent Bird-Air fabric and moving on steel rails, the system incorporates the use of eight cable drums or winches that move each panel. Each cable drum is powered by four 7.5-horsepower motors that wind up a one-and-a-half-inch diameter cable.