The Arizona Cardinals play in one of the more modern and chic football facilities in the country. University of Phoenix Stadium is physically located in Glendale, Arizona and has played host to several Super Bowl and College Football championship games. It is truly a world-class facility that has almost everything to offer. Naturally, the stadium has a closed roof to accommodate being located in the desert, but can easily be opened during the pleasant fall and winter months. In addition, the stadium has the unique distinction of being one of the few in the world that grows its grass offsite in an environmentally controlled location, and then rolls it into the stadium for each game. This affords near perfect grass for every game. Stadium technicians from around the world have travelled to Arizona in recent years to study this one design feature alone.
Opening in August of 2006, University of Phoenix stadium will be celebrating its 10th anniversary next year. In addition to being the most modern facility in all of Arizona, it gets high marks throughout the NFL as well for being one of the tops, if not the top, in the league. The cost of the stadium itself to build topped $450 million, and it seats 63,400 fans during the regular season, for which every game since its opening has been sold out. The stadium itself can be expanded during the playoffs to accommodate over 72,000 fans.
Graphic via couplarchideas
From an atmosphere perspective, the stadium has incredible sight lines, both from the inside and the outside. The Cardinals have their own fan zone, dubbed the ‘RedZone’, and that is located in the south end zone. Those stands are actually removed when the game is not being played in order to allow sunlight to enter in during the week. The fan concourses are easy to navigate and get around in. There is plenty of space between the area where fans sit and the concession stands and restrooms. This is a far cry from many older stadiums where fans often bottleneck to get to either of those two places. At University of Phoenix Stadium, the lanes for fan movement are wide and easily accessible.
The area around University of Phoenix Stadium might actually rather barren. This is not only because it is built in the desert, but the facility itself is actually built outside of Phoenix, and located in the West part of the Valley. There are many older homes built around, but the area now is booming with hotels and entertainment venues. One could say that the area is literally built around football, and they would not be far off the mark. The stadium also benefits from being located off a major freeway in the Phoenix area, so it is easily accessible from anywhere in the greater metropolitan region. This has made it a popular attraction for regional and national events, as evidenced by the Super Bowl and NCAA being regular visitors. The Final Four is actually slated to make an appearance in a few years as well.
In short, University of Phoenix provides NFL fans with a great experience. The tickets prices and food and beverage costs are among the highest in league, however, so that should be factored in. In the end, games are sold out on a continual basis, so the atmosphere on any given game day really is exciting to behold. Granted, the Cardinals are a transplanted team, and so are the fans, but the fanbase is growing year after year, creating an electric environment. If your team is playing there this year, you should definitely plan on grabbing a ticket and going.
Graphic via couplarchideas