One of the greatest stadiums in the US can be found in a city just northwest of downtown Phoenix, Arizona.
While this incredible stadium in Arizona certainly isn’t the largest sports temple in the country by capacity, it’s without a doubt one of the most impressive ones.
Not only does it host a popular annual football game but it also served as the venue of several other prestigious sports events and concerts.
In this article, you’ll discover some of the most interesting facts about the State Farm Stadium, one of the most amazing stadiums in the world for many reasons.
1. It’s located just south of a $1 billion entertainment complex in Glendale
State Farm Stadium is a huge multi-purpose stadium that is located in Glendale, Arizona, a city about 9 miles (14 kilometers) northwest of downtown Phoenix.
It’s located right next to the Desert Diamond Arena, an indoor area that is used for basketball games, ice hockey games, and concerts.
Just a bit further you can find the Westgate Entertainment District, one of the largest commercial complexes in the region that has a retail space capacity of up to 8,000,000 square feet (740,000 square meters).
Surrounded by over 14,000 parking spaces, the stadium is by far the largest landmark in this part of the metropolitan area of Phoenix.
2. The stadium has served as the home of the Arizona Cardinals since 2006
The Arizona Cardinals were founded as the Morgan Athletic Club in Chicago in 1898 and have by far the most remarkable history of any football team in the NFL.
It’s the oldest continuously-operating football team in the country and moved from Chicago to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1960. Between that year and 1987, they were known as the St. Louis Cardinals.
They became the Phoenix Cardinals in 1988 and the team was named once again in 1995 to become the Arizona Cardinals.
State Farm Stadium was completed in 2006 and has served as the amazing home venue of the Cardinals ever since.
3. It was constructed to replace Sun Devil Stadium as the Cardinal’s home
When a football team moved to another state, it’s inevitable that it needs to look for a new home. The Cardinals found one at the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.
The Sun Devil Stadium is a large venue with 53,599 seats today, but the Cardinals didn’t plan to stay here for too long.
Unfortunately, the financial situation during the 1990s wasn’t optimal which made building a new stadium simply not possible. They were forced to play their home games there between 1988 and 2006.
The ceremonial first stone of the stadium in Glendale was laid on April 12, 2003, and it was officially completed over 3 years later on August 1, 2006.
4. The stadium was designed by a renowned architectural firm
The design of this amazing stadium was the work of Eisenman Architects and HOK Sport, an architectural firm now known as “Populous.”
This firm can easily be described as the most renowned company specializing in sports stadiums in the world. Their track record of amazing stadiums is proof of this notion.
Some of their most notable projects were Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Oracle Park in San Francisco, and the Tottenham Stadium in London, UK (to name just a few).
5. The area around the stadium was named in honor of the Cardinal’s former home
The stadium is surrounded by a huge area of about 25 acres (10 hectares) and this area is referred to as “Sportsman’s Park.”
This is a reference to the former home ground of the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis with the same name. This was actually a baseball park that the Cardinals used between 1960 and 1965.
This stadium was located on the corner of Grand Boulevard and Dodier Street in the northern part of the city and is now occupied by a Boys and Girls Club.
6. The retractable roof opens at lightning speed because of a special feature
The stadium cost $455 million to build which is the equivalent of well over $610 million today. For this money, the stadium was occupied by a couple of fascinating features.
One of these is the retractable roof, a structure that allows the stadium to be used as an indoor arena for all types of events.
his is far from a unique feature but it was the first in the world that was built on an incline. Because of this, the translucent Birdair fabric roof can open and shut in just 12 minutes which is pretty fast.
7. It’s one of the few stadiums in the world that features a retractable pitch
Very few stadiums in the world have this feature, but State Farm Stadium in Glendale is one of them.
The stadium is equipped with a retractable pitch. This allows the grass to grow in natural conditions and get plenty of sunlight.
Other stadiums in the world that have this feature are the Veltins-Arena (Arena AufSchalke) in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and the GelreDome in Arnhem, Netherlands.
8. State Farm Stadium only got its current name in 2018
The naming rights of this magnificent multi-purpose stadium became a popular commodity as soon as the place was completed and was quickly snagged by the University of Phoenix.
This for-profit education facility signed a contract worth $154.5 million over a period of 20 years in September 2006 which renamed the Cardinals Stadium to the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Because of financial troubles, they had to cancel the deal after 11 years. Shortly after, in 2018, insurance company State Farm acquired the naming rights which they will hold until 2036.
9. The stadium has 63,400 seats but the capacity can be increased significantly
Based on the capacity of 63,400 permanent seats, State Farm Stadium is not even one of the top 60 biggest stadiums in the United States.
The benefit of the stadium is that the capacity can be expanded to 72,200 seats by adding some temporary foldable seats in various places.
With the addition of standing places, the capacity could theoretically be increased to up to 78,600.
10. It has hosted many famous events and will continue to do so in the future
The stadium is famously known for hosting the annual Fiesta Bowl, a popular American college football game.
It has also hosted two versions of the Super Bowl in 2015 and 2018 and will do so once again in 2023.
Soccer games, Wrestlemania, college football and basketball games, and concerts are other popular events that are held in this amazing stadium in Arizona.