Arizona Stadium

Last updated
Arizona Stadium
Home of the Wildcats
Arizona Stadium Fisheye.jpg
Arizona Stadium in October 2011
USA Arizona location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Arizona Stadium
Location in Arizona
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Arizona Stadium
Location in the United States
Location545 N National Champion Drive
Tucson, Arizona
Coordinates 32°13′44″N110°56′56″W / 32.229°N 110.949°W / 32.229; -110.949 Coordinates: 32°13′44″N110°56′56″W / 32.229°N 110.949°W / 32.229; -110.949
Public transit BSicon TRAM.svg Tucson Sun Link
at 2nd/Cherry
Owner University of Arizona
OperatorUniversity of Arizona
Capacity 50,782 (2019present) [1]
53,646 (2018) [2]
55,675 (20142017) [3]
56,037 (2013) [4]
51,811 (2012) [5]
56,100 (2011)
57,400 (20072010)
56,002 (20002006)
56,500 (1999)
57,803 (19941998)
56,167 (19911993)
56,092 (19891990)
55,197 (1988)
51,955 (19861987)
51,952 (19841985)
55,352 (1983)
57,000 (19751981)
40,000 (19651974)
25,500 (19611964)
26,700 (19531960)
22,671 (19501952)
17,000 (19471949)
11,000 (19381946)
8,000 (19341937)
7,000 (19281933)
Record attendance59,920 (November 23, 1996 vs. Arizona State)
Surface FieldTurf (2013 )
Grass (19282012)
Construction
Broke groundMarch - April 1929
OpenedOctober 12, 1929 [6]
Renovated2013
Expanded1938, 1947, 1950,
1965, 1976, 1988,
1990, 2011–2013
Construction cost$166,888 [7]
($2.48 million in 2019 dollars [8] )
ArchitectRoy Place [7]
Project managerJ. F. Garfield [7]
General contractorOrndorff Construction Co. [7]
Tenants
Arizona Wildcats (NCAA) (1929–present)
Copper Bowl (NCAA) (1989–1999)
Arizona Bowl (NCAA) (2015–present)

Arizona Stadium is an outdoor college football stadium in Tucson, Arizona, on the campus of the University of Arizona. It is the home field of the Arizona Wildcats of the Pac-12 Conference.

Contents

Originally constructed in 1929 to hold 7,000 spectators, the stadium's seating capacity has been expanded numerous times since. As of 2019, the stadium has a total capacity of 50,782. The facility also includes the offices of the Wildcat football program, as well as some non-athletic academic offices, including the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab.

History

Located in central Tucson, Arizona Stadium has been home to University of Arizona Wildcats football since 1929. Initially, stadium capacity was 7,000, with the only seating located on the stadium's west side. Arizona's first game at the facility was October 12, 1929, when the Wildcats defeated Caltech 35-0. Capacity was increased to 10,000 in 1938 when seats were constructed on the stadium's east side. 4,000 seats were added to both end zones in 1947.

In 1950, a horseshoe configuration was constructed around the south end zone resulting in the addition of almost 8,700 seats. A multi-level press box and 10,000 seats were added to the west grandstand in 1965. The east side of the stadium received a second tier, consisting of 17,000 seats, in 1976, as the Wildcats prepared to leave the WAC for the Pac-8 in 1978.

The Copper Bowl (now known as the Cactus Bowl) was a postseason bowl game based in Tucson and held at Arizona Stadium for ten years before moving to Phoenix (the game is now played in Tempe at Sun Devil Stadium, home to Arizona's instate rival Arizona State).

Expansion and renovation

In 1981, the track team stopped using the stadium and the track was removed. Permanent seating was placed at the north end zone in 1988. Following the 1988 season, a new press box with luxury sky boxes was built. The sky boxes include a 319 loge seats on the first level, 23 luxury suites between the 2nd and 3rd levels, and a media level on the 4th floor. [9] Because the stadium was in place, the sky boxes are built so that the structure is cantilevered out over the western edge of the stadium seats, without actually touching the stadium. Prior to the 1999 season, a new scoreboard with a video monitor was installed.

In January 2011, it was announced that a new 5,356-square-foot (498 m2) video board would be installed above the south stands in time for the 2011 season. It is the seventh-largest video screen in college football (sixth-largest if non-college-exclusive stadiums are excluded, as Miami shares Hard Rock Stadium with the Miami Dolphins). [10]

In September 2009, Arizona announced plans for the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, a $72.3 million north end-zone project with seats and luxury boxes atop a four-story complex housing locker rooms, football offices, a weight training area, a cafeteria for student athletes, the upscale Sands Club, and new concessions and bathrooms. [11] [12] The project broke ground after the conclusion of the 2011 season. Because the north bleachers were torn down and the project wouldn't be finished during the 2012 season, several rows of seats were added to the bottom of the south endzone in mid-2012. On July 1 of 2013, the project was completed and the team officially moved into the new facility. Because the football offices were formerly housed in the McKale Center, more room was made there for Wildcats basketball and the other Arizona athletic programs.

In addition to the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, the playing surface was changed from natural Bermuda grass to FieldTurf, an infilled synthetic turf. The new surface allows the team to practice on the field during the week when previously it was off limits while the grass recovered between games. Because of the extreme sun and temperatures in Tucson, the athletic department chose Revolution CoolPlay FieldTurf, designed to keep the surface temperatures cooler than with other artificial turf. [13] It utilizes cork rather than crumb rubber as the top dressing. [14] FieldTurf is used by more than half of the teams in the Pac-12 Conference and by many other schools around the nation.

Structure, facilities, and other uses

The football field runs in the traditional northsouth configuration and the new artificial Field Turf sits at an elevation of 2,430 feet (740 m) above sea level. [15] The ZonaZoo student section takes up 9,000 seats on lower east sideline, making it one of the larger student sections in the Pac-12 Conference. The west side bleachers are generally reserved for season ticket holders and the visiting team gets a section in the southwest corner.

The facility also includes two dormitories, Pinal and Navajo, under the south stands. The Steward Observatory Mirror Lab, a mirror fabrication facility for large telescopes, sits under the east wing. [16] As mentioned above, there are also offices located in the Lowell-Stevens facility housing Football Operations.

In May 2013, the university held spring commencement ceremonies in the stadium for the first time since 1972 (they had been held in McKale Center after it opened in 1973). A reported 25,000 friends and family were in attendance at the ceremony and following light show and fireworks display. [17]

Arizona Bowl

Since December 2015, Arizona Stadium has played host to the Arizona Bowl. Since its inception, the game has been played between teams representing the Mountain West Conference and the Sun Belt Conference. The inaugural game was played between the Nevada Wolf Pack and the Colorado State Rams, both of the Mountain West Conference as the Sun Belt Conference did not field enough bowl-eligible teams. This was the first time a bowl game featured two teams from the same conference since the 1979 Orange Bowl. Nevada won the contest 28-23. Another notable game occurred in 2017, when the New Mexico State Aggies broke their 57-year bowl-less streak by appearing in the bowl, playing and beating the Utah State Aggies.

Concerts

The stadium has been the site of several concerts, including Fleetwood Mac in 1977 and a Jay-Z concert with Kelly Clarkson in 2009.

DateArtistOpening act(s)Tour / Concert nameAttendanceRevenueNotes
August 27, 1977 Fleetwood Mac Rumours Tour
April 29, 2009 Kelly Clarkson All I Ever Wanted Summer Fair TourThis concert was a part of "Last Smash Platinum Bash" [18] [19]

In film

In 1983, the stadium's parking lot, located on the northeast end of the facility, was one of several filming locations for the 20th Century Fox comedy Revenge of the Nerds. The film's Adams College Greek Games sequence was shot in the space on Cherry Avenue between East 4th Street and East University Boulevard. [20]


See also

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References

  1. "2019 Arizona Football Media Guide" (PDF). University of Arizona Athletic Department. August 15, 2019. p. 2. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  2. "2018 Arizona Football Media Guide" (PDF). University of Arizona Athletic Department. August 28, 2018. p. 2. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  3. "2014 Arizona Football Media Guide" (PDF). University of Arizona Athletic Department. p. 96. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  4. "2013 Arizona Football Prospectus" (PDF). University of Arizona Athletic Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 8, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  5. 2012 Arizona Football Prospectus
  6. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23244746/arizona_stadium_dedicated/
  7. 1 2 3 4 "Places in the Sun - The West Stadium". Archived from the original on 2019-05-18. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
  8. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–" . Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  9. http://www.arizonawildcats.com/facilities/ariz-stadium.html
  10. Ames, John (January 11, 2011). "Byrne: North End Zone Project Full-Speed Ahead". Arizona Daily Star . Tucson. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2013-06-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. Finley, Patrick (September 2, 2009). "UA's $378M Sports Upgrade". Arizona Daily Star . Tucson. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
  13. http://www.arizonawildcats.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/013013aaa.html%5B%5D
  14. Atwood, Emily (February 2013). "Cooling solutions trending in synthetic turf industry". Athletic Business. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  15. USGS topographic map
  16. Steward Observatory Mirror Lab
  17. http://commencement.arizona.edu/
  18. Parker-McClain, Dana (May 8, 2009). "Platinum Bash Not A Smash". Pollstar. Archived from the original on December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 5, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. http://www.thennowmovielocations.com/2016/04/revenge-of-nerds.html?m=1
Preceded by
first host
Home of the
Cheez-It Bowl

1989–1999
Succeeded by
Bank One Ballpark
Preceded by
first host
Home of the
Arizona Bowl

2015 – present
Succeeded by
current host