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University of Phoenix Stadium, which opened its doors in August 2006, is home to the NFL’s Cardinals, as well as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and many other events throughout the year. It is easily the most state-of-the-art sports facility in Arizona, and arguably one of the best in the NFL and the country. The total cost for building the stadium ended up being 455 million dollars. It seats 63,400 for Cardinals regular season games, but can be expanded to 72,200 for playoff games, the Fiesta Bowl, and other huge events. It has also played host to Super Bowl XLII, and the 2011 BCS National Championship Game (which holds the stadium’s attendance record at 78,603). Super Bowl XLIX will be played here in 2015.
The stadium, which I think looks like a big spaceship that crash landed in the middle of the desert, is supposed to be in the shape of a barrel cactus, representative of the typical Arizona landscape. UPS has a retractable roof, which was much needed for the Cardinals. It also features the first fully retractable field. On non-game days, the field is moved outside of the stadium so that the natural grass can receive the sunlight it would not get if left inside the stadium.
Even though the Cardinals may not be a top-tier team in the NFL, University of Phoenix Stadium is definitely a top-tier NFL stadium.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
University of Phoenix Stadium has many food options all along the main concourse. There are two of each type of concession stand on each sideline, and some vendors in the endzone area as well. "Red Dogs" has the most typical stadium food. Hot dogs are $5 or $6, as well as sodas. "Pizzaz" offers Papa John's pizzas and "Gridiron Grill" offers a lot of options for those who are looking for something a little different. They have the same items as "Red Dogs", as well as chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, barbeque beef, and a lot more. All of these items are $8 and up. UPS is a Coca-Cola serving stadium.
There are also carts set up all around the stadium, offering a wide variety of treats and drinks. Some of the choices are craft beers, seasoned almonds, and Italian ice.
Even though the football product in UPS isn't usually very good, the stadium itself is incredible visually, inside and out. In the north endzone, there are the two NFC West Division Championship banners, and the 2008 NFC Conference Championship banner. Behind those banners is a mural of Cardinals legends. The south endzone is the "Redzone", where there are removable stands because the playing surface moves out that direction so it can get sun during the week. Behind the portable stands is an area where groups can get together and eat before the game.
The logo at midfield faces the west stands, and the Cardinals bench is on the west sideline. The seats that are closest to the sideline aren't very close to the field of play at all, to allow for NFL camera crews to move stuff around. If you're sitting in the north endzone, you are probably the closest fans to the field.
The north endzone scoreboard and video board are very small, but the south one is much larger and easier to read and see. This makes sense because the majority of the seats in the stadium face the south endzone. The concourses are very easy to get around. There is a lot of space between the seating area and the concession stands and restrooms. Both sides of the stadium are almost identical with what they offer fans as far as amenities, but when the roof is open, the sun does shine on a huge chunk of the east side for most of the game.
University of Phoenix Stadium was the central piece of the City of Glendale's sports arenas project. That expansion of the city included the building of: Jobing.com Arena, Camelback Ranch, and UPS. They have turned the entire Glendale chunk of the Loop 101 into a booming entertainment district.
Right across the street from the stadium is Sportsman's Park, where most of the tailgating occurs prior to Cardinals games. There is a stage set up for pregame concerts and entertainment, as well as tons and tons of tents set up by the fans.
Just north of the stadium is Westgate City Center, which offers an enormous amount of dining and shopping choices before and after the game. Some of the food choices include: Margaritaville, McFadden's, Saddle Ranch, Hell's Half Acre, and so much more. On gamedays though, it is much more difficult to get to because all of the parking lots in the area are changed from the regular free parking to pass specific and paid lots for the game and tailgaters. The closest general public parking lot is in between the 101 and the shopping center though, so it is not too far away from where single game ticket holders park.
The Cardinals are not very good, and have never had an extended period of time with continued success. This shows in the fan base. During the Super Bowl run, all of a sudden more and more Cardinals fans appeared, and more ads were put all over the area. That, plus the new stadium, gave the franchise hope that they were going to become a mainstay and would sell out for years to come. This has not happened. Sure you'll see Cardinals fans all over Arizona simply because the NFL dominates any other sport right now. But at the game I went to, if you just looked at the jerseys in the stands, you would have thought you were in Detroit, not Arizona.
UPS is located just east of the Loop 101 Agua Fria Fwy, in between the Bethany Home and Glendale Rd. exits. There are parking lots that require passes that are off of these exits, as well as the ones just north (Northern Ave.) and south (Camelback Rd.). There are electronic signs all along the 101 clearly telling you where to get off for which color pass you have. The signs don't tell you where to go if you don't have a pass though. The best option is to get off at Glendale and park at the outlets. You will want to stay in the right lane when you get on to Glendale to get in this lot, even though the line is really long and slow moving. This parking lot is $10. There is also a parking garage option near the Renaissance Hotel, but that costs $20. It may be worth it early in the year when it's still hot out, but not when the weather is really nice. It's not much closer to the stadium than the open air lot either.
The security checks are outside of the main entrance gates, but are not close to where they check the tickets. This is good for people without bags because they can skip the bag check and not be delayed by it.
The entire concourse is lined along the outside by either concession stands or restrooms, so you are never too far away from either one. And with the concession stands having so many cashiers, the lines for food never get too long. The bathrooms are enormous as well. The interior design of the stadium is very fan friendly. The lower and upper concourses have field views, though they are limited. Both endzones have tons of room where you can just stand and watch the game, and many people take advantage of this.
The Cardinals do not offer any tickets below $30, so it can be pricey to bring the family to see a game. Also with food prices inside the stadium being fairly high, game day could cost a small fortune. University of Phoenix Stadium is by far the nicest and most modern venue in Arizona though, so everyone should go at least once. The product on the field may not be very good, but everything else around the Cardinals organization right now is first-class.
Going to a Cardinals game is a great experience for any football fan. There's lots of tailgating in all of the surrounding parking lots, including Sportsman's Park on the west side of the stadium. The retractable roof provides comfort for the fans in any weather. In the beginning of the season it's typically closed, but then as it starts to cool down, the Cardinals can choose to make the stadium open air. The retractable roof was the biggest factor in the team moving out of Sun Devil Stadium. Games there just got too hot and unbearable for people. UPS is a very welcome change from that.
The design of the stadium is definitely unique. The open concourse in the endzones is good for fans who choose to stand and watch the games. The exterior design is definitely one that people will remember either good or bad. It also makes it very easy to find, being visible for miles and miles along the 101. The buildup of the surrounding area has been great to see too. The Coyotes were the first to move out to Glendale when Jobing.com opened, and it was the only thing around then. No shopping center, no hotels, just the arena and the freeway. Now, there are the Cardinals, as well as Dodgers and White Sox Spring Training, and all of the restaurants and shops that one can think of.
The Cardinals have a ring of honor, which features players such as Dan Dierdorf, Ernie Nevers, Aeneas Williams and of course, the late Pat Tillman. Tillman is a legend in Arizona, having played his entire football career in Sun Devil Stadium as a member of Arizona State and the Cardinals. His story is well known to most, leaving the Cardinals to join the Army Rangers after 9/11, and then being killed in action, followed by enormous amounts of controversy and conspiracy surrounding his death. His legacy lives on at University of Phoenix Stadium, as well as the entire Phoenix area. There is a statue in his honor at UPS and Sun Devil Stadium, and the plaza that surrounds the stadium is named Pat Tillman Freedom Plaza.
You really do have to see this place to believe it. Everything is so spacious, so modern, and so clean. It is obvious that fan comfort was a top priority after the many years the franchise spent at Sun Devil Stadium. Every sports fan should make the trip to Glendale in the coming years to see UPS. It is a truly one-of-a-kind place. A modern marvel.
Rising out of the Arizona desert, the University of Phoenix Stadium dwarfs the landscape. The architects who designed the venue describe its unique shape as a representation of a barrel cactus indigenous to the area. From a fan's perspective it more closely resembles a space ship from the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind with its metallic silver facade.
Built in 2006, the University of Phoenix Stadium is home to the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals and the home of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl for college football. Besides sporting events, the stadium is also home to several conventions and special events.
Located in Glendale, Arizona just west of Phoenix, the University of Phoenix Stadium is easily accessed via the Loop 101 North freeway and sits adjacent to Jobing.Com Arena, home of the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes. The football and hockey venues anchor the area and are clearly seen just east of the freeway.
Tailgating is allowed and encouraged. Fans are requested to take one parking spot for each vehicle with tents up to 10'x10' allowed. Charcoal grills are not permitted in the stadium parking facilities although gas or propane can be used.
Besides the parking facilities, the stadium also features expansive lawn areas that are suitable for tailgating. The largest of these is Sportsman's Park and is home to the largest tailgating party on property. Before every game tailgaters at the park compete to be named tailgater of the game.
The University of Phoenix Stadium has a capacity of 63,400 permanent seats in a football configuration. This seating capacity can be expanded to 72,200 with the addition of temporary seats in the end zones and upper decks.
There are several unique features at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The venue itself has a retractable roof opening over the playing surface. The outside panels of the stadium are made up of alternating silver metal and glass. The metal reflects the desert sun and reduces cooling requirements. The glass panels allow sunlight into the stadium and give the fans a scenic view of the surrounding area.
The playing surface is natural grass. The grass and soil are four feet deep and sit in a rectangular box. The box sits atop 76 railroad wheels allowing the entire playing surface to roll along railroad tracks. This allows the grass to be moved outside. The turf tray weighs an impressive 18.9 million pounds and is moved 741 feet via electrical motors at 1/8 miles per hour.
Sight lines are extremely good from all angles and the seats have adequate leg room to accommodate larger fans. The seats face directly down to the playing surface meaning there may be times when you have to turn left or right to see the action. The seats have adequate space left and right to allow this without invading the personal space of the fan next to you.
Overall the University of Phoenix Stadium is an engineering marvel and a great place to enjoy a game. It is not just the local fans who rave about this facility. Recently Sports Illustrated rated this stadium as the best new venue of the 2000 decade. Whether it is football, soccer, basketball, or any of the other countless events staged within its walls you are sure to enjoy your experience at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Went to a Cardinals game last December and I love this place. We were half way up in the upper deck at the goal line but still had a great view of the game.
Not a bad drive from Scottsdale but traffic was a nightmare after the game.
Usuall food choices a "jumbo" hot dog looked pretty average to me.but the beer sold in the stands was great.
6751 N Sunset Blvd
Glendale, AZ 85305
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