Sun Devil Stadium (Frank Kush Field)

Capacity53 559
Country United States of America
CityTempe
ClubsArizona State Sun Devils
Inauguration 04/10/1958
Renovations 1966, 1970, 1976, 1977, 1989, 2014-2018
Cost $ 1 million (1958), $ 307 million (2014-2018)
Design Edward L. Varney Associates (1958), HNTB (2014-2018)
Contractor F. H. Antrim Construction Company (1958), Hunt Construction Group, Sundt Construction (2014-2018)
Address 500 East Veterans Way, Tempe, Arizona 85281

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Description: Sun Devil Stadium

Sun Devil Stadium was erected in 1958 at one of the most dramatic locations in the history of sports: just south of Salt River and nestled between two small mountains, the Tempe Buttes. It became a landmark across university football and the home of Arizona State University, who moved here from the old Goodwin Stadium.

Initially the capacity was 30,000 people on a single tier. Over the years expansions led to almost 75,000 people being accommodated at the venue before 1989. It then had a vast horseshoe shape with the south end open. The scale earned it numerous major events, including hosting rights for the Fiest Bowl, Cactus Bowl, even the 1996 Super Bowl, as well as concerts by the greatest stars: the Rolling Stones or U2.

However, as regular attendances never really kept in line with this size (10-year average of around 50,000 per game), early 21st century brought consideration of reconstruction. Created in 2013-14 by HNTB, the scheme of complete revamp was first expected to cost $225 million but ended up at 307 million instead – a third of which was privately donated and the remainder provided by ticket sales, sponsorships and ASU athletic district. Construction was carried out largely by Hunt Construction Group, joined at various stages by other partners, primarily Sundt Construction.

The revamp began in 2014 with the south stand, earlier only in the form of tubular sections. A vast single tier was created, dedicated to the most vocal ASU supporters, the student section. Second phase saw demolition of the north and west stands. While in the north all was demolished (two tiers), in the west only the lower tier disappeared while the upper one was renovated.

From the sporting point of view the north part is most important because it brought a massive student athlete centre, which includes coaches' offices, changing rooms, gym, swimming pools, rehab centre and a lavish conference hall. In total over 7,800 m2 topped by a single tier of seating. And that in turn was topped by one of NCAA's largest video screens, covering over 500 m2. Architecturally also the north stand brought largest changes. The horseshoe was broken and fans in west/east upper tiers can now admire the view of Salt River, more and more outgrown by office towers.

The final phase saw east side demolished and rebuilt. It was first supposed to end in 2017 but was halted as design was altered and funding secured. Thus the reopening in 2018 instead. The new east stand also has two tiers, however with many more premium seats.

Once all phases were complete, the stadium ended up with a vast public concourse surrounding the entire stadium, allowing people to walk around the ground. While similar in shape, the new stands offer great access to disabled supporters, even to the upper areas. Also, the project was carried out with principles of sustainability in mind, as confirmed by LEED Silver certification. The stadium may not have solar panels on top but the nearby parking is covered with them. In total 4,274 tons of structural steel were used to reshape the stadium, which now has a much wider field, able of accommodating soccer as well.

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