|Home of the Wildcats|
Arizona Stadium in October 2011
|Location||545 N National Champion Dr|
Tucson, Arizona 85721
|Broke ground||December 1927|
|Opened||October 13, 1928|
|Expanded||1938, 1947, 1950,|
1965, 1976, 1988,
|Owner||University of Arizona|
|Operator||University of Arizona|
|Surface||FieldTurf (2013– )|
($NaN in 2020 dollars)
|Project Manager||J. F. Garfield|
|General Contractor||Orndorff Construction Co.|
|Tenants||Arizona Wildcats (NCAA) (1928–present)|
Insight Bowl (NCAA) (1989–1999)
Arizona Bowl (NCAA) (2015–Present)
Originally constructed in 1928 to hold 7,000 spectators, the stadium's seating capacity has been expanded numerous times since. As of 2014, the stadium had a total capacity of 56,029. The facility also includes various academic offices, including the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab.
History[edit | edit source]
Located in central Tucson, Arizona Stadium has been home to University of Arizona Wildcats football since 1928. 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 Cal Tech 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.
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. 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.
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[edit | edit source]
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 Sun Life Stadium with the Miami Dolphins).
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 new Sands Club, and new concessions and bathrooms. 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 1st 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, there will now be additional room there for other sports.
In addition to the new 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. It utilizes cork rather than crumb rubber as the top dressing. 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[edit | edit source]
The football field runs in the traditional north–south configuration and the new artificial Field Turf sits at an elevation of 2,430 feet (740 m) above sea level. 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, in the south stands, and Sierra Hall, which is home to offices for the music and residence life departments, located under the east stands. The Steward Observatory Mirror Lab, a mirror fabrication facility for large telescopes, sits under the east wing. There are also offices located under the west side of the stadium, including part of the Tree Ring Lab.
The stadium has been the site of several concerts, including Fleetwood Mac in 1977 and a Jay-Z concert with Kelly Clarkson in 2009.
In May 2014, the university held spring commencement ceremonies in the stadium for the first time since 1972. A reported 25,000 friends and family were in attendance at the ceremony and following light show and fireworks display.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- 1928 Arizona Wildcats Football
- Places in the Sun - The West Stadium
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2008. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
- 2014 Arizona Football Media Guide. University of Arizona Athletic Department. Retrieved on August 3, 2014.
- 2013 Arizona Football Prospectus. University of Arizona Athletic Department. Retrieved on July 24, 2013.
- 2012 Arizona Football Prospectus
- Ames, John. "Byrne: North End Zone Project Full-Speed Ahead", January 11, 2011. Retrieved on January 12, 2011.
- Finley, Patrick. "UA's $378M Sports Upgrade", September 2, 2009. Retrieved on September 2, 2009.
- Atwood, Emily. "Cooling solutions trending in synthetic turf industry", Athletic Business, February 2013. Retrieved on August 31, 2013.
- USGS topographic map
- Steward Observatory Mirror Lab
[edit | edit source]
- Arizona Athletics.com - official athletics site - Arizona Stadium
- Aerial photo & topographic map - UA campus from USGS via Microsoft Research Maps