American Football Wiki
Sun Devil Stadium, Frank Kush Field
The House of Heat, The Frying Pan
Fiesta Bowl 2006 from Flickr 81639095.jpg

A view of Sun Devil Stadium during its final Fiesta Bowl game
Location 500 E. Veterans Way, Tempe, Arizona, 85281
Broke ground 1958
Opened 1958
Owner Arizona State University
Operator Arizona State University
Surface Bermuda Grass
Construction cost $1 million
Former names Sun Devil Stadium (1958–1996)
Tenants Arizona State Sun Devils (NCAA) (1958–present)
Fiesta Bowl (NCAA) (1971–2006)
Insight Bowl (NCAA) (2006–present)
Arizona Cardinals (NFL) (1988–2005)
San Diego Chargers (NFL)(October 27, 2003)
Arizona Wranglers (USFL) (1983–1984)
Arizona Outlaws (USFL) (1985)
Super Bowl XXX (NFL) (1996)
Capacity 30,000 (1958)
57,722 (1976)
70,491 (1977)
73,379 (1988)

Sun Devil Stadium at the southeast entrance

Sun Devil Stadium Press Box, 1998

Frank Kush Field (originally Sun Devil Stadium) is an outdoor football stadium, located on the campus of Arizona State University, in Tempe, Arizona. The stadium's current seating capacity is 73,379 and the playing surface is natural grass.

It is home to the Arizona State Sun Devils, of the Pacific-12 Conference. It has previously been the home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, from 1988-2005 and was the annual site of the Fiesta Bowl, from 1971-2006. It also served as the home for the San Diego Chargers, on October 27, 2003, when the NFL moved a game against the Miami Dolphins there, due to wildfires in Southern California (it was the first Monday Night Football game in the stadium in four years - the last MNF game there prior to 2003 was the game wherein legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young suffered his career-ending concussion).

On June 5, 2009, it held down the first championship for the Phoenix high school's Passing League tournament.

Construction and upgrades

Built in 1958, the stadium's original capacity was just 30,000. The first addition in 1976 substantially raised the capacity to 57,722. Seating was added to the south end of the stadium, along with press and sky boxes. A year later, in 1977, the upper tier was completed to bring seating to 70,491. In 1988, 1,700 more seats were added to bring the facility to its current capacity. During that time the Carson Student Athlete Center was added to the south end. The building is the home of the ASU Athletic Department.

College football

The first game played at the stadium was on October 4, 1958. Arizona State defeated West Texas State 16-13.

On September 21, 1996, the playing surface was named in honor of former ASU football coaching great Frank Kush, and the name of the stadium was changed from Sun Devil Stadium to Sun Devil Stadium, Frank Kush Field. That night ASU shut-out #1 Nebraska 19-0. The largest crowd ever seated for a college football game at the stadium was 80,470 for the 1999 Fiesta Bowl, when the Tennessee Volunteers beat the Florida State Seminoles, 23-16 on January 4, 1999 to win the National Championship.

Sun Devil Stadium hosted college football's Fiesta Bowl from 1971 to 2006 including two national championship games after the 1998 and 2002 seasons. ASU continues to use Sun Devil Stadium, which now hosts the Insight Bowl. The Insight Bowl (formerly called the Copper Bowl) moved to Sun Devil Stadium when the Fiesta Bowl moved to the University of Phoenix Stadium in nearby Glendale.

NFL football

The first pro game played in the stadium was a pre-season game between the New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings in 1975. The Green Bay Packers also played the Denver Broncos in a preseason game in 1987.

The facility became an NFL stadium in 1988, when the St. Louis Cardinals moved west to Arizona and became the Phoenix Cardinals (renamed the Arizona Cardinals in 1994). The Cardinals' first regular season game in the stadium was a 17-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in a Monday Night Football game on September 12, 1988. The Cardinals won their next home game, defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins 30-21.

The stadium hosted Super Bowl XXX in 1996 as the Cowboys won their fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17 in front of 76,347 spectators.

On October 27, 2003, the Monday Night Football game between the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins was moved to Sun Devil Stadium because the Cedar Fire in the San Diego area forced the teams to vacate Qualcomm Stadium, which was being used as an evacuation site. Tickets for the game were free, but donations for the fire victims was requested, and $191,000 was collected (an average of $2.73 per person). The capacity crowd saw the Dolphins win 26-10.[1]

The Cardinals ended their tenure on the ASU campus with a 27-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Eve 2005. In 18 seasons in Sun Devil Stadium, the Cardinals complied a 64-80 (.444) mark, with their best single-season mark being 5-3 in 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2004.

In 2006, the Cardinals moved from Sun Devil Stadium to University of Phoenix Stadium in another Phoenix suburb, Glendale, located on the opposite side of the metro area from Tempe. The new stadium also hosts the Fiesta Bowl, and hosted the first stand-alone Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game in January 2007.

Satellite image in 2002

Film appearances

Sun Devil Stadium has been the setting for several movies over the years. Some of them include Cameron Crowe's 1996 blockbuster film, Jerry Maguire; U2's 1988 rockumentary Rattle and Hum, The Rolling Stones' 1983 concert film Let's Spend the Night Together, 1976's A Star is Born, with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, the Coen Brothers 1987 film Raising Arizona, and the 1980 film "Used Cars".. In 2003, the stadium was also featured on the Finale episode of The Amazing Race 4.

Historic appearances

Pope John Paul II visited Phoenix on September 14, 1987, as a part of his whirlwind tour of the United States. In Tempe, he held Mass for 75,000 at Sun Devil Stadium. All the Sun Devil logos and words with "devil" painted on the stadium's facade had to be covered up for the Pope to agree to enter the stadium.

President Barack Obama delivered the ASU commencement address at the stadium on May 13, 2009 before a crowd of 63,000 which included 9,000 graduates.[2]

Needed renovations

In 2007, engineers realized that the concrete base of the stadium was buckling due to the rusting of structural steel supporting the foundation. Stadium designers had neglected to waterproof the structure when it was built, assuming that a stadium in the desert would not need waterproof concrete. However, cleaning/maintenance crews for the college and professional football teams hosed down the seats after every game, introducing substantially more water to the stadium than the designers had envisioned. Engineers now estimate that $45 million in repairs will be needed to maintain the stadium beyond 2010.[3]

A new Arizona bill allows the Arizona Board of Regents to set up a district on ASU property to collect revenue from local businesses. Money from the fee will go toward the funding of renovation projects of ASU’s athletic facilities, including the stadium. It is estimated the fund will accumulate enough money to begin planning renovations within two to five years (2012–2015). [4]


  1. Baum, Bob. "Dolphins 26, Chargers 10", 28 October 2003. Retrieved on 28 April 2010. 
  2. Superville, Darlene. "Obama shrugs off honorary degree snub at ASU", Yahoo! News, 2009-05-14. Retrieved on 2009-05-14. 
  3. Sun Devil Stadium Repairs Planned. Arizona Republic (2007-06-24). Retrieved on 2007-12-30.
  4. Business fee to fund Sun Devil Stadium renovation. State Press (2010-09-26). Retrieved on 2010-12-01.

External links

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