Painting a picture of a rosy future is one of the
cornerstones of recruiting.
Tell prospective players and families what they want to
hear, and a lot of times, you’ll land their services.
But sharing plans about the future can have a downside
too. Namely, that recruits and their families talk. And
sometimes they talk to the media about the future.
That’s what happened earlier this week when details
started to trickle out about a plan Arizona State
University is exploring to revamp Sun Devil Stadium, a
structure that was originally erected in 1958 and
desperately in need of renovation.
Not shying away from the chatter, new ASU Vice President
of Athletics Steve Patterson was clear about the
parameters of the project.
“We want to make sure we stay on this site, it’s an iconic
spot, one of the iconic spots in all of college football,”
Patterson said Wednesday. “But we have to operate in a
world that’s very
competitive out there in terms of revenue generation and
the kind of fan amenities and student athlete amenities
that the other schools in the Pac-12 have.”
Patterson pointed to the fact that nearly $1.3 billion
have been spent in the last ten years by Pac-12
upgrading football stadiums.
Simply put, ASU has fallen behind, and needs to keep up
with the Joneses.
Patterson unveiled an artist’s rendering of what the
completed project will look like, and it’s nothing short
Some of the highlights of the project include:
• A fabric roof that will not enclose Sun Devil Stadium,
but provide shade that will cool temperatures by up to 15
degrees and allow Arizona State to play daytime games in
accordance with the new television setup with the Pac-12
• A smaller seating capacity. Sun Devil Stadium currently
seats 71,706 for football, but Patterson said that number
could shrink by 10 to 15 thousand seats.
• Opening the north end of the stadium. This would allow
for views of Tempe Town Lake from the stadium as well as
allow for a breeze for spectators.
There is no set timetable for this project, because there
are two options for proceeding. The first calls for a
sequential renovation that would allow Arizona State to
continue to play home games in the facility, and could
take up to five years to complete.
The second would be a plan for ASU football to play home
games at either Chase Field in downtown Phoenix or
University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale for two seasons,
but Patterson made it clear that option is not the ideal
“Given where we are with our student body and the great
support we’ve had out of our student body this past year
given the history of this site, that’s probably not the
preferred outcome,” he said. “But it is one we’re studying
and we’ll look at, and could potentially happen in the
future if we decide we can accelerate the project enough
to get it done in a short enough time frame for it to make
Patterson also said that he hopes to have a plan for
financing in place by around June of this year.