Tuesday morning, while announcing the official move of Arizona State baseball to Phoenix Municipal Stadium effective 2015, university president Dr. Michael Crow spoke on another Sun Devil sports subject.
That subject was the talked about — but not finalized — plan to renovate Sun Devil Stadium, ASU’s football home since 1958.
“And while Sun Devil Stadium is being prepared, we’re looking forward to playing our football games at Chase Field,” Crow announced. “That’s the only place for us to going forward.”
That announcement was met by applause by some at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, and by a collective “huh?” by some at Arizona Diamondbacks headquarters.
ASU athletic director Steve Patterson joined Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620 Tuesday and cleared up the confusion.
“We’ve had some initial conversations,” Patterson said. “I can’t say that we’re at a point of concluding those conversations at all. I think once we get to a point of concluding all the conversations that would happen all around it with a whole host of people, then we could announce something.
“Michael’s preference certainly is to go play down there, and I think there’s a lot of positives about downtown Phoenix.”
ASU’s law school and broadcasting program are housed at their downtown campus and students at the Tempe campus could easily travel to football games at Chase Field via light rail — positives pointed out by Patterson.
“I think we just have to sit down with the officials that oversee the ballpark as a whole and have those conversations with all the stakeholders and perhaps see if we can come up with an agreement,” Patterson said.
As far as a timetable for the proposed move, Patterson says nothing is concrete.
“Potentially, you could start with some demolition after this upcoming season and be out in 2015 and back in 2016, that would be the fastest.
“When you have as many stakeholders as we have, both in and out of government and private enterprises and baseball teams and other stakeholders at the university with IMG and Sodexo and others, it might not move that fast. But that would be the fastest it could move.”
Sun Devil Stadium was last renovated in 1988 when 1,700 seats were added and the Carson Student Athlete Center was built on the south part of the facility.