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Cardinals upgrade club areas at University of Phoenix Stadium

(Craig Morgan/Arizona Sports)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill took media on a tour of the recently renovated club level at University of Phoenix Stadium on Saturday before the team’s preseason game against the Chicago Bears.

The $28 million in upgrades are the first of two phases to ensure the stadium maintains top-tier amenities that augment the fan experience.

“We are prioritizing,” Bidwill said. “You spend your money wisely, in terms of operational issues and safety and security needs, technological upgrades. Some of those things we have been doing aren’t very visible to the fans but they do impact the fan experience.”

Bidwill said he and the project managers borrowed ideas from many other venues that influenced the current changes.

“I see a lot of things in my travels, not just in NFL stadiums but what people are doing all over the world,” Bidwill said. “We’ve brought some of those ideas back here.”

The changes include two large video boards behind the bar in each of the two main lounge areas, new lofts named 50 East and 50 West, the Flight Lounge wine bar, and the first champagne bar in the NFL, called the Bubble Lounge. The areas will feature more wine, sparkling-wine and craft-beer selections. There was also a focus on making the areas more female-friendly, as women make up 46 percent of the NFL audience.

Bidwill said hosting the NCAA Final Four in April prevented the team from completing all of the renovations this offseason. Phase two of the project will begin after the 2017 season, and Bidwill said the Cardinals would also add additional parking south of Bethany Home Road.

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