ASU A.D.: Revamped stadium could lead to bigger things for program

Sep 24, 2013, 9:52 PM | Updated: 9:53 pm
LISTEN: Steve Patterson, ASU Athletic Director

Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium opened in 1958, and has undergone renovations many times since then.

Not much has changed since 1988, though, when the Carson Student Athlete Center was added to the south end of the stadium, and the venue has quickly become one of the more outdated facilities in the Pac-12.

In a preseason ranking of the Pac-12’s stadiums produced by AthlonSports, SDS was slotted seventh.

There are currently plans to renovate SDS, though when the process will begin and what exactly it will lead to has yet to be determined.

A guest of Arizona Sports 620’s Bickley with Marotta Tuesday, ASU Athletic Director Steve Patterson gave some hints as to what he’d like to see.

“Obviously you want better concessions, you want better restrooms, you want better seating, better circulation around the building, escalators and elevators that we don’t currently have,” he said. “You need to be ADA compliant, you want to have better sight lines, you want to have better television facilities, you want to have better media facilities.

“You know, all the kind of things that modern stadiums have these days.”

Also, Patterson said, there has been some consideration given to the idea of providing more shade.

“I think, ultimately, it’s a big investment to get shade but it’s going to be more important as we go forward with the pressures that the networks are going to put on us to try to play during the day earlier in the season,” he said. “So ultimately, we’d like to get there. If we get there in incremental steps, so be it.”

Patterson noted that the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals were negatively impacted by the oppressive Arizona sun, and knows what a cooler stadium could provide.

It will all cost money, though, and that means the school will need help from boosters, alumni and fans to help make it a reality. A better Sun Devil Stadium would benefit Tempe economically, Patterson said, but what it will come down to is people deciding just how much they can and want to contribute.

“What’s going to be important is that each potential supporter finds their way that they can speak victory or make a commitment, be it season tickets, call in talk shows or be a donor to the various facilities,” he said. “If we want to be competitive year in and year out, we’ve got to have the resources to do that.

“And historically, ASU’s been one of the bottom two or three schools in the conference in terms of revenues generated, so if we want to compete with the USCs and the Oregons and the Stanfords of the world, the culture needs to shift and recognize that you’ve got to be able to raise the revenues to compete with those schools at that level.”

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