Sun Devil Stadium’s latest malfunctions demonstrate need for rebuild

Dec 12, 2013, 10:31 PM | Updated: 10:31 pm
LISTEN: Rocky Harris, Senior Associate Athletic Director

Talk of a new Sun Devil Stadium accelerated during Arizona State’s eye-opening 2013 season, with many feeling the program was on the precipice of being recognized as one of the nation’s elite programs.

And, despite the 38-14 Cardinal drubbing in the Pac-12 Championship game, off-the-field happenings at the game did just as much for such progress.

As noted on air by ESPN play-by-play broadcaster Brad Nessler, a loss of lighting affected the game — resulting not only in a layer of black shadows on the field but also becoming, for ASU senior associate athletic director Rocky Harris and staff, a black eye for the program.

The Pac-12 Championship game wasn’t the only game at the venue that had its share of off-the-field issues. The previous week, during the contest for the Territorial Cup versus Arizona, Sun Devil Stadium had other malfunctions.

“When we played U of A, the restrooms went out on one level of our stadium,” Harris told The Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta.

“And last week the lighting had some issues,” he said.

“With restrooms going out and issues with the lighting, those are basic amenities that fans expect that we’re not able to deliver.”

Plans, then, to rebuild Sun Devil Stadium are yet awaiting capital and the fundraising for such, Harris says, could come in an expedited fashion, thanks in part to the embarrassing facilities glitches.

The stadium, which first opened in 1958, now seats more than 70,000 and has played host not only to ASU in the past, but also to the Arizona Cardinals, the Fiesta Bowl, the Insight Bowl, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, and, once, the San Diego Chargers due to wildfires in southern California.

Yet, much of the original structure has yet to undergo renovations.

“It’s the original plumbing that was installed 30-40 years ago,” Harris told the show.

Despite the departure of Steve Patterson — the “glue” who held the rebuild plans together, according to Harris, construction plans remain on schedule, although an actual date for the new Sun Devil Stadium hasn’t been set.

Arizona State Football

Arizona State wide receiver Javen Jacobs during 2023 spring ball in Tempe, Arizona. (Sun Devil Athl...
Jake Anderson

ASU’s pass-catcher competition includes ‘deep wideout and tight end positions’

The Arizona State Sun Devils have a plethora of talent on the offensive side of the football when it comes to pass catchers.
2 days ago
Arizona State true freshman quarterback Jaden Rashada gives the "forks up" after a spring ball prac...
Jake Anderson

Arizona State’s QB battle heats up after 1st week of spring ball with Jaden Rashada

There are six on the roster, half of which are returners, while two are transfers and one is freshman five-star dual-threat QB Jaden Rashada.
5 days ago
Arizona State defensive back Chris Edmonds, celebrates his pass interception with linebacker Will S...
Jake Anderson

Communication is key for Arizona State’s new defense early on in spring ball

Communication is key in defense, especially in the modern era of college football where offenses are running quick-tempo, hurry-up offenses.
7 days ago
Arizona State University president Michael Crow interviews with Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona'...
Kevin Zimmerman

ASU, Arizona presidents: Not preparing to leave for Big 12

The presidents of Arizona State University and the University of Arizona went on the record reaffirming their commitment to the Pac-12.
8 days ago
Kenny Dillingham. (Twitter Photo/@ASUFootball)...
Jake Anderson

Kenny Dillingham instills ‘just compete’ philosophy on Day 1 of ASU spring ball

The first day of spring ball for ASU with new head coach Kenny Dillingham had a vastly different vibe than previous regimes.
9 days ago
Quarterback Trenton Bourguet #16 of the Arizona State Sun Devils throws a pass during the second ha...
Kellan Olson

ASU QB Trenton Bourguet far more healthy in 2023 after 2-year foot issues

ASU's spring starter at quarterback will be able to utilize his skill set in a way he hasn't been physically able to since training camp of 2021.
10 days ago
Sun Devil Stadium’s latest malfunctions demonstrate need for rebuild