OU Returns to Spectacle in Arizona

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 11, 2007

University of Phoenix Stadium
University of Phoenix Stadium
A marvel of design, engineering and technology, University of Phoenix Stadium, site of the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, is unlike any other stadium on the continent.
 Stadium Quick Facts
 Opened  August 1, 2006
 Cost  $455 million
 Capacity  73,000
 Field Surface  Natural Grass
 First Game  Sept. 10, 2006 (Cardinals vs. 49ers)

More Information
University of Phoenix Stadium Home Page
Seating Chart | Fiesta Bowl Game Day Policies
Driving Directions | Parking | Parking Map (PDF)
Attending the Game
Tickets Available Through OU Athletics Ticket Office
Official OU Athletics Fiesta Bowl Travel Packages
City of Glendale Home Page | City of Phoenix
Accomodations | Dining | Attractions | Phoenix Maps
          Sooner Fiesta Bowl Central
NORMAN, Okla. -- As Sooner fans make plans for their trip to the desert and the comforting climate of Arizona, SoonerSports.com offers a preview of the ultimate destination and the site of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, University of Phoenix Stadium.
Opened in 2006, the home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals is unlike any other stadium in North America. It features the only fully retractable natural grass playing field on the continent and the first retractable roof ever built on an incline.
Somewhat like a gigantic cookie sheet, the rollout playing field rests on an 18.9 million pound tray which supports 94,000 square feet of natural grass that remains outside the stadium until game day, allowing the maximum amount of sunshine and nourishment while eliminating humidity problems inside the stadium.
The field tray, which measures 234 feet wide x 403 feet long and 39 inches tall, rests on 13 rail tracks and moves in and out of the stadium on 546 steel wheel assemblies (42 rows), 76 of which are powered by a one-horsepower motor. A sophisticated irrigation system works on timers to keep the field saturated, and a few inches of water remain in the field tray while the field is in play to keep the grass moist.
The roof, composed of Birdair teflon fabric, allows the stadium to have an open, airy feel even when the roof is closed. It is supported by two 700-foot long trusses which are 87 feet high at their tallest points and weigh 1,800 tons apiece. The two roof panels, each weighing 550 tons, converge precisely at the 50-yard line when the roof is closed.
Not only a state-of-the-art facility for its engineering and technical composition, University of Phoenix Stadium is also an architectural masterpiece. Nothing about the design of this stadium was done without reason.
Constructed to look like a barrel cactus with a coiled rattlesnake wrapped around it, the structure incorporates a variety of Arizona's environmental and cultural attractions.
The exterior of the building features alternating sections of shimmering metal panels designed to reflect the brilliant variations of light in the Arizona skies. The stadium starts out each morning with a light golden color, takes on more of a silver-blue tone during the day and finishes up with pinks, oranges and purples during sunset.
Between the metal panels are 21 magnificent vertical glass slots which represent the unique slot canyons found in the northern part of the state. From any level of the exterior, patrons can catch a spectacular view of the Arizona horizon. Enormous murals on each of the six interior levels of the stadium spotlight state rivers, canyons, deserts and mountain ranges.
A marvel of modern design, engineering and technology, University of Phoenix Stadium is simply an incredible structure.
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Less than 2,500 tickets remain in the official OU sections. Reserve your seats now through the OU Athletics Ticket Office online or by calling (800) 456-GoOU or (405) 325-2424.
  By the Numbers

63,400 -
Official seating capacity, expandable to 73,000.
0 - Obstructed view seats in the stadium.
- Million dollars. Cost to build the stadium.
206 -
Feet. Highest point of the retractable roof above the playing surface.
25 -
Feet/minute. Operating speed of the retractable roof.
12 - Minutes. Time it takes to fully open or close the roof.
18.9 - Million pounds. Weight of the retractable grass field.
11.5 - Feet/minute. Speed at which the field is rolled into and out of the stadium.
75 - Minutes. Time it takes to roll the field the 741 feet between its alternating resting places.
50 - Million dollars. Design and construction costs saved by having the rollout field rather than having the entire roof retract to allow the necessary sunshine to reach the grass.
  Contrary to Popular Belief

The University of Phoenix name is applied to the stadium as a corporate sponsor, not as the home stadium of the University. The University does not field any intercollegiate sports teams because it is a non-traditional university, specializing in providing access to higher education for adults already in the workforce. The University of Phoenix acquired naming rights to the stadium for $154.5 million over 20 years.
  It's Been There

• Rolling Stones concert on November 8, 2006.
• 2007 BCS National Championship Game.
• The highest attended soccer match in Arizona history on February 7, 2007 when 62,462 fans watched the U.S. National Team defeat Mexico, 2-0.
• Upcoming events include Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 and the West Regional Finals of the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.
  Awards and Honors

• One of the top 10 sports facilities in the world by the Business Journal, the only American facility on the list.
• Event Site of the Year by Event Solutions Magazine in 2007.
• Best NFL Facility the past two years by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal.
• One of the seven wonders of Arizona by the Arizona Republic in 2007.
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Some information for this article courtesy of University of Phoenix Stadium.



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