Sun Devil Stadium, Frank Kush Field – Arizona State Football
Sun Devil Stadium, Frank Kush Field
Name: Sun Devil Stadium, Frank Kush Field
Largest Crowd: 74,963 ASU vs California, Nov. 9, 1996, ASU 35, California 7
Playing Surface: Natural (Hybrid Bermuda grass).
Lighting: Four banks of quartz-iodide flood lights suspended 200 feet over the playing field.
Stadium Height: 122 feet from playing field to top of grandstand, approximately 12 stories.
Press Box: Located atop the west cantilever, accommodates approximately 300 people on three seating platforms. The 360 x 55-foot facility includes a kitchenette, an eating area and lavatories.
Elevator: Four elevators with one serving the press exclusively.
One of the most aesthetic, dynamic, innovative and beautiful collegiate stadiums in the nation, Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium has played host to some of the best football games for more than four decades.
It has hostedArizonaStateUniversityfootball games since 1958, including the game on Sept. 21, 1996, when the playing surface was named Frank Kush Field as ASU upset top-rankedNebraska19-0. It has hosted four national championships – Notre Dame vs.West Virginiain 1988,Nebraskavs.Floridain 1996,Tennesseevs.FloridaStatein 1999 andOhioStatevs.Miamiin 2003. And it played host to the NFL’s ultimate showcase – the 1996 Super Bowl where the Dallas Cowboys pulled out a close win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The stadium, a favorite of television production crews, was the the home of the Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl for 35 years and the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals for 18 seasons. Beginning in 2006, Sun Devil Stadium became the new home of the Insight Bowl.
The facility, regarded since 1958 as one of the nation’s outstanding collegiate football facilities, also boasts a spectacular, second-to-none setting.
A complete playing surface renovation was christened by ASU on Sept. 5, 1992, as the Sun Devils hostedWashingtonin the season-opener. At a cost of $2 million, the stadium addition accomplished four goals: 1) provided Sun Devil Stadium with a more durable playing surface; 2) provided better patron sight lines in the lower seating levels; 3) expanded sideline area for player safety; and 4) provided advantages to television and print photographers.
Constructed between two mountain buttes, the stadium literally was carved from the desert, and occupies a space between theTempebuttes – actually small mountains that ideally have accommodated the growth of the structure.
Sun Devil Stadium addressesPhoenixto the west and the south end zone (formerly the open end) points to scenicTempe, home ofArizonaStateUniversity.
With the south end expansion completed and the press and sky boxes in place, and with an expanded cantilevered upper deck (1977), Sun Devil Stadium boasts a capacity of 71,706.
The expansion of 1988, which added a large seating section that completed the oval of the stadium, added almost 1,700 seats to the stadium’s capacity. Also added was the Intercollegiate Athletic Complex at the structure’s south end, which is now named the Nadine and Ed Carson Student Athlete Center. The building houses the entire realm of the ASU athletic department. A state-of-the-art scoreboard and four-color video replay board were also added.
During the 1978 expansion, design features enabled the stadium to be modernized without light supports, sound system supports, or construction pillars in the viewing line of the spectators. The dramatic proximity of every seat to the playing field is another feature that has made Sun Devil Stadium one of the nation’s finest college football arenas.
Originally erected in 1958 (capacity 30,000), the stadium additions were begun in 1976 (boosting capacity to 57,722) and 1977. The latter raised the seating to 70,491.
The expansion effort was an $11 million undertaking, accomplished completely without the aid of state tax monies.
Assisting in a stadium financing plan unlike any other in the nation, the largest and oldestArizonaStatesupport organization, the Sun Angel Foundation, provided $4.5 million of the necessary funding. The Sun Angel contribution was particularly important because it also helped pave the way for bond clearance.
Spectators at stadium events also have helped fund the expansion with their payment of a surcharge on each ticket purchased.
ArizonaStatehas led the Pacific-10 Conference in average attendance seven times (1986, ’85, ’84, ’83, ’82, ’80 and ’79) since joining the league in 1978. ASU finished second six times and third twice. Last year, the Sun Devils drew a home total of 339,890 fans. On a single-game basis,ArizonaStateaveraged 48,556 spectators.
The first game was played in the original structure againstWestTexasStateon October 4, 1958. The Sun Devils triumphed in the baptismal event, taking a 16-13 verdict over the Buffaloes.
Following the 1976 portion of the expansion,ArizonaStatetook a 35-3 victory over Northwestern on September 17, 1977 to continue the winning tradition of stadium christenings.
When the 1977 expansion was completed, the Sun Devils prevailed 42-7 over Pacific to post a hat trick on stadium dedication contests. In 1988, ASU defeatedIllinois, 21-16 on September 10, to win its fourth dedication game. In 1989, ASU beatKansasState31-0, in the expansion opener.
In 1987, the stadium was filled beyond capacity for the Papal visit, one of the few sites to play host to the Pope’s tour of theUnited States. On April 4, 1976, the New York Cosmos (with Pelé) and the Los Angeles Aztecs played an exhibition soccer game in front of 15,000 fans in the stadium.
In 2008, the New England Patriots used the stadium as their practice facility in preparation for Super Bowl XLII.
In May of 2009, President Barack Obama spoke at ASU’s commencement ceremonies in front of a crowd of more than 70,000 people, the largestU.S. audience for Obama since his inauguration.
THE CARSON STUDENT ATHLETE CENTER
With an excellent playing surface in place, Sun Devil Stadium is the one of the best college football facilities in the country.
The field facelift, along with the 165,000-square-footCarsonStudentAthleteCenterand the three-story, 60,000-square-foot press box and skybox additions, makesArizonaState’s Sun Devil Stadium one of the true showcases of college football.
The press box and skybox facility, which sits atop the upper deck on the west side, contains two 30-suite levels of skyboxes renovated in 1999 and is topped by an ultra-modern press box and eight additional private suites. The facility also boasts its own television production room, complete with editing and chyron capabilities and camera equipment. The equipment is manned by a full crew on game day to give spectators live and replay views of the contest.
Served by four industrial-sized elevators – one for the media and three for the public – the facility has working space for more than 200 sportswriters, booth space for broadcasters, statistical crews, scoreboard operations and a rooftop camera deck in addition to suite seating for more than 900 fans.
The bowl (south) end was connected by the dramatic ICA Complex and the extension of the loge-level seats. Locker rooms also were added in the north end visiting teams. Two new scoreboards were put in place in 1999. The color video replay system, situated in the southeast corner, offers fans instant replays of game action. The original video screen was the first of its kind in an on-campus football stadium. A complementary matrix board for messages and statistical information sits in the southwest corner.
Located in the south end of Sun Devil Stadium, the $28 million, 165,000-square-footCarsonStudentAthleteCenterhouses all of ASU’s 21 varsity sport coaches, as well as athletic administration.
With the completion of the complex in 1988 and the additions in 2002, the athletic department was centralized in one facility for the first time. The goal was to have the entire department together to improve communication and operations between coaches and administrators.
With the expansion and renovation, the lower three levels are expanded almost to the street. The lower level features the recently improved Sun Devil locker room, a state-of-the-art weight training facility (expanded from 4,000 to 15,000 square feet), an equipment area and the sports medicine department, which includes a Swim-Ex underwater exercise device. One of the few schools in the nation to have the device, ASU’s student-athletes have the ability to run, swim or engage in strengthening exercises in the training room. More than 5,000 square feet of working space is available to athletic trainers in the areas of rehabilitation, hydrotherapy, examination, x-ray and treatment, including physician’s office with full capabilities such as a pharmacy.
The first floor features the Sun Devil athletic ticket office, a souvenir shop, the media relations office and Bill and Judy Schaefer Sports Hall of Fame, a tribute to former student-athletes, coaches and administrators who have influenced Sun Devil athletics.
The second floor houses ASU’s Olympic sport coaches and staff as well as the Academic and Student Services operation. Academic and Student Services have vast study and tutorial areas on this floor as well as a computer lab for ASU’s student-athletes. All offices have spectacular views of either Sun Devil Stadium or southTempe.
The third floor is the headquarters for Sun Devil football, with the head coach, his coordinators, assistant head coach and assistants all on one floor. In addition to the football offices, the third floor also houses a 150-seat theater and offices for ASU’s men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and baseball.
The fourth floor accommodates the bridging of the loge level of the stadium. As part of the 1998 project, 1,677 loge level seats were added, and ticket holders in this level have concessions and restroom facilities as well as television monitors for replays.
The fifth floor houses a Stadium Club area, a Varsity A Conference Room as well as offices for the Sun Devil Club.
The sixth floor is devoted to theICAadministrative staff.
|Progression of Stadiums|
|Normal Field (1897-1926; 30 yrs.)||23||12||3||.645|
|Irish Field (1927-1935; 9 yrs.)||15||13||1||.535|
|Goodwin Stadium (1936-1958; 23 yrs.)*||66||38||6||.627|
|Sun Devil Stadium (1958-present, 53 yrs.)||260||95||3||.732|
Sun Devil Stadium
500 East Veterans Way,Tempe,AZ,United States