An artist rendering of the new Sun Devil Stadium. Photo courtesy of ASU.
The long-awaited upgrade to Sun Devil Stadium was officially announced this morning, as Steve Patterson unveiled the stadium renderings to a throng of media. We've got the full recap of today's events here.
What will this stadium change for Sun Devils fans? Really, the possibilities are endless, but lets look at the certainties of the situation.
Ticket prices will increase: "Ticket prices are going to change; that's just a fact of life." - Steve Patterson. This quote pretty much says it all, as ASU fans will have to pay more for the right to watch the game in person. If we think about it, Patterson is right: season ticket holders pay relatively little for their tickets. Upper bowl seats cost as little as $125 for the entire season, which is a very good deal when you average out the cost over all the games. More money will allow the school to achieve its grand vision.
Stadium will seat less fans: With the stadium set to house between 50,000 to 60,000 people, tickets will be much harder to come by for the average Sun Devil fan. So, as ticket prices increase, so do their value.
Fans will be much more comfortable during the hot summer months: The playing field at Sun Devil Stadium has been known to be 100 degrees at game time in August and September. It is an absolutely dreadful place to be during those months, and attendance suffered when expectations were low, as fans would prefer to stay in air conditioning than be subjected to the desert elements. With a nice roof and shade, these concerns will be alleviated. It will still be hot, but not deathly so.
Recruits will really like what they see: This is a very unique design and when you combine a fresh stadium with brand new uniforms and logos (not to mention the Dickey Dome), there's a lot for recruits to like when they step on campus in Tempe. Combine that with everything else Arizona State offers, and the Sun Devils could be (finally) looking at national prominence.
The team and its fans will be in a state of flux during the building phase: Two possibilities have been announced by ASU. The team may stay at Sun Devil Stadium during the building phase, but it would take much longer. The alternative is to play for a season or two at either Chase Field or University of Phoenix Stadium. If you're asking me, Chase Field makes a lot of sense in terms of location and ease of access, but during baseball season it may be hard for the Devils to be given the opportunity to play in downtown Phoenix.
Field turf will replace grass under the roof: Another big change, but a logical one when you consider the location of the stadium: no more wasting water on grass that will inevitably die; the Sun Devils will soon be more eco-friendly.
We'll have more on this moving forward. This is a very positive change for the Sun Devils and their fans.