SBD/April 24, 2013/Facilities

Arizona State President Suggests Chase Field As Football Venue During Renovations

Chase Field's football past includes the Insight Bowl from '00-05
Renovation of Arizona State Univ.'s Sun Devil Stadium is "years away," but ASU President Michael Crow yesterday said that he "envisions Chase Field as a temporary home for the football team during construction," according to a front-page piece by Jeff Metcalfe of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Crow said Chase Field would "be the 'only place for us to play' while the most intense reconstruction work occurred at Sun Devil Stadium, expected to take place in the fall of 2015." His comments caught D'Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall "off guard." Hall said, "I think it would be a big-time challenge, and I’m not sure we’d be able to work it out.” Chase Field has "hosted football games before, most recently the Insight Bowl" from '00-05. But they all "took place months after the baseball season ended." Hall: "That’s a challenging time of year for our field anyway to keep it in tip-top shape. I would be concerned about the conditions not being safe and sound for our players after that much stress." Hall said, "Michael (Crow) is a good friend. We need to have those conversations realistically and let them know their expectations may be too high for it to work out." Other than Chase Field, "seemingly the only other option for a temporary ASU football home" Univ. of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Last fall, Crow said that he "did not think the Glendale stadium was a viable option because it would be difficult to get as many as 10,000 students to the games and that it didn’t make sense to co-brand with the University of Phoenix, another academic institution" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/24).

SOLO ACT: The ARIZONA REPUBLIC's Metcalfe notes the ASU baseball team will soon be the "sole tenant at 8,000-seat Phoenix Municipal Stadium, where it played 137 games from 1964-74." ASU will "leave 4,000-seat Packard Stadium, its home since 1974, after next season and move 2.5 miles northwest to a stadium that is 10 years older." Under terms of a 25-year lease, ASU will receive the first $1.1M annually "from tickets, net concessions and parking before paying rent, which is capped at $300,000." ASU is "responsible for maintenance and operating expenses and receives 50 percent of revenue from other events at the stadium" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/24).
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