The 63,400-seat stadium (expandable to approximately 75,000) opened on August 1, 2006 after three years of construction, which was preceded by six years of project development. This flexibility allows the building to host not only regular season Arizona Cardinals games but also extravaganzas like rock concerts, Super Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl and the BCS Championship. With its roll-out filed and retractable roof, the Stadium can host not only football, soccer and basketball but also a wide variety of trade shows, conventions and conferences. The Stadium is owned and operated by the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority.
Unlike most sports facilities in the United States, the design of the building was the work of a high design firm, Eisenman Architects. The building looks much more like sports facilities found in Europe and Asia than the typical American stadium. This was the first real home for the Cardinals in their long history so Pentagram was hired to incorporate the team’s DNA into every facet of the building’s design.
Hunt Construction served as the design-builder for the project and was able to complete it for a total project cost was $455 million, which included $395 million for the stadium, $42 million for site improvements, and $18 million for the land. In a era in which $1 billion plus stadiums have become the norm, this was a remarkable achievement.
In 2006 Business Week named the Stadium as one of the 10 “most impressive” sports facilities on the globe (and the only one in North America) citing its retractable roof and roll-in natural grass field and unique design by Peter Eisenman.
Sports Illustrated named it the best new stadium of the 2000s ahead of such acclaimed facilities as the Giants AT&T Park and the new Cowboys Stadium.