University of Phoenix Stadium


Arizona Cardinals Football Club, Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority


Field Travel Time: 64 minutes

Architect: Eisenman / HOK Sports

Feature: first U.S. stadium with operable playing field

Delivery Method: Design-Build

University of Phoenix Stadium


After an Arizona Cardinals home game, the fans aren’t the only thing that leave the building. In a little over an hour after the stadium has cleared, the entire playing field will be outside via the south endzone to reveal a state-of-the-art concrete event slab. The stadiums retractable field, which can roll in and out of the stadium, provides not only optimal growing conditions for the natural grass but also gives the stadium the flexibility to host other world-class events, 365 days out of the year.

The need to protect fans from the blazing desert heat necessitated the NFL’s fourth retractable roof, however the Cardinals ownership's desire and belief that football should be played on natural grass became compromised due to the insufficient sunlight provided by the roof’s opening. By having a playing field that was able to be rolled outside, all parties were satisfied. 

The operable field tray design included groundbreaking research and verification testing of the structural floor stiffness necessary to provide a suitable playing surface for football. The playing surface has been named by players as the best field in the league every season since the stadium opened in 2006.