One of the most important factors on Super Bowl Sunday is the surface the teams play on. The University of Phoenix Stadium’s playing field has a unique story every football fan should know about: it’s real grass on a field that slides in and out of the stadium.
The stadium is home to the Arizona Cardinals and it also the location of the Fiesta Bowl on January 1st each year. In 2015, The University of Phoenix Stadium is welcoming the ProBowl on January 25th and then, the biggest game on earth, Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, February 1st.
In addition to football games, the stadium hosts a variety of events in our area like concerts, car shows, recreational vehicle (RV) shows, conventions, job fairs and volleyball tournaments to name a few. The planners of the stadium wanted real grass, not astroturf, but realized these additional events would damage the grass. As a result, they designed a stadium with a football field that rolls outside when it’s not in use.
The nearly 19 million pound tray with grass rolls out of the stadium to natural sunlight when football or soccer events are not being played, eliminating humidity problems in the stadium. The cement sub-floor gives easy access for other events and staging.
When the grass tray rolls out at 11.5 feet per minute (1/8 mph), it is perfectly positioned on a northwest to southeast axis to get full benefit of the sun. It takes 75 minutes for the field (234 ft wide x 403 ft long and 39 inches tall) to travel the 740 feet.
Imagine moving 19 million pounds, roughly 2 acres of grass in one piece. It’s done on rail tracks with 76 – 1 horsepower motors. The grass is tifway which is a bermuda hybrid and the field has an internal irrigation system.
The Matheson Team is thrilled that our city and one-of-a-kind stadium was selected by the Super Bowl committee to host Super Bowl 2015. It’s another way to highlight all the advantages of living in the greater Phoenix area.