Join 3,413 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Arizona Cardinals stadium roll out grass field
September 8, 2006 4:30 PM   Subscribe

One of the stars of the new NFL season will make its debut this Sunday. It's not a player - it's Arizona Cardinal's stadium. It's got a retractable roof, and a movable grass field that can roll out of the facility where it will reside most of the year and get its nourishment, maintenance and grooming. First of its kind in North America. NPR audio piece.
posted by jaimev (37 comments total)

 
And how much public funding was used to build this stadium for a private corporation sports team?
posted by mathowie at 4:36 PM on September 8, 2006


There’s a good article at Dangerous Interesection that discusses the silliness of public funding for private sports teams.
posted by tepidmonkey at 4:39 PM on September 8, 2006


Ah, wikipedia says it ran almost half a billion dollars and it sounds like 150 million will come from the Cardinals ball club, the rest from public funds.

How is this not state-sponsored government sports again? How is this better than the USSR sports programs we used to mock as Americans?
posted by mathowie at 4:40 PM on September 8, 2006


"This is not just cool, it is way cool," said Michael Lloyd, President of CMX Sports Engineering.

Spoken like a true engineer.
posted by Galvatron at 4:46 PM on September 8, 2006


How is this different than all the other subsidies governmental entities of all levels give other businesses to move to / remain in their sphere of influence?

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingFUCKIN' JOCKSPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting
posted by keswick at 4:46 PM on September 8, 2006


All clubs should do as the Green Bay franchise does. I am not a big sports fan but I admire a team that primarily supports itself though the sell of stock-like shares to the general public.
posted by edgeways at 4:51 PM on September 8, 2006


mathowie, the NPR piece suggests that part of the reason for the removable field is to allow the stadium to be used for other public events that would otherwise destroy the grass. Not that this really justifies the exorbitant taxpayer burden, but at least they're paying lip service to the public good.
posted by Galvatron at 4:54 PM on September 8, 2006


And how much public funding was used to build this stadium for a private corporation sports team?

No offense, but that relates to the original post, uh, how again? I hate public funding of stadia as much as anybody, but the post was about the technology and the retractable grass playing field...
posted by pdb at 5:12 PM on September 8, 2006


If the public of Arizona didn't want "state-sponsored government sports" could they vote against this sort of thing?
posted by Hicksu at 5:15 PM on September 8, 2006


If the public of Arizona didn't want "state-sponsored government sports" could they vote against this sort of thing?

King County tried that, the people voted no, and the Mariners got a stadium anyway. So, they could, sure, but...
posted by pdb at 5:19 PM on September 8, 2006


Moving pitches was done in the 2002 World Cup.

Venue: Sapporo
Stadium: Sapporo Dome
Capacity: 42,000
The local climate - which helped attract the Winter Olympics in 1972 - meant an all-weather stadium was essential. A field kept outside when not in use is rolled inside on a cushion of air when needed.

The seating system moves aside to allow it in and then slides back into place. The process takes about two hours.
posted by movilla at 5:19 PM on September 8, 2006


Tune in to their first game, and you'll also get to see the famed Cardinals Retractable Offensive Line.
posted by selfnoise at 5:20 PM on September 8, 2006 [2 favorites]


I'm waiting for a flying carpet.
posted by jfuller at 5:48 PM on September 8, 2006


Gee mathowie, why don't you fucking move to Arizona and protest it? I do believe this is a local issue) In spite of the exhorbitant sticker price, the difference between this and USSR state sponsored athletics is this being a capitalist society, events such as the superbowl, the Fiesta bowl (every year) which every 4 years is the NCAA national championship game bring a shitpotload of money in to the economy. You know, people travelling and spending bucks to see jocks in tights crush eachother. Basically it's an investment by the city which in this case looks like it might pay off. Not being local to the area I don't know if I would have supported it or not. Here in Denver I supported the baseball stadium, and it's been a boon to the Lower Downtown area. If you'd seen the place before, you'd know what I'm talking about. I didn't support the new football stadium since it was basically just lining the pockets of the owners of the Broncos who were threatening to move if they didn't get a stadium. Seriously the comparison to communist state sponsored sports is stupid.
posted by Eekacat at 5:53 PM on September 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


I live in AZ and I voted against the stadium tax. This tax actually came from tourism, half a percent on hotel room rates and rental cars. So it was technically paid for by out-of-towners. I'm sure that hotel owners felt a little down tick in business though.
posted by CCK at 5:56 PM on September 8, 2006


Wow. I was going to write that exact same thing, but Eekacat beat me to it. Thanks, Eekacat, saved me some typing!
posted by jonson at 5:57 PM on September 8, 2006


The question isn't whether the stadium benefits the local economy or not. The question is whether or not there is a better use of $300 million of public money.

Actually, that's not the real question. The real question is why the team didn't take the $30 million offered by Pink Taco to name the stadium after the restaurant chain.
posted by euphorb at 6:06 PM on September 8, 2006


Tune in to their first game, and you'll also get to see the famed Cardinals Retractable Offensive Line.

posted by selfnoise


As a resident of the 'Zone, I must protest this egregious and unfounded slur against our...

Oh, who am I kidding. I LOLed!
posted by darkstar at 6:20 PM on September 8, 2006


> How is this better than the USSR sports programs we used to mock as Americans?

When did this mocking take place? I don't remember anybody mocking the USSR's athletes any more often than they mocked the Russian astronauts. Too dam' good, they were.


> The question is whether or not there is a better use of $300 million of public money.

No matter what you spend public money on, there's always going to be a better use. (Or a different use, that somebody claims is better.) No doubt they justified this one in terms of those old shibboleths jobs and economic development.
posted by jfuller at 6:26 PM on September 8, 2006


Pink Taco? Haha, you crass Yanks!
posted by furtive at 6:47 PM on September 8, 2006


The question isn't whether the stadium benefits the local economy or not. The question is whether or not there is a better use of $300 million of public money.

The question is both. Does the benefit to the local economy over the lifetime of the stadium justify a $300 million subsidy?

If it weren't the Cardinals we were talking about, one could reasonably assume the answer was "yes."
posted by Ryvar at 7:08 PM on September 8, 2006


What do I care what Arizona spends their money on?
posted by smackfu at 7:36 PM on September 8, 2006


Because Arizona is the home of scorpions. And vipers. And John McCain.

McCain could become President and launch a guided scorpion missile at your state and then where would you be?

You don't want to piss off Arizona.


Oh, right....the topic. Sorry.
posted by darkstar at 8:22 PM on September 8, 2006


Flag it and move on, Eekacat
posted by Kwantsar at 9:20 PM on September 8, 2006


As a resident of Arizona who couldn't give a trillionth of a shit about pro sports, I still have to say that the stadium is amazing. I toured it before it opened and it is a marvel of engineering.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:31 PM on September 8, 2006


Ican't believe I just flagged a matthowie comment as a derail, but I did. And deservedly so.
posted by scottymac at 10:00 PM on September 8, 2006


Ican't believe I just flagged a matthowie comment as a derail, but I did. And deservedly so.

Uh-oh. Now you've done it. If I were you, I'd move away from anything ending in the letters "fi" as fast as possible. That includes your hi-fi.

And I hope to God you're not living with or near any Marines.
posted by dw at 10:04 PM on September 8, 2006


King County tried that, the people voted no, and the Mariners got a stadium anyway. So, they could, sure, but...

Look, if the people of this county didn't want their elected officials doing this, then they should fire the bastard who instigated it.

Oh, wait, they did....
posted by dw at 10:06 PM on September 8, 2006


Excuse me, kwanstar? What did I do wrong?
posted by Eekacat at 10:31 PM on September 8, 2006


This illustrates why there is no NFL team in LA.

Any owner can simply threaten to pack up and leave for a bigger market salivating for an NFL franchise (OK, not really, but it plays in the sticks). Faced with losing their team, states and cities pony up the tax $$$ to build a new stadium. Keeping LA on the table as a bargaining chip is one of the soundest fiscal decisions the NFL has ever made.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:15 AM on September 9, 2006


You got snippy with matthowie on his own blog, Eekacat.
posted by adamrice at 6:18 AM on September 9, 2006


I believe kwanstar was being ironic, Eekacat.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:02 AM on September 9, 2006


King County tried that, the people voted no, and the Mariners got a stadium anyway.

That's nothing. The people in 11 counties surrounding Pittsburgh overwhelmingly voted down a tax to fund a new ballpark for the Pirates. The city funded it anyway. This was at a time when the city was (and still is, for that matter) on the verge of bankruptcy. Then the state got in the act and everyone in the state got a nice little tax raise to fund not only a new ballpark for the Pirates, but new stadiums for the Steelers, the Eagles, and the Phillies.

But the good news is the three people a year who actually go to PNC Park say it's a lovely ballpark.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:21 AM on September 9, 2006


More or less the same thing happened in Milwaukee as well. They wanted to tear down County Stadium and build a new ballpark, we voted it down and they did it anyway. They funded it by increasing the sales tax by .5% for all of Milwaukee county. I just finally took the opportunity to visit it a couple of weeks ago, and I had to admit, it was a marvelous piece of engineering, but I still fume that our majority vote of 'no' meant nothing.

As to the movable grass, very cool.
posted by quin at 9:50 AM on September 9, 2006


I just watched the Extreme Engineering show on Discovery about this stadium. It's pretty damn impressive technically.

Yet what really caught my notice was that the Cardinals have been playing in a college football stadium since they moved to Arizona in 1988. This is an existing football stadium that had been used by Arizona State since 1958. They didn't build a new stadium when they came to town, like virtually every moved NFL team has done, ever.

So I figure they are due for a new stadium. The people of Arizona have been getting off cheap for almost 20 years.

(The Extreme Engineering show also showed the Sapporo Dome mentioned above. That is even more ridiculous than this one, because the field floats on air to move, rather than on railroad tracks. And it rotates once it gets into the stadium, for some reason. OTOH, the weird thing about that stadium is that they take the grass out to play baseball, which from an American perspective defeats the point entirely.)
posted by smackfu at 5:25 PM on September 9, 2006


Gee mathowie, why don't you fucking move to Arizona and protest it?

A comment can never be construed a derail if Mathowie posts it. His bat, his ball, his ballgame, his rules.

This comment will self-destruct in five seconds. Five...four...
posted by pax digita at 9:50 AM on September 11, 2006



I live in AZ and I voted against the stadium tax. This tax actually came from tourism, half a percent on hotel room rates and rental cars. So it was technically paid for by out-of-towners. I'm sure that hotel owners felt a little down tick in business though.


I doubt it. Is 1/2% tax increase going to make someone say, "gee, Arizona would be so much fun, if it wasn't for that blasted extra .5% tax increase". How many people are even going to realize that it is higher? And the added revenue from various events (Super Bowl, Fiesta Bowl) will provide the htoels with plenty of business to make up for it.
posted by scottymacten at 4:38 PM on September 11, 2006


« Older FBI Agent Chris Saviano Stop raping my wife....  |  Paging Dr. Ronald McDonald and... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments