Fans suggest everything from Shakespeare to Cirque du Soleil at Sun Devil Stadium renovation open house
TEMPE – From Cirque du Soleil, a Rolling Stones concert and the X Games to stadium-sized vinyasa yoga, TED talks and Shakespeare in the stadium, fans at Sun Devil Stadium on Thursday offered suggestions as to what events they want to see at the venue when renovations are finished in 2017.
Renderings of the final product were on display as ASU hosted an open house to promote the “Sun Devil Stadium 365” campaign.
As it stands, only a handful of events beyond the seven home football games take place at the stadium, including Pat’s Run and Arizona State spring commencement. But the goal of the SDS 365 campaign is to make the renovated stadium a multipurpose facility for events throughout the year.
The gates were open to everybody, but much of the focus was on selling the renovated stadium to event promoters.
“This is being designed and built to be a multipurpose facility for a lot of uses beyond just football games,” Athletic Director Ray Anderson said. “We want people to see and get a vision that our community can do a bunch of things in here when this place is done.”
Anderson was mingling with guests in the south end zone, which hosts one half of the student section and was the main focus of the first of three renovation phases. Anderson said he was proud that the renovations were focused on the students first.
The student-first strategy meant that regular season-ticket holders didn’t get to reap the rewards of the first stage of renovations. Brett Wojtulewicz has been going to games for close to 40 years now and has season tickets in section 215. He’ll be displaced during phase two of the renovation process, but believes in the project.
“I’m 100 percent supportive of making things better,” Wojtulewicz said. “I wanted to come out here and see what they’re planning and if there’s anything I can do to help.”
Among the hopes he has for the future of Sun Devil Stadium are individual seats, rather than the bench seating, and big, outdoor concerts.
Wojtulewicz and a few dozen other fans and promoters were perusing the concourse above the south end zone, where cardboard signs stood with headers such as “House of Achievement,” “Surprises,” “Dance,” “Learning” and “Food” with space for guests to suggest events they want to see at the new Sun Devil Stadium.
What Anderson is most hopeful to see at the renovated facility is an extension of his students-first mentality.
“I want to see symposiums,” Anderson said. “I have a vision of having an art gallery exhibit on a rotational basis in one of the main areas, where all the great work our art students do can be exhibited.”
ASU plays Arizona in the annual Territorial Cup on Saturday, the last event hosted at the stadium before construction workers arrive to begin phase two of renovations. The game kicks off at 1:30 p.m., and construction is slated to begin before the calendar turns to Sunday.
“It’s going to happen fast,” Anderson said. “Because we need every hour, every day.”