Sun Devil Stadium – Arizona State Sun Devils

by | Sep 14, 2018 | Eric Moreno, NCAA Football | 0 comments

Fanfare Score

Total Score
3.14

Crowd Score

Total Score
3.71

 

 

 

 

Sun Devil Stadium Shines in the Valley of the Sun

Cradled within the Tempe Buttes is historic Sun Devil Stadium, home of the eponymous Arizona State Sun Devils. Built in 1958, the stadium has been renovated multiple times over the years, and has been the home of not only Sun Devil football, but the host of the Fiesta Bowl, the Cactus Bowl, and even the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

Over the years, Sun Devil Stadium has been featured in movies ranging from Jerry Maguire, Raising Arizona, and the U2 concert film Rattle and Hum. Pope John Paul II also made a stop here as part of his tour of the United States in 1987, and even held mass at the stadium. Deep in the heart of the Valley of the Sun, the stadium is now ground zero for Arizona State’s rabid fan base, where all visiting teams are greeted by the ominous line from Dante’s Inferno: “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

Food & Beverage   3

Sun Devil Stadium has multiple kiosks and stands that offer a wide range of traditional fare, including hot dogs (both regular and the “Super” variety at $5 and $7 respectively), nachos ($9 for “Mega” and $5 for regular size), peanuts, pretzels, popcorn ($10 for a souvenir tub or $5 for the regular size), sodas, frozen lemonade, beer, and wine. All of these items are offered at stands located throughout the stadium on all levels.

Sun Devil Stadium also features several pop-up kiosks on the main concourse level, including Chick-fil-A stands selling the chain’s signature chicken sandwiches, fries, and lemonade. There are also churro stands offering the delectable Latino treat (including an Oreo flavored one). If that still has not satisfied your sweet tooth, The Baked Bear Gourmet Ice Cream Shop has a stand near the student section.

Atmosphere   4

Cradled by the stony embrace of Tempe Butte (which can be recognized by the trademark “A” emblazoned on its face), Sun Devil Stadium is one of the most uniquely picturesque stadiums in all of college football.  Since the renovations, the stadium truly looks impressive; you literally have to climb the butte, going over dozens of steps to reach the seating area. Once you reach the top, the field opens up in the valley below – like an oasis of green, gold, and scarlet.

The Sun Devils trademark pitchfork is emblazoned on virtually every surface in the stadium, and the names of Sun Devil greats line the walls underneath the massive press box on the east side of the stadium. In the north and south end zones, giant video boards loom over the student and band sections, and the famed Sun Devil Marching Band sits below the scoreboard in the north end zone, blaring non-stop throughout the course of the game.

There is one aesthetic concern to be aware of during games; the seating for the vast majority of fans is traditional metal bleachers. This can become a comfort issue, but the staff does rent out seat cushions. Oh, and yes, it does get extremely hot in Tempe, even well into the night when most Sun Devil games are played – make sure to keep hydrated as much as possible.

Neighborhood   3

You really can’t beat the view at Sun Devil Stadium. The buttes, Tempe Town Lake, the nearby Salt River, and the rest of ASU’s athletic facilities can all be seen from your seat in the stands. Tempe itself is the definition of a college town, and surrounding the stadium are college dorms, restaurants, and bars catering to the university’s student population. There is a Buffalo Wild Wings a short walk from the stadium; there is also a Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and Chompie’s Restaurant nearby – all are good options for dining before or after Sun Devil games.

When it comes to attractions, Tempe is just a short drive from Phoenix, where there are tons of options. The Phoenix Zoo, Papapgo Park, and Arizona Mills shopping mall are all readily available options, and should satisfy any of your interests.

In terms of hotel options, there are quite a few within shouting distance of Sun Devil Stadium, and the Phoenix metro area has literally hundreds to choose from. Right near the stadium are the Hotel Tempe and Best Western Inn Tempe; you can find something to suit your needs no matter your budget with a little research.

Fans   3

The Arizona State Sun Devils tend to have a very strong fan base – especially in times when the squad is good on the field. In those eras fans pack the stadium, and the student section is especially rocking.

The students sing the fight song, shake their keys during kickoffs (per tradition), throw up their pitchfork hand gestures, and generally make the home field advantage pretty daunting for visitors. The tailgate scene is especially impressive and stretches for several blocks as you make your way to Sun Devil Stadium.

Access   2

If I had to point to one area in which Sun Devil Stadium was deficient, it would be in regard to the amenities. The venue is not especially difficult to get to, as the stadium is just off University Drive, which you can get to from Highway 202. However, if you are unfamiliar with the area – as I was during my most recent visit – there is no signage whatsoever marking the way to the stadium. This can be a little daunting, but you will have to trust your GPS.

Once you get to the stadium, parking is ample. There is a massive parking structure for season ticket holders which is filled with tailgaters before the game, and this is also where ride-sharing parking and dropping off is offered. In addition, there are also lots further away from Sun Devil Stadium where parking can be had for $20-$30 depending on the location.

Return on Investment   3

Tickets to football games at Sun Devil Stadium range from $30 to $275 per person depending on the section you sit in. This is pretty comparable to other teams in the PAC-12, and looks to be pretty affordable if you’re going with a friend, the family, or a group.

Concessions costs are relatively low, and parking is pretty much aligned with other power five conference stadiums. You might not ever say it is “cheap” to attend games at Sun Devil Stadium, but it won’t break you, and you will still be able to have a great time and enjoy some big-time college football for a decent price.

Extras   4

Fans get their fill of extras at Sun Devil Stadium. From the opening moments of the game, fireworks flare and continually go off to celebrate each ASU touchdown.

Sun Devil Stadium has all the fanfare you would expect from a college football game. You get the Sun Devil Marching Band before the game, continually in the stands, and of course at halftime. In addition, there are cheerleaders and the legendary mascot Sparky, who does pushups after every score atop an elevated platform, held up by the ASU ROTC and the cheerleaders.

One extra not to be missed is the statue of the late great Pat Tillman. Erected in honor of the former Sun Devil who lost his life serving in the U.S. Army, Tillman’s legacy has had a lasting impact on the ASU program. Fans can view the statue in its location underneath the north end zone scoreboard, near the players tunnel.

Final Thoughts

Sun Devil Stadium is truly a special venue for college football. It offers tremendous views, the fans are enthusiastic, and the atmosphere is electric. The weather can be a challenge, but if you manage your hydration levels, you’ll do just fine. If you are ever in the Valley of the Sun, you need to make it a point to visit Sun Devil Stadium.

Follow Eric Moreno’s Stadium Journey on Twitter at @EricMoreno6477.
Visit Eric Moreno’s writer’s portfolio site at ericmoreno.contently.com.

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Food and Drink Recommendations

Buffalo Wild Wings

705 S Rural Rd #104

Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 858-9464

https://www.buffalowildwings.com/


Chompie’s Restaurant, Deli, and Bakery

1160 E University Dr

Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 557-0700

https://www.chompies.com/


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Entertainment Recommendations

Phoenix Zoo

455 N Galvin Pkwy

Phoenix, AZ 85008

(602) 286-3800

http://www.phoenixzoo.org/


Papago Park

625 N Galvin Pkwy

Phoenix, AZ 85008

(602) 495-5458

https://www.tempe.gov/Home/Components/FacilityDirectory/FacilityDirectory/Papago Park/


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Lodging Recommendations

 

AC Hotel by Marriott Phoenix Tempe/Downtown

100 E Rio Salado Pkwy

Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 642-6140

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/phxac-ac-hotel-phoenix-tempe-downtown/


 

Tempe Mission Palms Hotel and Conference Center

60 E 5th St

Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 894-1400

https://www.destinationhotels.com/tempe-mission-palms/


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Crowd Reviews

Latest Crowd Reviews

Date: 2018-09-14 11:32:52
By: Michael Davis

Total Score
3.71

Sun Devil Stadium has been renovated, a few times over the years, and continues to be a staple of Arizona State University and the city of Tempe. Only a few blocks away from the college scene on Mill Avenue, where there are plenty of restaurants and bars for pre and post games gatherings. The access is really easy especially if planned ahead of time, as there are numerous ways to reach the Stadium . Although, Loop 202 is the closest highway exit, 101 Loop, Interstate 10 and Highway 60 are better options. There are plenty of parking around the stadium, but my suggestion would be to park near Mill Avenue in the garages. There are available water holes on Mill Avenue and it is a short walk(.3 mile)to the stadium. The easiest for a visitor to access Sun Devil Stadium is using the Valley&#039s Metro Rail. This rail is connected to Sky Harbor Airport,as well as many destinations around the Valley,and downtown Phoenix. Arizona State is one of the largest universities in the country so there are plenty of ASU fans, however, this doesn&#039t always translate to a sold out stadium. There are die-hard fans but most show when the team is putting a good product on the field. The atmosphere is above average for most games. The food and beverage is average compare to stadium/venues around the country but with Mill Avenue nearby the concessions are acceptable. Phoenix and Tempe is a popular tourist place during the winter months and spring training, however, visiting Sun Devil Stadium in the fall is well worth a trip to the desert.

 

Stadium Info

Sun Devil Stadium
500 E Veterans Way
Tempe, AZ 85281

Arizona State Sun Devils website

Sun Devil Stadium website

Year Opened: 1958

Capacity: 53,599

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