Arizona breaks ground on high-tech 'cactus'

April 01, 2003 |

Massive flowing metal "ribbons" with vertical slots highlight the design of the new multipurpose stadium for the Arizona Cardinals football team in Glendale, Ariz. The project broke ground last month.

The radical design by New York-based architect Peter Eisenman takes subtle cues from the Arizona barrel cactus, which features prominent vertical ribs and is among the largest cacti of the North American deserts.

The stadium will have a seating capacity of more than 63,000 and will include 88 luxury suites. The site is adjacent to the new Phoenix Coyote hockey arena.

Key features include a retractable, fabric roof – similar to that of Houston's Reliant Stadium – that will let in light even when closed, and a movable grass playing field -- the first of its kind in the U.S. The 94,000-sq.-ft. field can be moved outside to receive sun, while allowing for a concrete slab within the facility to provide maximum flexibility for multipurpose events.

Eisenman is working with HOK Sport + Venue + Event, St. Louis, on the design. Hunt Construction, Indianapolis, is the general contractor, working on a guaranteed maximum price basis.

Arizona Cardinals invested $85 million in the $331 million stadium, and will pay for construction cost overruns. The balance is covered by tax-financed bonds.

Visit for more on the new stadium.

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