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Sun Devil Stadium
QUOTES: North End Zone Construction
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 04/14/2014
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Ray Anderson, Vice President for University Athletics

Opening Statement:

“Good morning. Well, here you are. You’ve just witnessed the first part of the makeover of Sun Devil Stadium. Thank you for coming. Coach (Todd) Graham is here and he will have much more interesting things to talk about than I will, so I’ll be brief and then will open it up to questions. What you see is that the upper deck will be removed. As you know, sections 220-228 will be coming down. We’re going to reduce it by about 5,700 seats, so there will be approximately 66,000 seats when we begin the season. We have about 63,00 average attendance, so no one will be displaced. The season ticket holders that were in that area, some 320-330 (people), have been moved for the 2014 season. They have been upgraded in terms of where they will be seating, so none of our fans have been disadvantaged by the move. The project is scheduled to be completed in July, so when we kick off in 2014 you will see a view go all the way out to the lake. It will not interfere with Pat’s Run or any other commencement exercises that happen in the stadium. The band, which is currently in section 19, will be unimpeded. We will have the ambiance and tenacious attitude in that stadium when we go forward. The impact on the economy when we stage a game here is tremendous. The impact that our football program has, and all of our athletic programs here and all of our clubs is also impressive. This is something that needs to be done. This is not originally part of the stadium campaign, but in fact will give us flexibility as we go forward in the planning and the design and the immunities that will be added with the new facilities. This is your opportunity to ask questions. We are certainly proud that we are finally underway, and there will be much more to do. Why don’t I call up Coach Graham first, and then at the end we’ll take Q and A.”

Todd Graham, Sun Devil Football Head Coach 

“Today’s exciting for me. Two years ago I had an opportunity to work for Dr. (Michael) Crow and have him give me the responsibility for coming in here and being a part of a transformational project, transforming ASU football, and ultimately ASU Athletics. Today is an exciting day for me to see the pieces start to come down. It’s an exciting time in Sun Devil football history to see where we are and where we’re going. We’re very, very excited that we’re just getting started on this project, and one that is going to set us apart. We have a lot of work to do and a lot of development and designing and a lot of things we have to do as an organization, but it’s exciting to have the leadership we have here, to have an administration that is committed to being a top five—I keep saying top five but we’re going to be top four because we’re going to be fighting for that playoff every year—but to build a top five prpgram in the nation. It takes that kind of commitment and that type of vision. I’m excited to be part of this team here. I think it’s unprecedented the uniqueness of our team, of our fans, of our student body support that we have, to be a part of something. I’m a person that prides myself on having a vision, and to see the vision coming together that Dr. Crow described to me over two years ago, obviously with Ray’s (Anderson) vision and the staff we have in place with football, the way our guys are working and preparing—we’re coming off a two-year stint of putting ourselves in position to being where we want to be, but we’re just getting started. It’s an exciting day for us to see it start to move and to see the pieces start to come together. I approach it from the standpoint of I’m thrilled to be part of a transformational project, and that;s taking this program, and our fanbase, and being a part of this team to where it’s never been before. That’s to being a national champion, obviously return as Pac-12 Champions, as well as being Rose Bowl Champions. It’s an exciting day for us. I can’t wait to start watching these sections come down and watching it all come together.” 

Todd Graham:

On modernizing the stadium for recruiting and other purposes to keep ASU football in line with other top college football programs:

“The bottom line is it shows a commitment. In the recruiting process, obviously I think the number one thing a player is looking for is from an educational standpoint. From a football standpoint, they want to be at a place where they can win championships. Winning championships, doing it the right way—graduating your players is number one, but also on that list is that kids are very visual, and it shows the commitment that we have. We want what we do to be unique to Arizona State. We’re not trying to copy or do what anybody else is doing. We’re not trying to outspend anybody or anything like that. Our whole deal is about having a program that has facilities that looks like a place where champions reside. That’s what I’m excited about—does it affect recruiting? Obviously, though, the fan experience, too—the game day experience. Our fans have been tremendous supporters, our student body and what they’ve done, everything about our fan experience is going to improve with this project, as well as how it’s going to affect the student athlete from a facility standpoint. From an academic standpoint, we’re able to improve our academic support areas and study areas and computer settings that we have for our players. Yes, it is very, very important. I think that this is a project that will put us in a position where no one is going to offer more to a student athlete than what we can here.”

Ray Anderson:

On where SDA is with fundraising:

“We are underway. We are being aggressive about seeking participants. We can’t get give you any details per say, but what I can tell you is that we are encouraged by the response from passionate ASU fans and donors, and we expect to be very successful in the fundraising as we go forward.”

Representative from Hunt Construction:

On how long it will take for the sections to be removed:

“About three weeks for the entire demolition process to take place. You’ll start seeing the planks come off in the next couple of days, and it will continue until we’re all the way down to the loge level. Then we’ll go back in and start adding a new temporary shade structure over the loge area, which will be ready for next season. The press box you just saw removed, well you’ll see it again. It will be back.” 

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