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The Great Lawn at Sportsman's Park

Posted Jul 19, 2006

As the opening of Cardinals Stadium draws nearer, azcardinals.com will continue to look at some of the unique features fans will be able to enjoy when they are cheering on the Cardinals this season and for many years to come. This week, we take a look at Great Lawn located outside of Cardinals Stadium…

With the opening of the stadium in August, Cardinals football fans will be able to show off their team spirit, meet other Cardinals fans, cook-out, and experience a pre-game atmosphere that is sure to get fans fired up for the game at the Great Lawn located in Sportsman’s Park outside Cardinals Stadium.

The Great Lawn which extends west from 95th Avenue to the Loop 101, features an eight-acre expanse of grass that stretches over 1,000 feet and is designed for use by fans tailgating at games. During the season the Great Lawn will host bands, vendors, as well as other pre-game entertainment to help fans get the most out of their tailgating experience.

While the first month of the season may be hot, the Great Lawn is surrounded by sycamore trees that not only provide shade from the hot Arizona sun, but add to the beautiful landscape.

Surrounding the Great Lawn is a 50-foot wide promenade. Adjoining the path are three rows of sycamore trees, and ample lighting which illuminate the area during the evening hours so that fans can continue their fun after the game. The promenade also includes seating areas so that fans can enjoy a nice sit-down meal before the game as well as drinking fountains throughout the Great Lawn.

While Arizona is best known for its desert landscape, fans will find that the Great Lawn’s landscape is very unique.

The vegetation that is planted throughout Sportsman Park was selected to incorporate the farming heritage of the West Valley. 1250 trees have been planted on site to give the park a cool atmosphere.

In addition to honor that heritage, several broad leaf shade trees were incorporated into the design. With their red berries, Red Pistache trees will provide color in the fall, while the Arizona Sycamore’s white bark will offer a contrast during the winter months.

Throughout the landscape there is Arizona Ash which bears brilliant gold leaves during the fall and the Evergreen Pear, located primarily in the plaza area, will produce white flowers in January- timely color for college bowl games and Super Bowl XLII in 2008.

Finally, the color red has been incorporated throughout, using the foliage of the Bradford Pear tree, the leaves and fruit of the Roger’s Red Grape vine, and an abundance of red Bougainvillea bushes which outline the fence area.
The Great Lawn is sure to add another exciting element to the new Cardinals Stadium; a world-class venue will not only feature a retractable roof but will also be the first in North America to feature a fully retractable grass playing surface.

In addition to hosting Cardinals games, the stadium will host the Fiesta Bowl annually as well as the BCS National Championship Game in January of 2007 and Super Bowl XLII in February of 2008.

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    CB Eddie Whitley hands out a plate
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    Preparing the silverware before dinner
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    Nicole Bidwill handing out pie
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    Team president Michael Bidwill hands out a meal
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    LB Lorenzo Alexander signs an autograph
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    LB Lorenzo Alexander serving the meals
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    QB Ryan Lindley delivers a plate
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    LS Mike Leach signs an autograph
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    Preparing the meals
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