The Arizona Cardinals Football Club and Bill and Michael Bidwill invited the state of Arizona's House of Representatives, Senate and key staff members to the new Cardinals stadium in the west valley Friday.
"I think it's important to have public representatives, particularly the ones that participated in the legislative process," commented Cardinals Vice President and General Counsel Michael Bidwill. "They have been important partners in this progress so I think it's important for them to see the stadium and how far along it has come."
Nearly 50 people from the state capital were bused out to the stadium site and participated in a tour of the new state of the art multi-purpose facility guided by Cardinals Vice President and General Counsel Michael Bidwill and Manager of Hunt Construction Group, Charlie Prewitt.
"Everyone had an opinion about the stadium when it went through the legislature and when it went to the voters," added Bidwill. "Certainly bringing over the legislatures provided a positive outcome whether they were for it or against it. I think they really see the amount of opportunities it will bring to the valley. They see the multi-purpose benefits of it, and they see the football benefits of it and I think they are good judges of what the public likes."
The participants were able to see the stadium from every level, walk into a loft, and ask questions about the future home of the Cardinals.
"I was very much impressed," offered State Representative for Mesa Gary Pierce following the tour. "Viewing it from the road does not do it justice. Getting inside, you realize and can visualize just the type of utilization this building can have. This is obviously going to be a premiere spot in the state."
The new Cardinals Stadium will be open in time for the 2006 season. The 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 2007 and Super Bowl XLII in February 2008. The stadium will have a seating capacity of 63,000 fans with the ability to expand to 73,000 for larger events.
"Apparently a lot of voters in Mesa did not want to build this over there and it was probably a big mistake," added Representative Pierce. "This is a plum for any location in the valley. The views people are going to have for Cardinals games are phenomenal. I've never seen a stadium so ergonomically correct. I'm excited to see it when it is finished and I'm excited to see it when there is a crowd full of people because I think it will have a unique sound to it and will most likely be a number of decibels higher than any other venue in the state."