Cardinals president Michael Bidwill speaks in the new Bubble Lounge during a press tour Saturday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
When University of Phoenix Stadium was opened in 2006, it was state of the art.
The Cardinals are constantly working to make sure it remains that way.
"Every year we are doing things and looking at things," team president Michael Bidwill said during a tour of the most recent upgrades. "We are prioritizing. You spend your money wisely, in terms of operational issues and safety and security needs, technological upgrades. Some of those things we have been doing aren't very visible to the fans but they do impact the fan experience."
Other things are visible, like what Bidwill showed off in a walkthrough Saturday prior to the Cardinals' game against the
Bears. In the first phase of a two-phase club level renovation costing a total of $28 million, the main hospitality lounges were upgraded, new lofts called 50 East and 50 West were added, the Flight Lounge was created and the team put in the first champagne bar in the NFL, called the Bubble Lounge.
Hosting the NCAA basketball Final Four prevented all the stadium construction from happening in one offseason. Phase two of the project will take place after the 2017 season. Also at that time, the Cardinals will build additional parking south of Bethany Home Road, including pedestrian access to that area.
Many of the club upgrades have targeted women. With women comprising 46 percent of the NFL audience, Bidwill said the Cardinals wanted to make some of the new space female-friendly.
For example, tastes have changed in the 12 years the stadium has been opened, Bidwill said. A desire for more wine, sparkling wines and craft beer pushed the Cards to add many more taps.
There were also two giant video boards added behind the bar in each of the two main lounge areas – boards large enough that they were originally designed to be used in the inner bowl of a stadium.
The upgrades follow previous years in which the Cards improved in-stadium Wi-Fi, video boards and sound system.
"I see a lot of things in my travels not just in NFL stadiums but what people are doing all over the world," Bidwill said. "We've brought some of those ideas back here.
"So far the feedback has been very positive."