The Cardinals and University of Phoenix have had a long partnership, highlighted by the name on the team’s stadium.
The partnership is continuing. But the stadium name will be changing at some point in the future.
The team and the school jointly announced that news Tuesday, with the Cardinals already having begun the process to find a new naming rights partner for the stadium. During that time, the venue will remain known as University of Phoenix Stadium under the terms of the naming rights original agreement.
“We look forward to continuing our relationship with University of Phoenix while at the same time are excited about identifying a new naming rights partner for the next era of the stadium’s success,” Cardinals executive vice president/chief operating officer Ron Minegar said in a statement.
University of Phoenix acquired the naming rights to the venue in September of 2006, soon after the building opened. In addition to 114
Cardinals games – all sellouts – the list of major events at the stadium since 2006 includes 11 Fiesta Bowls, two Super Bowls, three college football national championship games, and one Pro Bowl, as well as the NCAA’s Final Four earlier this month.
“Our partners at University of Phoenix have been a major factor in the building’s success which has not only been a tremendous source of community pride but also an unparalleled economic driver for Arizona,” Minegar said.
Minegar was optimistic that would continue for the building, citing Arizona’s track record in hosting major events as well as continued improvements with the building that in recent years have included enhanced WiFi and audio systems as well as upgraded videoboards.
In a statement, Joan Blackwood, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for University of Phoenix, said a renewed focus on student retention, graduation rates, and employment-related outcomes – and less of an emphasis on growth – led to the decision to revise the partnership agreement with the Cards.
“We have determined it’s best to evolve our partnership and shift away from stadium naming rights going forward,” Blackwood said.
University of Phoenix will continue to serve as the Cardinals’ official education partner and the two will continue team up on programs like the Focus to the Finish Scholarship, MVPs in the Classroom, Classroom All-Stars and Donate to Educate.
“Throughout this partnership we have been proud to work with the Cardinals to strengthen, enliven and even inspire the Phoenix community,” Blackwood said. “We congratulate them on their success as a franchise and thank them for the honor of being able to partner with this incredible team—one that will no doubt continue to rise.”