Several state legislators visited the new Cardinals Stadium on Friday to participate in a tour of the state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility guided by Cardinals Vice President and General Counsel Michael Bidwill.
"I think it was very important for these public representatives who supported the stadium from the start, to come and see the progress," said Bidwill. "We want to show them that we have delivered on what we told them we would do. We wanted to build something that everyone would be proud of and set a new standard for design excellence in terms of how public facilities and public money is spent."
Friday marked the second time legislators have been invited to the stadium site for a tour this offseason, and much like the first trip, it was a remarkable success.
"I just thought this was tremendous," said House Representative Jack Brown. "I missed the first time around and I was glad to be able to make the second one and be able to see what this building is all about. I've been around since they first started thinking about building this thing. I've supported it all the way because I knew it would be a good thing for the state of Arizona."
State Representative Jake Flake was the Speaker of the House during the initial stages of the stadium project and has since continued to be highly involved in the support of the stadium. For him, an up close and personal look at the site reassured his pride for all of his hard work on the project.
"I think it is magnificent," stated Flake. "I'm just overwhelmed with how phenomenal it is and the complexity of the stadium. It was designed well and it is amazing to see how it is being built. I think it is a tremendous asset to the valley and to our state. I can't wait to see a game here."
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.
"Being someone that has supported this stadium from the beginning I think this stadium is going to have a huge impact on Arizona's economy," said State Representative David Lujan. "It is going to bring tourists to Arizona just to see the stadium. You couple that with all of the other events we can have here, and it is going to be a positive impact for the whole state. I thank the Bidwill family and all of the people involved in this. All of these workers are doing a tremendous job and I'm just glad to be a part of it."