How State Farm Stadium is preparing for Super Bowl LVII
From the facility’s structure to the turf to the roof, many aspects of State Farm Stadium were tended to to ensure a good game day experience for the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles and thousands of raving football fans.
In less than a week, millions of Americans will be focused on one specific spot in the nation: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Home to the Arizona Cardinals, State Farm Stadium is where the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will go head-to-head during Super Bowl LVII on Sunday.
The stadium has hosted two Super Bowls since it was built in 2006, but this year, the stadium has made some additional preparations for the big game. Arizona hosted one other Super Bowl before State Farm Stadium was built – Super Bowl XXX at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe in 1996.
Planning for the Super Bowl starts years in advance, from being selected to preparing the area ahead of the big game.
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Thousands of people help prepare so the Super Bowl can go off without a hitch, as State Farm Stadium can seat between 63,400 and 73,000 fans.
Of course, preparations have also been made to make sure football players are given the red carpet treatment – or rather, the green grass treatment.
The field, FOX 10 Phoenix reports, is being prepared with the utmost care by a crew of about 25 people from across the nation.
"We're going to continue to mow, continue to grow and fertilize as we need – make sure the grass is only getting healthier and stronger for game day," said Nick Pappas, NFL field services director.
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The way State Farm Stadium prepares its playing field is relatively rare in the NFL, as it is only one of two NFL sites that grow its grass outside and then bring it into the stadium for games.
According to State Farm Stadium, this process allows the stadium to have the flexibility to host a range of events – from a Super Bowl ripping up the field with athletes to a Taylor Swift concert packing the stadium floor with fans.
"We grow (the grass) on plastic. The reason we do this is to kind of trap the roots in the grass, and it makes it stronger not only for the players but also for the halftime show, which sometimes it could be 6,000 to 10,000 pounds for the stage," said Jay Danek, general manager for West Coast Turf. West Coast Turf provides the specialty grass for several NFL teams, including the sod for this year’s Super Bowl.
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Above the grass, field and fans is another critical component of the stadium: the roof.
"Designers created a 480-horsepower system to move the two roof panels and maintain control of the structure while in motion," State Farm Stadium said. "Made of translucent Bird-Air fabric and moving on steel rails, the system incorporates the use of eight cable drums or winches that move each panel."
"Each cable drum is powered by four 7.5-horsepower motors that wind up a one-and-a-half-inch diameter cable," they added.
These mechanics allow the roof to be opened up, weather permitting – and lucky for Super Bowl attendees, the weather for the big game is forecast to have highs in the low-60s with sunny skies.
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"The plan as of now is to have the dome open," said Elissa Dotzman, communications coordinator for the NFL.
The game will be broadcast on Sunday, February 12, at 4:30 p.m. MST on FOX.