Photo: Great Degree/Flickr
With Deflategate and Katy Perry’s pedicure hogging the limelight, many have overlooked one of the most intriguing features of Super Bowl XLIX — it’s being played in North America’s only stadium with a retractable roof and moving field.
The $455 million University of Phoenix Stadium, which opened in 2006, was designed by Peter Eisenman Architects. During the regular season, it’s the home of the Arizona Cardinals — but this marks the second Super Bowl in the stadium’s short history. The retractable roof allows for games to be played inside in a climate-controlled environment to combat Arizona’s high temperatures.
Photo: Jason Trim/Flickr
The roof’s panels are made from translucent fiberglass which allows natural light to flood the stadium. It takes roughly 15 minutes for the roof to open or close. At capacity, the stadium can hold 63,400 fans but it can expand to include another 8,800. The majority of the Arizona Cardinals’ games are played with the roof closed. However, according to Forbes, the NFL is planning to play Super Bowl XLIX with the roof retracted.
In order to maintain a natural grass field, a movable platform was built to allow the grass to grow outdoors. The grass itself is a Tifway 419 Bermuda hybrid and prior to installation was grown for over a year on a farm in Alabama. It had to be transported to its rightful home by way of refrigerated flatbed trucks.
Check out the video below of the crew at the University of Phoenix Stadium rolling out the field for game day.