Arizona Cardinals Celebrate 100 Games at UoP Stadium
By Erich Becker
Preseason, Regular Season and Post Season Games for 10 years
On Sunday Night Football this week, when the Arizona Cardinals host the Cincinnati Bengals in prime time, will mark the 100th game played at University of Phoenix Stadium opening as Cardinals Stadium in 2006. The 10 year old stadium has seen its share of big events from the Fiesta Bowl, two Super Bowls and a BCS Championship Game.
The Cardinals are 50-26 through this season in regular season home games, good enough for a .658 winning percentage, add in wins for the Wild Card and NFC Championship game in 2008 and the Wild Card win over Green Bay in 2009, the Cardinals are very successful at home. The team has only lost one home opener (going 9-1) over the last 10 seasons.
Since Bruce Arians took over in 2013 as coach, the Cardinals have 16-4 through this week, that’s an amazing winning percentage and a true home field advantage. The stadium, and the fans, have caused 132 accepted false start penalties over the last 10 years, that is the highest in the NFL, something the team likes to boast about on the video boards during the game.
Personally speaking, that place can get loud, ridiculously loud at time, especially on big plays, against big teams, at pivotal moments of the game. Having experienced the 2009 Wild Card win over Green Bay as my first, in person playoff game, I don’t think I could hear for days after that game.
The impact on the team has been huge, in the days of Sun Devil Stadium the Cardinals would be forced to open on the road for the first few weeks of the season due to the heat in the mid-day, mid-September Arizona sun. Now the team routinely hosts a game the first week of the season, even big games like Monday Night Football.
Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; A vendor sells programs outside of the stadium prior to in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Through 10 seasons, dating back to 2006, the team has won six or more games at home 5 times, with the highest in 2014 at 7-1 at home, currently the Cardinals are 3-1 this season. The worst season was a 3-5 mark in 2006.
One thing you don’t see a lot of, the roof being open. During the Kurt Warner days it was to allow for, basically, no wind in the stadium, it is a dome after all, but most of the time it’s just about keeping in all that wonderful noise.
Throughout the years the stadium has grown with huge renovations including larger video boards, more stats, better wifi, expanded Ring of Honor, better eating options, but, still, terrible parking.
Going to the stadium has been something that my wife and I enjoy 10 weeks out of the year, something we’ve done for the last six years as season ticket holders (and something I hope to take my kids to, one day). The Cardinals have built a rich tradition in their nest, it’s hard to believe it has been nearly 10 years since it opened.