Sun Devil Stadium could host professional football as early as next year, as Arizona State University and the Alliance of American Football are discussing the venue.
Set to begin play in 2019, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) is a professional league that will run its season in the spring. Orlando and Atlanta have been confirmed as host cities, and the league is backed by some big names–including Charlie Ebersol, Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian, four-time All-Pro Jared Allen and two-time Super Bowl champions Justin Tuck and Troy Polamalu. The teams themselves are poised to feature some prominent names on the sidelines, as Steve Spurrier will be the head coach of the Orlando entry, while Brad Childress will lead the Atlanta squad with Michael Vick as the offensive coordinator. (Our own Jeff Goldberg previewed the AAF in a story last week.)
Now, the AAF appears to have its eyes on Sun Devil Stadium, located east of Phoenix in Tempe, though a final agreement has not been struck. ASU is in the process of renovating Sun Devil Stadium, and aims for the facility to host more events on a year-round basis. The addition of a spring football league team could fit into that agenda. More from The Arizona Republic:
Jean Boyd, ASU executive senior associate athletic director, said being home to a pro team is “in alignment” with the school’s intent to find year-round uses for Sun Devil Stadium under a concept called ASU 365 Community Union.
Sun Devil Stadium in the final major phase of a $300-million renovation although some work still will remain to be completed in early 2019.
Boyd said a final agreement with the AAF – or the Alliance as it is being marketed – has not been reached. He said the final renovation work in 2019 would not prevent a pro team from playing at the stadium.
Sun Devil Stadium has a track record in professional football, most notably as the home of the NFL’s Cardinals from 1988-2005. It also hosted action in the bygone USFL from 1983-1985. Sun Devil Stadium originally opened in 1958.