— As Arizona and Tuscalia celebrated the grand opening of the new stadium that will host the 2017 College Football Playoff Championship Game, fans across the country were wondering whether the area had an alternative to its usual stadium for a sporting event.
Tuscaloosans who attend games in the state of Alabama and Georgia had also wondered if the team would be playing in Tuscans new stadium, which was built to withstand Super Bowl-level winds.
But Arizona and its football team have said the stadium won’t be playing for years, and that the new facility will be ready to host the College Football Playoffs this fall.
“Arizona State will be hosting the 2016 College Football Championship Game in Tempe,” Arizona athletic director Mike Bellotti said at a news conference Thursday.
“Arizona Stadium will be the home of the Arizona State football program.
I want you to know that for all the excitement surrounding the game, we know there are many, many more events and people to be in Arizona, not just the College Championships.”
But while the stadium may not be ready for the 2018 season, Arizona State’s football team was already planning for the possibility of hosting the event.
The Sun Devils announced Thursday that the team is “actively” exploring a potential location in Tempo County for its home game in 2021.
As a result, the stadium could be ready within weeks, Arizona Stadium spokesman Chris Grier said.
I think there’s a lot of excitement about this for fans in the Tempo county area, but I can tell you there’s no hard and fast timeline for us.
We have the stadium, we have a facility, we’ve got a staff, we’re ready to go.
I think that’s going to be our focus going forward.
Arizona State’s stadium, dubbed The Place, opened in 2017.
The stadium is set to become Arizona Stadium’s fourth facility, following the existing facilities at UA’s Marriotts Stadium and Arizona Stadium, both in Tempos, the UA Athletic Department announced Thursday.
The new stadium will be a “significant upgrade,” said Arizona Stadium director Mike Delgadillo.
The stadium will feature a “much more expansive footprint” than Tempos stadium, and will house two indoor practice fields, one for football and one for basketball.
Tempo County Executive Steve Stivers has said the new location will be home to a community park, a basketball court, a skate park, and a baseball diamond.
Tempo Stadium is scheduled to open in 2021, Delgaglio said.
“We are thrilled that Tempe County is committed to hosting a Major League Baseball team in Tempuco County,” Stivers said in a statement.
“I am looking forward to seeing what the fans of Tempo have to offer in this facility.”
The new Tempo stadium will have a capacity of 12,000, Delgris said.
Tempos arena, which seats 20,000 fans, will be replaced by the new Tempe stadium, he said.