NFL Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium
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This Sunday's Super Bowl XLIX between New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks will be played at the University of Phoenix. University of Phoenix Stadium is a state-of-the-art facility in Glendale, Arizona. It is the home of the Arizona Cardinals and was the first stadium in North America to feature a retractable roof and a roll-out grass field. The 63,400-seat stadium opened on August 1, 2006 after three years of construction. The stadium is considered an architectural icon for the region and was named by Business Week as one of the 10 “most impressive” sports facilities on the globe due to the combination of its retractable roof. On September 26, 2006 the University of Phoenix acquired the naming rights to the stadium totaling $154.5 million over 20 years. The stadium is home to NFL team Arizona Cardinals (2006–present) as well as the NCAA college football, Fiesta Bowl (2007–present) There are no obstructed view seats in the stadium. There are visible areas in the upper deck of the end zone where seats could have been put in but were not due to the giant super columns supporting the roof structure. The stadium seating capacity can be expanded by 8,800 for "mega-events" such as college bowls, NFL Super Bowls, and the NFC Championship Game by adding risers and ganged, portable "X-frame" folding seats. The endzone area on the side of the facility where the field tray rolls in and out of the facility can be expanded to accommodate the additional seats. The shape of the stadium is loosely modeled after a barrel cactus, a widespread plant in the Arizona desert. University of Phoenix Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 in which the New York Giants defeated the previously undefeated New England Patriots 17-14 with a paid attendance crowd of 71,101. The University of Phoenix Stadium will also host the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 2017.