With talks brewing between Arizona State and upcoming football league, Alliance of American Football (AAF), professional football may be on its way back to the Sun Devil Stadium. These rumors were all but confirmed by the ASU Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director, Jean Boyd, who stated that having a pro team use the Sun Devil Stadium as home is “in alignment” with the school’s plans.
Bringing in a professional football team would be the first time since 2005 that the Sun Devil Stadium played host. The Arizona Cardinals called the stadium home from 1998 until 2005.Currently, the stadium has been under a $300 million renovation that is near complete and on track to open in early 2019. Upon completion, ASU has plans to use the stadium year-round.
With 2019 rapidly approaching, speculation is running rampant as to who will be the coach of this new Arizona team. Danny White, former Arena Football League coach for the Arizona Rattlers from 1992 to 2004, is currently locked in as an ASU football consultant. Other viable candidates include former ASU coach, Todd Graham, and former Arizona coach, Rich Rodriguez.
Metro Phoenix is currently a haven for sports. Presently, the area is home to the Indoor Football League, MLB, NBA, NL, NHL, United Soccer League, and WNBA.
The AAF is scheduled to launch in February 2019. As of right now, the launch is to take place following the Super Bowl and overlap with other popular Phoenix sports teams’ seasons such as the Phoenix Sun, Arizona Rattlers, and Arizona Coyotes.
This project is being overseen by TV producer Charlie Ebserol alongside NFL Hall of Fame Executive, Bill Polian. Tentatively, the games will air on CBS. The season will run for 12 weeks with eight teams in the league. Final plans for the construction on Sun Devil Stadium should not impact the season negatively.