Video by Josh Nacion | Sports reporter
A construction crew arrived at Sun Devil Stadium with cranes Monday morning to officially begin the removal of the north end zone upper deck.
Cranes pulled out the large advertising signage that was posted above the structure and a small video booth that had sat above stadium since 1977. The bleachers in sections 220 through 228 have been removed since January.
“This is something that needs to be done,” ASU athletic director Ray Anderson said.
Hunt Construction contract manager Tab Baker said the actual demolition of the north end zone upper deck structure would take three weeks. Anderson said the project will be completed in July.
Anderson said the removal of the north end zone upper deck will reduce the seating capacity at Sun Devil Stadium by approximately 5,700 seats. He added season ticket holders who held seats in the removed areas have been upgraded for better seats and that no one will be “displaced.”
The removal of the north upper deck is a separate project from the comprehensive stadium renovation, though the latest plans feature building a terrace in place of the removed seats.
Football coach Todd Graham was on hand during the commencement of the demolition process and noted the changes to Sun Devil Stadium will boost recruiting and fan experience on game day.
“Today’s such an exciting day for me,” Graham said. “I can’t wait to see the pieces come down and it’s an exciting time in Sun Devil history to see where we are and where we’re going.”
In January, ASU launched a campaign entitled “Momentum” to raise $50 million to fund the complete renovation of Sun Devil Stadium. While Anderson declined to disclose how much the athletic department has raised since, he said the school has been “aggressive” in finding donors.
“We are encouraged by the response of passionate ASU fans (and) donors, and we expect to be very successful in the fundraiser as we go forward,” Anderson said.
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