Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Opinion: Desert Financial Arena is due for an upgrade

Desert Financial Arena needs to upgrade its seating and scoreboard to increase fan involvement during events

Desert Financial Arena

Desert Financial Arena in Tempe is pictured on Monday, April 12, 2021.

Desert Financial Arena was built in 1974 and made to hold just over 14,000 people. With the arena being under 50 years old, ASU can make a few small, but meaningful renovations for Desert Financial Arena to become a far more enjoyable place for fans and athletes.

DFA is one of two arenas in the Pac-12 opened before 1980 but has yet to receive any renovations — and it is starting to show its age.

The center-court scoreboard is very small compared to that of other state universities around the nation, with just four 8-foot by 12-foot display screens. 

The Schottenstein Center, where Ohio State University holds some of its athletic events, for example, has a center-court scoreboard consisting of four 16-foot by 9-foot screens and eight 6-foot by 10-foot screens, according to Ohio State Department of Athletics.

"The scoreboard is just too small for my liking and is sometimes hard to see the actual gameplay or player stats, depending on where you are seating in the arena," said Tyler Konrad, a sophomore studying sports business. "During the UCLA and ASU basketball (game) a couple of weeks ago, where I was seated it was hard to see the player's points because of where it was located on the scoreboard and on the other electronic board across from the student section."

Enlarging the center-court scoreboard will allow ASU and DFA to have everything they need on one big scoreboard, instead of having one small center-court scoreboard and another smaller scoreboard closer to the roof. The center-court scoreboard shows footage of the game, but there isn't enough room to display detailed lineups and stats, which the smaller scoreboard displays instead.

Using OSU as an example again, its large center-court scoreboard allows many different things to be shown, including the game and player stats underneath during the game.

But it's not just the DFA scoreboard that needs a renovation, it's also the seating. Most general admission seats at arenas are made out of plastic, including DFA's. DFA can go against the norm by adding cushioning for its seats for comfort.

Both student and fan involvement would go up with these updated features because it would show students that ASU athletics cares about what fans want and how they can deliver a better experience at games and events. 

With more fan involvement comes a better atmosphere for the athletes, driving them to play even harder after feeding off the energy of a rejuvenated crowd.

It's not as if ASU doesn't have the financial ability to make these changes.

The University was prepared to spend $160 million to renovate the arena until it decided to build the new multi-purpose arena. Just because ASU pivoted away to build something new does not mean it should ignore renovating the DFA, because let's face it, it needs an upgrade.

ASU needs to look into making these improvements at the DFA because it will only increase fan and student involvement, setting the stage to dramatically increase attendance at all sporting events held there.

Reach the reporter at and follow @adokalm32 on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.

Editor's note: The opinions presented in this column are the author's and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

Want to join the conversation? Send an email to Keep letters under 500 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted.

Addison KalmbachSports Reporter

Addison Kalmbach is a reporter for The State Press Sports desk. He has previously worked for Detroit City FC and PHOENIX Magazine.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.