Peter Eisenman, the Louis Kahn visting professor at the Yale School of Architecture, designed Arizona’s University of Phoenix Stadium, the home of the Arizona Cardinals and the location of last year’s Super Bowl. Yesterday he chatted with the News about stadium architecture, Super Bowl Sunday and why he still loves the Giants.
QWhat are the most innovative features of your University of Phoenix Stadium?
AWell, the retracting roof is very noticeable — everybody asks to see it when you take them around the stadium. We’ve had skydivers onto the pitch and stuff like that, but the most remarkable feature of the stadium is the football field that’s on rollers so you can wheel it into the stadium and out when you want to have conferences and so on. They wanted a grass field when we built the stadium because it would give the Southern teams an advantage. Northeastern teams are bigger, stronger — they’re more used to being beaten by the wind, whereas Southern teams are sleeker, faster — they’re used to playing on grass.
QHow did you feel when the Super Bowl was played in the University of Phoenix stadium last year?
AI’ve been a Giants season ticket holder for 50 years. Having the Giants play in our stadium was like a Catholic watching Easter Mass in a cathedral that he had done; something like the High Mass by a Pope.
QDid you have anything to do with this year’s Super Bowl?
AWe had nothing to do with this year’s Super Bowl apart from the fact that the Cardinals play in our stadium and the fact that we like to see that the Cardinals have turned their whole franchise around. We’d like to think that our stadium has encouraged that turnaround.
QWould you say you’re a Cardinals fan now?
AI was rooting for them on Sunday, but I’m still a Giants fan.