The Arizona Cardinals will be host to the 2023 Super Bowl during the upcoming season. So how does the stadium’s pregame experience stack up against others that will host fans throughout the regular season and playoffs?
Every fan has their pregame ritual, whether at the stadium or elsewhere. Many find pleasure in tailgating outside their favorite team’s stadium. Some NFL teams have even upgraded their venues with family-friendly amenities that cater to an experience beyond the gridiron. A June 2022 ranking gives fans some insight on where to find the best destinations.
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Survey Determined the Overall Pregame Experience Among Teams
Bookies.com created a list of the best pregame experiences in the NFL. The ranking was based on criteria including location, tailgating, stadium entertainment and family sentiment.
According to Bookies.com, the Cardinals along with State Farm Stadium are tied for 19th overall, with the Detroit Lions. This puts the Cardinals just outside the middle of the pack. In the first place, the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks were tied as well. In last place, the Washington Commanders stood alone, but with many recent problems regarding FedEx Field, it was not difficult to see this one coming.
What Does State Farm Stadium Do Best?
In the location category, the Cardinals ranked ninth, their highest rating in the study. This considered how accessible and close to the action State Farm Stadium was for Cardinals fans. Located in the Glendale Sports and Entertainment District, there are plenty of alternate attractions in the vicinity of the stadium. The stadium also holds up to 24,000 parking spots, with several different entry points into the district.
The Cardinals ranked 15th for tailgating. State Farm Stadium has several different on-site venues outside of parking that hold tailgating. They currently boast the Cardinals Preflight Party, Cardinals Flight Deck, Big Red Brew Haus, Four Peaks Tailgater of The Game, and the Great Lawn Stage. This has proven to be more than enough on game days, especially with the surrounding entertainment district to enjoy.
In family sentiment, State Farm Stadium finished in 17th place. With another pretty average rating, it is safe to say that the Cardinals don’t do a bad job but have room for improvement in this area.
The Cardinals also finished 17th in the stadium experience category. The category considered whether there was a vibrant bar and restaurant scene within walking distance to stadium seats. State Farm Stadium hasn’t always been known to offer a wide variety of culinary choices inside but has made large improvements in recent years. Where it used to be heavy on barbecue, now it offers items like chicken and waffles, churros and other items. There are also many high-end restaurants and bars located outside the venue and in the entertainment district across the street.
Overall, the Cardinals offer a solid experience for fans and are improving yearly. Opened in 2006, it has held up better in comparison to some constructed afterward. State Farm Stadium has repeatedly been awarded bids for large sporting events outside of the NFL, on top of hosting this year’s Super Bowl, in which the rowdy Cardinals fans hope they could see the second consecutive team to hail the Lombardi Trophy in their home stadium.