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State Farm Stadium

Groundbreaking design sets records and raises standards

Project Facts

Location Glendale, Arizona
Owner Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority
Cost $455 million
Status Completed 2006
Capacity 72,200 seats


Allowing Arizona’s sun to illuminate the field, the “Brunel trusses” of State Farm Stadium’s roof support two massive retractable roof panels, which part from midfield. This development was the first inclined retractable roof in the United States, one of only four stadiums worldwide with an operable playing field, and the first in the United States with an operable natural grass field.

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About the project

Walter P Moore provided structural engineering services for the operable playing field at State Farm Stadium as well as the 500,000 square foot roof, 100,000 square feet of which is retractable. The roof design features two distinct elements: a fixed roof structure and two bi-parting retractable roof panels. Two 87-foot deep “Brunel trusses” span 700 feet between concrete super columns to form the primary structure of the roof. The Brunel trusses support two 180-foot long by 270-foot wide fabric-clad retractable roof panels that bi-part from mid-field on sunny days. The unique vierendeel-lenticular grid truss system maximizes light transmission into the building and presents a clean, elegant structural framing system. Over half of the roof was built on the ground and lifted into place in a single three-day operation that was the world’s largest roof lift.

In order to serve as a true multi-purpose facility, in just over an hour, the entire playing field surface rolls out of the south end of the building to reveal a state-of-the-art event slab. The operable field tray design included groundbreaking research and verification testing of the structural floor stiffness necessary to provide a suitable playing surface for football. Host of Super Bowl LVII in 2023, State Farm Stadium is a model of innovation and versatility.

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Popular Science 100 Best Innovations of 2006

2007 ISE Commendation Award for Sports Structures

2007 AISC Innovative Design and Excellence in Architecture

2007 NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Award Finalist

2008 ACEC Grand Award for Engineering Excellence