A new model for a sustainable stadium

The vision for the ASU 365 Community Union was introduced by Jack Furst (ASU alumnus and 2017 Founder’s Day Philanthropist of the Year). Furst’s vision was born out of the realization of a huge issue facing cities, universities and even nations: spending big money on stadiums that are utilized on a very limited basis. Most university stadiums cost hundreds of millions of dollars, yet are often only utilized seven to nine times a year. Furst’s vision was to reverse from 2 percent utilized to 98 percent utilized. The solution is to abandon conventional thinking, with an innovative new model that transforms the stadium from a football field into a university asset that’s utilized 365 days a year. 

As Sun Devil Stadium renovations reach phase III, we are moving forward to make the ASU 365 Community Union a reality. This new Community Union will honor ASU traditions, but will also honor the First Nations peoples who have called this land home for centuries.

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Strategically located in the heart of the Valley, the ASU Community Union will be a cultural hub where people can converge on campus to enjoy programming designed for the entire community, with food service as diverse as our student population and activities that will enthrall audiences of all ages. The 365 Community Union will include exciting programming, concerts, film festivals, restaurants and cultural activity to make this a hub for community involvement.

Additionally, we are ensuring commitment to the priorities set forth by ASU President Michael M. Crow. We’ll have a home for high profile programs such as the Tillman Center, Public Service Academy, Global Sport Institute, a brand new Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication newsroom, and sports performance and clinical spaces. We will also be able to fulfill our long-term plans to bring ASU’s ROTC programs into the 365 Community Union. 

This new vision ensures that all stakeholders win. Subsequently, we’ve consulted with students, donors, athletes, faculty, alumni, the city of Tempe, Valley residents, local businesses and each of ASU’s 16 colleges. Plans are in place for all of these key stakeholders to always leave the stadium undefeated. 

Converting a football stadium with a 2 percent utilization rate into a Community Union serving the entire metropolitan area has never been done before. This project will reinforce ASU’s status as the most innovative university in the country and create a model for sustainability of the stadium environment for the entire world. 

 
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The studio facilities at ASU 365 Community Union will provide an exciting new venue for our students who, in the spirit of the Cronkite School’s ‘Teaching Hospital’ model, will have the unique opportunity to produce news, sports, and entertainment content related to the hundreds of events the Union is planning to host annually. With the guidance of the school’s faculty and aided by cutting-edge technology, our students will have the technological assets to produce and distribute live audio and video content to broadcast and social media audiences throughout Arizona, the nation and the world.
— Chris Callahan, Dean of the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
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