SEP 09, 2016

Have you ever heard of the Seven Wonders of Arizona? Well, neither have we. But we do know that you shouldn’t leave Arizona without at least driving past the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals. The impressive barrel-cactus shaped structure seats approximately 63,400 seats, but an additional 8,800 seats can be added to accommodate a total of 72,200 people. There are 88 luxury lofts, approximately 7,400 club seats, two 3,900 square foot Club Lounges, 160,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, 20,000 square feet of meeting room space, 77 public restrooms, 47 concession stands, 10 elevators, and 18 escalators. All told, the University of Phoenix Stadium takes up a grand total of 1.7 million square feet! Now for the million dollar question – what kind of air conditioning system is used to cool down all that space?


When the giant domed roof is closed due to the Arizona hot sun, the facilities managers at U.P. Stadium kick on 8,000 tons of cooling power. That’s enough power to cool 2,300 valley homes at the same time! The bill for all that air conditioning is nothing to scoff at either – try $500,000 to $600,000 a month in the summer heat!

And while the specific ins and out of the air conditioning systemat Cardinals’ home field lies in a secret vault at the city office, we can tell you how some of the largest buildings in the world, like the UP Stadium, are cooled.


Massively large buildings like Cardinals Stadium rely on centralized air conditioning machinery. Typically there are multiple air conditioning units which are placed together in a centralized location called a central cooling station. These central cooling stations are noisy and large and so are usually on the roof or, in the likely case of University of Phoenix Stadium, contained in the basement.

Air handling units are then placed on each floor of the building. Multiple air handling units can be placed on a single floor if the floor is unusually large (like an oversized barrel shape).

These units will distribute air through ducts that are specific to each floor or corner of the floor in which they are placed, while the centralized air conditioning machinery that serves the whole building will operate as compressors and distribute cool water vertically throughout the entire building. In order to deliver the same air quality in every room of the building, whether they are offices, board rooms, concession areas, or walkways the central air conditioning system must be zoned into smaller groups.

When the central AC units deliver cold water to the air handling unit on a single story of a building, the AHU will deliver air through ducts that are zoned to provide an even flow of air throughout every room on the specific story. This same process occurs on the tens or hundreds of stories of the building larger than the University of Phoenix Stadium.

In 2006, the stadium’s air-conditioning made it possible for the Cardinals to play at home on the opening weekend of the NFL season. Having an enclosed, air-conditioned environment is important for fan comfort during games and events during the summer and early fall months in the Arizona desert. The same is true for your business. You’ve got clients and customers filtering through your doors, so you need an AC system that you can count on. We’ve got the team that you want. Our professional HVAC team members know the ins and outs of the business better than anyone. Call Donley Service Centers today for service you can count on tomorrow.