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Updated Aug 1, 2013 - 10:39 am

Presto! Arizona Cardinals' stadium is ready for soccer

(KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- University of Phoenix stadium is ready for a different kind of football.

The stadium will host a soccer game Thursday between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Madrid. The rest of the world calls the sport 'football,' or something similar.

Workers spent Wednesday night getting the field ready. Arizona Cardinals Vice President of Stadium Operations John Drum said changing the field from football to soccer is easy.

"Basically, we just paint over the white football lines with a color that matches the turf. Then we go ahead and paint the white soccer lines on the field," said Drum. "Basically, you minimize one and emphasize the other."

The field is on a movable tray that allows the grass to be out in the sun during the day, then moved into the stadium for the game. Moving the field takes about 90 minutes.

"The field tray came inside the building, and workers were getting the facility ready for the game this evening," said Drum. "They were setting field boards and any additional technology and seating that's needed for the soccer game. We'll open the doors at 6 p.m. tonight for the soccer game."

After the game, the field will be moved back outside. The football field will be repainted and moved back into the stadium in time for Cardinals' practice Friday.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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