10 of the oddest rules at State Farm Stadium in Glendale | Phoenix New Times


An A to Z guide of State Farm Stadium’s oddest rules

From a breast pump loophole to miniature horses, here's a guide to the odd rules at State Farm Stadium as the Arizona Cardinals start the NFL season.
State Farm Stadium is readying for the return of Big Red and the Arizona Cardinals.
State Farm Stadium is readying for the return of Big Red and the Arizona Cardinals. Christian Petersen / Getty Images
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Whether you're headed out to catch an Arizona Cardinals game this season or making preparations to attend the Beyoncé Renaissance World Tour, one thing is certain: When it comes to State Farm Stadium, rules are rules, and they're laid out in the venue's annual "A-Z Stadium Guide."

Some stadium rules are more obvious and well-recognized than others, so we went ahead and read them all so you don't have to. Phoenix New Times scoured every nook and cranny of the stadium's rulebook to bring you some of the most noteworthy, interesting and oddest rules.

Here's a list of the most overlooked and unheard of do's and don'ts at State Farm Stadium.
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Long-suffering Cardinals fans are preparing for another season at State Farm Stadium.

No cowbells allowed

If you have a fever and the doctor's prescription calls for more cowbell, State Farm Stadium is not the place to fill it.

In the name of preserving eardrums and maintaining sanity for all, the stadium prohibits cowbells — no exceptions. That means Cardinals fans and Christopher Walken’s SNL character, Bruce Dickinson, must venture elsewhere for the distinctive sounds of drumstick's smacking steel.

We have to ask, though — why did State Farm single out cowbells? There must be some history where one bad cowbell ruined it for the rest of us.

Feeding strangers frowned upon

While walking up to State Farm Stadium this season, do not — we repeat, do not! — feed Bob. Who is Bob? EXACTLY! You don’t know, Bob. Thus, State Farm Stadium prohibits you from feeding Bob.

According to the "A-Z Guide," State Farm tailgating is reserved for "family and friends" that arrived together and planned to tailgate in the same vicinity. The rules are vague, but in general, tailgating, by the book, is reserved for those you've previously known or arrived with.

The bottom line is, just like the emus at the Phoenix Zoo, State Farm Stadium requests you don’t feed those people who have never been to your house or, at the very least, follow you on Facebook.

Obviously, this rule is next-to-impossible to enforce. It likely has to do with food permits or something fans don't want to consider while attempting to have a good time.

Miniature horses allowed

Did you know a new law passed in Arizona in 2017 allows miniature horses to be used as service animals? Next question: Did you know that State Farm Stadium has a no-animals policy unless said animal is a service animal?

If you answered yes to both those questions, then do with that information what you will. Sorry, Cardinals. We report the news.

Until the stadium guide adds verbiage specifically stating only dogs are allowed, they may want to start putting some miniature horse Kyler Murray jerseys in the team shop. They may also want to put an ad on LinkedIn for additional team shop staff, with pooper-scooper experience a plus.
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Not drinking while at State Farm Stadium? They've got a designated driver program for that.
Four Peaks Brewing Co.

Designated drivers: Heroes with perks

Love football and driving, but hate alcohol? State Farm Stadium rewards your life choices with a program providing designated drivers with coupons for a complimentary Coke or non-alcoholic beer.

In addition to the complimentary beverage, these heroic fans will be entered into a season-long contest, with a grand prize presented on the field at the final regular season home game, which is Jan. 7 against the Seattle Seahawks. To sign-up for the program, visit pre-game booths located at the Great Lawn or the 100 and 400 Level Guest Services Offices and Club Level concierge locations.

Breast pump loophole

The "clear bag only" policy — commonplace at most sports venues — has a soft spot in its terms and conditions. Breast pump bags are the exception to the rule. That means new moms — and the spouses carrying the mobile milk makers — can discreetly take care of business without broadcasting their business to the world.

The one caveat to the breast pump bag loophole is that the bag will still be subject to a search. That means leaving the vodka at home. State Farm Stadium is on to you. You’ll need to pay for your White Russian like everyone else.
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Ahead of the 2022 season, the Cardinals were the most likely team in the NFL to break the hearts of fans. They succeeded.

Scoreboard proposals for charity

Are you planning to lock up your undying love for your Cardinals bride or groom by professing your love on the State Farm Stadium jumbotron this season? We have great news! You’ll also be supporting a good cause.

According to the "A-Z Stadium Guide," proceeds from the coveted scoreboard messages go to charity, making your birthday wishes for Dad a win-win situation; you get to make a heartfelt statement while positively impacting the community.

Not so fast!

While the Cardinals' offense attempts to travel as far as possible down the football field, they’re actively placing a speed limit on fans traveling in the concourse. State Farm Stadium has instituted a strict no rollerblades or shoes with wheels rule. That means leaving your kiddo's special shoes at home in favor of the traditional kicks and your ’80s rollerblades, fanny pack and Walkman.

This feels like a misstep for State Farm Stadium. We weren't even considering wearing rollerblades to the game, but now it makes too much sense not to consider risking it all for the right to drift around stadium corners with a hot dog in one hand and a beer in another while listening to our Cyndi Lauper cassette tape.
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Quarterback Kyler Murray and the rest of the Arizona Cardinals kick off the regular season on Sept. 10.

Leave your business cards at home

It’s 2023 — nobody wants your business card, especially State Farm Stadium. They're banned. It's likely because cleaning up thousands of real estate agent marketing materials is a pain in the ass. But mostly because, c'mon, what are you doing?

For those Cardinals fans still culminating their networking efforts with a tiny piece of cardboard, sorry to disappoint. But business cards are as welcome as a 49ers fan in the Cardinals' nest. Whether the intention of the rule or not, the no business card rule is a vote for innovation. Today, fans can bang their phones' faces together to exchange information, so please leave the printing presses out of this.

Free child locator wristbands

Business cards are out, and no-cost wristbands that can locate the whereabouts of children you’ve misplaced are in. What a time to be alive.

Anyone responsible for keeping a child safe can attest to it being a 24/7 chore, even within the friendly confines of your own home. But bringing a child to a football stadium full of 70,000 people can be a more daunting task than covering Miami Dolphins wideout Tyreek Hill in the open field. Thankfully, State Farm Stadium offers parents a cutting-edge safeguard against losing kids in the crowd.

This existing technology makes us wonder how first downs are still decided by old men manually measuring the field with chainlink posts, but we digress.
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At 200-1 odds, the Arizona Cardinals are the team least likely to win the Super Bowl in 2024, according to oddsmakers in Las Vegas.
Elias Weiss

No more payphones

Speaking of emerging technology — payphones are a goner.

Fear not, those worried about losing your phone with no way home. The stadium now boasts designated phones in free-to-use areas. Imagine being a kid that lost their parents in Walmart — find an adult and ask for a phone. They'll take care of you.

You may need to call a taxi instead of an Uber, though. Ironic following the removal of payphones — one step forward, two steps back.

So there you have it, a quick glance at some of the most noteworthy and oddest aspects of the "A-Z Guide to State Farm Stadium." As you gear up for the season, remember to leave your cowbells at home, make new friends before you share tailgate treats and watch for miniature horses and the presents they leave behind.
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