ClubCorp's Arizona Sands Club

The University of Arizona partnered with ClubCorp, industry leader in hospitality and country club operations, to create and operate a year-round premium hospitality experience at Arizona Stadium. The Populous-designed Sands Club gives fans and ClubCorp members access to an elevated club atmosphere that has unique views of Arizona Stadium and the beautiful, natural landscape surrounding the campus.

Populous worked closely with university stakeholders and Club Corp leadership to create a warmer hospitality environment inside a commercial sports venue, giving members a unique, upscale and impactful experience that reflects its place and culture, while also offering convenient meeting and private event rental spaces for groups. The Sands Club provides an improved atmosphere for fans in premium seating areas at Arizona Football home games as well as additional use opportunities for campus and community partners. Great care was taken by the design team to integrate Arizona Wildcats branding in a sophisticated way so that the space could be as adaptable as possible. The Populous team balanced very specific program needs, restrictive existing conditions, University requirements, budget and schedule to deliver this premium club.

The transformation of the space was accomplished by incorporating quality materials and integrating thoughtful ceiling and lighting solutions, while also harkening to Tucson influences by including specific textures and patterns, dark iron finishes and layers of local art and memorabilia that the Populous team curated for the space.

Care was also taken to maintain incredible views to both the mountains, football field and practice fields. In order to preserve these views, thoughtful space planning solutions were paramount.

The premium space houses a sweeping bar area that is placed next to floor-to-ceiling windows with mountain views. Geometric tile patterns catch the eye along the length of the bar, while the red barstools bring in the Wildcat influences. Wood panels on the ceiling create a warm tone, which serves as a perfect foil to the industrial lighting and hardware.

A statement wall in the media room features a grid of 48 Arizona Wildcat football helmets, and the space is flexible to be converted for multiple needs. With wide hallways and televisions situated around the space, lounge furniture and seating vignettes are placed around the room, but can be removed for events requiring a larger open space. The floor-to-ceiling windows extend into this area, allowing the benefit of natural light.

Custom temperature-controlled wine displays frame the entrance to the private dining and conference area. The design of this area allows for various events, as the finishes and atmosphere can be as relevant to a business dinner as a wedding reception or gameday celebration. As with the other areas, the windows with a clear view of the Catalina Mountains are a focal point of the space.

In all, the Sands Club extends beyond the stadium, successfully bridging the gap between premium experience and gameday excitement. Able to operate and stand alone from a football game, the space invites visitors to engage in an upscale dining and hospitality experience no matter the occasion.

Submitting Organization
Photo Credits
Clay Hayner
Club Spaces