Arizona Cardinals Are Making a Mistake Moving Training Camp to Glendale

Jonathan Cullen@@jcullen71Senior Writer IMarch 7, 2013

In a way, it is a minor decision that will probably be forgotten in the future.

But, if the Arizona Cardinals truly want to be the Arizona Cardinals, then moving the team's training camp from Flagstaff to Glendale is a bad decision.

The potential move highlights a trend throughout the NFL with many teams making the decision to bring training camps back to their own stadiums and facilities.

Maybe it makes sense financially, according to the Phoenix Business Journal's Mike Sunnucks, but it doesn't help build a fanbase throughout the entire valley.

Back in 1994, the Cardinals changed their name from Phoenix to Arizona with the desire to become more embraced by the entire region. It was a decision made by current Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill in order to appeal to a larger fan base.

The Cardinals will tell you that they have their stadium and amenities in Glendale and it is a much better facility then anything that Flagstaff and Northern Arizona University can offer—which is probably true.

But if you are trying to build a team—which includes removing the distractions and nightlife from the players, and instead, instill a culture of focusing on football—then this is a bad decision.

Glendale likely has their reasons to try and broker a 15-year deal with the Cardinals, specifically supporting an area that may lose an anchor tenant in the Phoenix Coyotes.

It would also bring the Cardinals to the Westgate entertainment area during the slowest time of the year, immediately helping all of the businesses in the area become more viable 12 months of the year.

 

As part of the deal, the Cardinals would contribute $4 million towards construction of an air conditioned bubble with year-round use.

Having visited Flagstaff last year myself, I was impressed how many people from different walks of life had traveled up north to see the team and get away from the heat of the city.

It was roughly a 30 degree difference in temperature between Phoenix and Flagstaff, certainly more conducive to bringing in the fans and providing an enjoyable experience.

With the Cardinals moving towards making this decision, it just proves that football has become big business, even with training camp in August.

 

Information used from Sports Illustrated, Paul Giblin/AZ Republic,  

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