Glendale official: 'We'll put our best foot forward' to get Cards camp

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by Catherine Holland

GMAZ interview by Javier Soto and Kaley O'Kelley

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 2:29 PM

Poll:
Where should the Arizona Cardinals hold their training camp?
Map: NAU (Flagstaff)
Univ. of Phx. Stadium (Glendale)
Embry-Riddle (Prescott)

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GLENDALE, Ariz. --  For 25 years, the Arizona Cardinals have flown north to Flagstaff for their summer training camp. This year, and for the next 15 years, they could be staying home at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

While the team has not made a decision yet, negotiations are under way and the Glendale City Council is slated to hold an informational meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Dave McAlindin, Glendale's assistant director of economic development, called "Good Morning! Arizona" to chat with 3TV's Javier Soto and Kaley O'Kelley Tuesday.

"The team plays here during the regular season. It makes some sense to have them play here during training camp," he said. "It seems to be a trend in the NFL of late. About half the teams now are training on their home field."

With the ongoing Coyotes issue still fresh in people's minds, many wonder if and how Glendale can afford to host Cardinals training camp.

"It has to make economic sense," McAlindin said. "If it doesn't make sense, we're not going to do it."

If the Cardinals do opt to move training camp, it would happen this summer.

The agreement on the table with Glendale is a 15-year deal. No other information has been made public at this point.

"We don't see it as being competitive," McAlindin said. "Rather, we'll put our best foot forward. Flag will put their best foot forward. And the Cardinals will make an announcement."

The contract NAU had with the team expired last year, but Flagstaff, naturally, would like to keep the camp -- and the $10 million it generates each year.

“Northern Arizona University, in partnership with Flagstaff, made an extraordinary offer and worked diligently to negotiate with the team,” NAU President John Haeger said on the NAU news website last week. “We expect to receive official notice from the team at any time.”

“We are committed to offering the same high level of service to the Cardinals and their fans and being a part of one of the team’s longest-standing traditions since it moved to Arizona,” he continued. “If the team announces it will not return, the university will immediately begin planning other uses for our facilities that assure both revenue for the community and support for our academic mission.”

Prescott would also like to be the summer home of the Arizona Cardinals. City officials there officials proposed hosting the training camp at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University until a sports complex could be built.

Regardless of where the team goes for training camp, team president Michael Bidwill says fans will enjoy the same access they've always had.

"The whole idea behind training camp is both a football activity where we are getting players ready for the season, but it is also a fan activity where we want to bring fans in,” he said in a Jan. 31 interview.

It's not clear when the Cardinals will make an announcement.

Click the video above to watch the entire interview with McAlindin.

 

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