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Cards camp move requires an air-conditioned tent

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The Cardinals are close to a deal that would move their training camp from the pleasant mountains of Northern Arizona to the middle of the desert, which would require a giant air-conditioned tent.

According to Paul Giblin of the Arizona Republic, the team is “close to finalizing” a 15-year deal to move camp from Flagstaff to Glendale, which would allow the Cardinals to hold camp in their own facility.

The Cardinals have held camp at Northern Arizona University each year since they moved from St. Louis in 1988. Now, they’re thinking about ending that relationship, with the building of a $4 million air-conditioned tent which would cover a field and a half of artificial turf at a nearby youth sports facility.

The team is willing to pay for the tent, and get the first cut of lease revenue from non-camp events, after which they’ll split revenues with the local government.

The move would continue the trend of teams keeping training camps close to home, saving Cardinals fans who live near Phoenix the 145-mile drive to camp, and allowing the team to make more money.

Of course, the simple fact that they’re choosing to build a tent to recreate conditions they already had seems an unnecessary complication, and another step away from the pastoral charm of going away for camp, which is harder to monetize.

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16 Responses to “Cards camp move requires an air-conditioned tent”
  1. austinjdd says: Mar 6, 2013 9:43 AM

    A lot of the fan’s incentive to drive 145 miles to see the Cards is to get out of the desert heat and into the cool, sunny breeze in Flagstaff. I personally would prefer them to stay up north

  2. polapea says: Mar 6, 2013 9:45 AM

    If you’re gonna suck, might as well suck close to home.

  3. marvsleezy says: Mar 6, 2013 9:47 AM

    The good teams can move camp far away and still have tons of fans, but the bad teams only have the local fans.

  4. maverickjcw says: Mar 6, 2013 9:51 AM

    and then there are the Redskins, taking their team 2 hours further away to Richmond, VA in the pursuit of more money

  5. dioalice says: Mar 6, 2013 9:55 AM

    Flagstaff is beautiful and the training camps held their offer the fans fantastic views and access to the team.

    Too bad, but not unexpected. It’s all about the dollars. And long term, this makes sense for the Cards.

  6. azdesertdweller says: Mar 6, 2013 9:56 AM

    Being a “local” to Flagstaff, this isn’t good news. This town needs the revenue that they make by having the Cardinals practice here.

    Oh well.

  7. trollhammer20 says: Mar 6, 2013 10:10 AM

    This seems to be a trend, moving the practice facilities closer to the stadium. Seattle moved closer to home with the building of the VMAC a few years ago. Niners are taking the opposite step of moving the stadium closer to the training facility.

  8. theauger says: Mar 6, 2013 10:11 AM

    The training camp in Flagstaff had run it’s course. This will allow a lot more fans access to players during training camp. This is a welcomed move that many have been waiting for.

  9. enrifer says: Mar 6, 2013 10:12 AM

    That’s why the cowboys hold camp in California

  10. raiderinva says: Mar 6, 2013 10:13 AM

    I wonder if the same people are involved in this tent idea that worked out the practice tent facility for the Dallas Cowboys?

  11. vegasvinnie says: Mar 6, 2013 10:20 AM

    There’s one thing that the new facility wouldn’t be able to duplicate. Flagstaff sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet. While training in that can be taxing, it certainly does wonders for conditioning. To say nothing of the players staying in shape by chasing the local NAU coeds.

  12. tinbender2000 says: Mar 6, 2013 10:25 AM

    They found a deal on a tent, just like Dallas had.

  13. djjackson81 says: Mar 6, 2013 11:15 AM

    Although some don’t like them moving tough sh@t. The Owners can put there practice facility wherever they choose to. I think it’s a good move cause now the bulk of AZ real fans don’t have to drive 145 miles to see a practice. I have yet to attend a mini camp practice I will now with my family thanks Cardinals.

  14. dioalice says: Mar 6, 2013 4:01 PM

    145 miles is too far? C’mon, man. Roadtrip.

    I’ve attended camp in Flagstaff with my family – and I live in Indianapolis.

  15. hworm08 says: Mar 7, 2013 12:52 AM

    Been a season ticket holder for 11 years.

    Every year I enjoy leaving my home in Glendale for a weekend or two, and going to Flagstaff for Training Camp.

    It is a HUGE break from the 110 degree days, and it is routinely in the high 70′s, low 80′s and it is a 2 hour drive from Glendale…and VERY NICE drive at that.

    I don’t know of ANY of the guys I tailgate with, or sit next to, that agree with this move.

  16. gbrim says: Mar 7, 2013 9:06 AM

    Fan access in Flagstaff was fabulous. That, plus the setting and cool weather were great. I can’t see access being anywhere near as good at an air-conditioned bubble and the adjacent stadium. How many fans will fit in an air-conditioned practice bubble? Watching drills in the football stadium instead of in Flagstaff just a few feet from the action? More convenient for most fans, but the experience will be nowhere near as good.

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