After spending a week in Arizona during the month of March, I can’t imagine being there at a time when the sun is even closer to the Northern Hemisphere.
Cardinals players who have experienced the heat (and, yes, dry heat is still freaking heat) will soon be getting a break. As explained by Kent Somers of AZCentral.com, the Cardinals later this year will be moving in to a $4.2 million indoor practice facility.
The team has paid for the practice building completely on its own. And that’s a significant development for a franchise with a longstanding reputation for being extremely careful with money. Former Cardinals safety Robert Griffith once claimed that the team withheld $14.11 from his $500,000 signing bonus to cover the cost of sending it via FedEx and locked the Gatorade stash on the days the players were off.
Although team spokesman Mark Dalton disputed both contentions, the reputation has remained with the franchise for years. Perhaps that will start to change.
Per Somers, the team won’t be using the practice facility as the site of training camp, in large part because it would prevent fans from attending practices. After heading to Flagstaff for every training camp since moving to Arizona in 1988, the Cardinals will hunker down elsewhere this year; a site, however, still has not been selected.
If they Cardinals really want to obliterate any lingering perception that they’re cheap, they’ll put the players up for three weeks at the Phoenix Ritz-Carlton and install FieldTurf in the main ballroom.