Cardinals will soon open an indoor practice facility

Getty Images

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, 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.

11 responses to “Cardinals will soon open an indoor practice facility

  1. Don’t know why they left flagstaff. It’s an awesome college town location and is 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix. It must have cost the cards an extra $14.11 to remain there.

  2. Training camp should land at Salt River Fields… Cardinals and city of Glendale aren’t on good terms so nothing is going to happen in a reasonable amount of time. The team had outgrown Flagstaff. There wasn’t enough capacity to make the experience fan friendly anyways…

  3. the concept of a remote summer practice facility was obsolete years ago. it was developed when NFL players — who, incredibly, often had offseason jobs — were perceived as needing to “bond” together and form a team. since most NFL players now train together in the spring, the concept’s usefulness is now roughly zero.

    unless, of course, you’re Dan Snyder, and you think you can charge your fans to watch your 8-stringers practice …

  4. Fortunately, I think Bill gets a little more senile and further from any decision-making every year.

    Michael Spends money and seems to be interested in creating a class organization.

  5. As someone who existed in Oklahoma for several summers (I’m not sure it was “living”), I can tell you from experience that 105 is HOT even if it’s not humid.

    “When I die, if I go [points down], there will be one guy down there saying, ‘but it’s a DRY heat’.”–Johnny Carson

  6. About 10 years ago, I was driving home at about 45 MPH from work on the I10 in Phoenix, and the outside temp gauge on my Audi read 128. I laughed when Mike complained about the heat here this past March.

  7. We drive 3 hours every home game for the Cardinals. Use to closer to 4- 4.5 when they first moved to Arizona. We would also go to Flagstaff every year to see spring training.
    I think it is stupid of the Cards to do this. We make a week vacation of it an go to the cooler mountains and watch some football and have a good time.

  8. NAU’s facilities were crap and the growing fan base packs those fields in to the point that its uncomfortable. It was a tradition that was nice while it lasted, but it was high time to move on.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!