Cardinals camp moving to Glendale: NAU, Flagstaff 'wish Cards well', look for new business options

FLAGSTAFF, AZ - Northern Arizona University and the city of Flagstaff are exploring "other options to bring business to the area" as the Arizona Cardinals work on a deal to move training camp to Glendale.

"We've had a solid partnership with the Cardinals for many years, and we wish them well," Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours said in a Tuesday release.

The announcement comes amid news that the City of Glendale is negotiating a 15-year deal that would bring Cards Camp to the University of Phoenix Stadium starting in July.

NAU President John Haeger said the university is opening its facilities to welcome other groups for camps and events, and is "pursing opportunities that will benefit the university and local economy."

"Hosting an NFL team has been a bonus to the local economy, and we have enjoyed welcoming Cardinals fans back to their summer home for the last quarter century," Haeger said.

The Cardinals have trained at NAU since the team moved to Arizona in 1988. The university and team's three-year contract to hold training camp at NAU ended in 2012.

"Northern Arizona University made an extraordinary offer and worked diligently to negotiate with the team," Haeger said of a proposal the university prepared for a 2013-15 partnership.

According to a NAU study, Cards Camp draws in roughly 40,000 fans and pumps in about $10 million to the local economy.

Fans and business owners in Flagstaff have said they fear their loss if the team moves to the Valley. On the other hand, Cardinals President Michael Bidwill has said he thinks it will be easier for fans.

The Glendale City Council was briefed Wednesday on the current plan, which is fairly simple and straightforward -- the team would build a bubble over the practice field and the city would pay just over $300,000 a year to run it. 

All this is great for Glendale, which as a city stands to make $500,000 in direct revenue, add 200 jobs, and bring $15 million to the city's economy.

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