The Arizona Cardinals appear to be saying goodbye to Flagstaff, Arizona for training camp and saying hello to Glendale. As one who has absolutely loved the trips the past three years up to Flagstaff to watch the Cardinals and cover the Cardinals, I will miss it.
However, the move to Glendale is not as dire as it seems. In fact, aside from the weather, I see no real downside.
What do we love about training camp? We love that we get to watch the team work out. Guess what? That still happens in Glendale.
We love that it is free. It will still be free. As Mike Jurecki noted, if they charged, other teams could film it.
We love that we can see the players and talk to them and get their autographs. The setting is much more laid back. By all accounts, this should not change.
We like that it isn't out in the hot Phoenix sun in July and August. The weather is fantastic in Flagstaff. While we will have the heat and miss Flagstaff, camp will be held in University of Phoenix Stadium. It isn't hot in there.
Now, clearly the Flagstaff economy will take a hit. But that isn't necessarily our concern or the team's. For those who love how nice it is in Flagstaff...please go and take a couple of summer trips. You get to experience the beautiful weather and help the economy there.
Truthfully, bringing training camp here makes it accessible to more fans. Yes, it takes it away from the people in Northern Arizona. However, how many more fans live in the Phoenix area that never took the trip up? My guess is a lot more.
Now going to a practice will be less of a "trip." You can go to one or two, or even more. The Red and White practice? It will be insane in Glendale, and the city is actually better equipped than Flagstaff to handle the traffic.
It will be less quaint. It will have less "mystique." But we know what one athlete said about mystique (she's a stripper).
Really all we are missing is Flagstaff itself, and that is a trip you can make without the Cardinals being there.
Will Flagstaff be missed? Of course. But it is not going to ruin training camp at all. It actually will help build the fan base. Just you watch.
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