During the week of Super Bowl XLVIII, Arizona Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill has used the huge stage to publicly flog the city of Glendale for things related to Super Bowl XLIX, which will be held at University of Phoenix Stadium next year.
Bidwill went on local radio to say "they are acting very selfishly" in Glendale, especially with regards to the hotels nearest to the stadium. They have not elected to become part of the Super Bowl block of rooms, which would guarantee a regular rate for those wishing to attend the event. What Bidwill also left out is that if the hotels participate in the room block, they also have to pay a kickback back to the NFL. They get their rooms filled, but are doing so without the higher rates and they have to pay the league to be part of the block.
Bidwill explained more while with NFL Network's Rich Eisen. He all but said that Glendale is being pushed out of the events, saying they will be a smaller and smaller part of the events.
A Glendale councilman refuted some of the claims, noting most importantly that the city cannot legally get involved with the hotels and their pricing.
He also claimed that Bidwill had walked out of meetings. However, the team responded saying that Bidwill never even met with the councilman in question and has never walked out of any meetings.
Clearly not everyone is telling the truth. Everyone might be leaving truth out the equation.
The one thing that is sure is that it seems counterproductive for Bidwill to call out the city so harshly. Doing so would certainly raise concerns for future Super Bowls and other events that the city has and will host.
There is a bit of friction with the team and the city because Glendale has not yet built a parking garage.
It is impossible to know where your opinion should fall. We know that Glendale has not been a beacon of how to run a city when dealing with sports (see the whole Coyotes situation), but Bidwill has his own agenda. He rarely speaks out on anything. He does so to promote something he is proud of, or to try and get his way. NFL teams negotiate like that because of the clout and popularity they have.
In doing so, though, he might be "cutting off his nose to spite his face" in the process. The hotels near the stadium might be planning on price gouging -- it is the way of capitalism. And it isn't as if Bidwill and the Cardinals are angels in that department. Just look at the cost of all things football and NFL related.
The point is that Bidwill and Glendale need to play nice. They have a shared interest in the stadium. It isn't as if the the two parties can split. The marriage has to go on and will go on. There is no need to let everyone know of the problems that there are in the marriage. That just makes it worse and lets everyone else know there are problems.
The thing I like the least about this, beyond the hurt it does for Glendale and the Phoenix area, is that this commenting comes across as simply just bitter. I don't think it will accomplish anything. If the city can't get involved with local business pricing, does Bidwill think that this ploy will guilt the hotels into joining the room block?
I doubt it.
Being the hotels right next to the stadium, they will get their rooms occupied. They will make more money. Unless there is some tangible business reason to join the block, they have no reason to do it.
Let's hope this is the last we hear of it. The last thing I want to spend time thinking about is how a big event is being mishandled by government and the team.
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