The Cardinals may be playing their games in Glendale when their new stadium is finished, but the team and the city of Tempe are about to officially make sure the rest of the team’s time will be spent in the East Valley.
While the city and the team agreed in 2002 that the Cards would stay headquartered at their current training facility, the final agreement has yet to be signed. That, Tempe mayor Neil Giuliano said Monday, will be sometime in the next month.
The Cardinals frequently use the facility, which includes the organization’s offices, locker and meeting rooms and three manicured grass fields, as part of their pitch to lure free agents. The team, which originally wanted to have a new stadium in the East Valley, wanted to keep roots in this part of the Valley. “We view ourselves not only as a state-wide team but also a Valley-wide team,” Cardinals vice president Michael Bidwill said.
Bidwill said the agreement will run concurrent with the team’s agreement with the new Glendale Stadium, a term of 30 years. The team is scheduled to begin play there in the 2006 season.
The Cardinals have rented the training facility at the corner of Warner and Hardy roads since September 1990. The cost has technically been $675,000 a year, but the number was reduced to $53,036 because of various credits the team got for playing its games in Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium. The Cardinals will pay the full price once they begin games in Glendale. Although Glendale initially made overtures to the Cards about training in the West Valley after the city won the stadium site, Giuliano said there were never any discussions about anyone else building a new facility.