It will be a sad day when the Arizona Cardinals and the City of Glendale announce a 15-year agreement for the professional football team to host its training camp in the West Valley city.
Training camp in Flagstaff at the campus of Northern Arizona University has been a great Arizona tradition, just like Camp Tontozona is for Arizona State. The Cardinals have held training camp in Flagstaff every year since 1988 except one, when they moved to Prescott.
Having training camp in Flagstaff creates $10 million in economic revenue, but the reason this is not a great idea has little to do with money.
Having training camp in Flagstaff is a great bonding experience for families. Over the 16 years I have been to Flagstaff to cover training camp, I have encountered hundreds of fathers taking their sons and/or daughters out for a week or a weekend. For a father it’s a great way to spend time with your children, allow them to meet the players up close and personal, spend precious time going out to breakfast, lunch and dinner together. Maybe going on a hike, hitting a movie etc…
Those are experiences of a lifetime for young children, and I just don’t see heading over to Glendale for a couple of hours being comparable.