Since they moved from St. Louis in 1988, the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals have held their annual training camp in the cool pines of Flagstaff.
That changed Thursday, when the new-look Cardinals opened up camp at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, the site they’ve called their game day home since 2006.
“We’re excited,” team president Michael Bidwill said. “We’re going to have training camp out here for the next several weeks. It’s going to be free to the fans — free admission, free parking — so we encourage people to come on out.”
Players ran through a conditioning test Thursday and will have their first official full-team workout Friday. The camp will run through Thursday, August 22.
The Cardinals have sold out every home game since moving into the West Valley venue seven years ago, and believe that having training camp at the same site will make it easier fans to see the team in a more relaxed environment.
“That’s what excites me about this venue for practice is being able to have so many people in here, and it excites the players every day,” new head coach Bruce Arians said. “When you start getting tired, and all of a sudden you hear the noise, it does get the juices flowing.
“We’re really anxious to see as many people as we can every day.”
Center Lyle Sendlein, a veteran of six training camps in Flagstaff, is also looking forward to the change.
“I think it’s going to be a good fresh start for our team,” he said. “With everything in the Renaissance (Hotel) right there, it’s a lot less time in the vans going from building to building. We’ll be able to have a lot more time in the film room, so that’s good.”
The Cardinals practice Friday afternoon at University of Phoenix Stadium starting at 2:00 p.m.