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University of Phoenix Stadium’s success boosts Cardinals’ national rise

The Super Bowl XLIX is displayed on the University of Phoenix Stadium Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The New England Patriots face the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
LISTEN: Michael Bidwill, President of the Arizona Cardinals

University of Phoenix Stadium is rapidly ascending the “stadiums with fantastic games” list. Following the exciting finish of the Arizona Cardinals’ divisional playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers, president Michael Bidwill thinks the stadium is coming into its own.

“If you look at all the games we’ve had there, it’s a fantastic venue,” Bidwill said Tuesday morning on Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It’s a traditional place now, it’s not a baby stadium anymore. It’s turned into having its own reputation, and an intimidating place for visiting teams to play.”

The “Hail Mary-coin-gate-Hail Larry” was just the latest in a long list of epic finishes in Glendale.

New York Giants defeating the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, the Auburn Tigers kicking a game-winning field-goal in the waning seconds of the 2011 BCS National Championship Game and Super Bowl XLIX finishing with Seattle’s decision to pass instead of run, just to name a few.

The universal success of the stadium has transformed the team’s brand as a whole. Hosting national events has allowed the team to branch out to other areas outside of Arizona, creating a more national fan base.

“I think the national footprint, you see it when we’re on the road,” Bidwill said. “Cardinals fans are not only traveling from Arizona, but are coming from other cities because we’re growing Cardinals fans throughout the entire country.”

Growing fans nation wide has paid dividends for the Cardinals that the franchise may not be familiar with.

“Saturday night was the most watched divisional game in the history of NFL divisional games,” Bidwill said. “We had record ratings again this season throughout the Phoenix-area and Arizona. Our fans are proud of what we’re doing, they want to see the Cardinals mentioned as one of the elite teams among the league, and talked about on national TV when other teams are playing.”

Football is a business first and foremost, and business is booming for Arizona.

“It’s a great position that we’re in, but we really want to finish this strong and not only get to the Super Bowl, but win it.”

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