TEMPE, Ariz. – The Cardinals will open training camp in a little more than two months. Where, you ask? Well, let’s not quibble over that detail just yet.
A Cardinals spokesperson confirmed Friday that the team is still in negotiations with the City of Glendale to host training camp at University of Phoenix Stadium and the surrounding area, but there are still “some hurdles” to cross in negotiations before an announcement can be made.
The Cardinals have kept largely silent on the issue out of respect for the process.
All we know is that the possibility of a return to Flagstaff is dead. The spokesperson declined comment when asked if the team is currently negotiating for any other potential sites, but when reached Friday, Glendale councilmember Gary Sherwood said of the process: “It hasn’t gone much further, time is running out and they don’t have other options.”
Available parking spaces were among the remaining sticking points, said Sherwood, who was due to be updated on the process later Friday. Sherwood characterized the two sides as “far apart,” leading him to the belief that “it will be just a one-year deal” whenever that deal is struck.
“Where we stand right now, I don’t think there would be any chance for any more,” he said, adding that he does expect a deal to be struck.
If the Cards do train in Glendale, the team is expected to stay at the nearby Renaissance Hotel, where Sherwood said he believes the team has already reserved a block of rooms.
The training camp hurdles aren’t the only ones the Cardinals still must cross, as they still do not have all the permits in place for the indoor training facility at their Tempe headquarters.
The team received a permit to begin excavation work and recently broke ground on the $4.2 million facility, which is being paid for entirely by the team and is expected to be completed after training camp has started. But additional permits for the foundation and 78,000 square-foot structure are still pending.
The Cardinals are not considering their Tempe headquarters as a potential training camp site because it would preclude fan access, which the team understands is a vital component of camp.