Cards president rips Glendale

Updated: January 31, 2014, 2:50 AM ET
By Josh Weinfuss | ESPN.com

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill did not sugar coat his feelings toward the city of Glendale during a visit to "radio row" at the Super Bowl on Thursday.

With Super Bowl XLIX a year away, the city has been unable to lock in guaranteed prices with hotels around University of Phoenix Stadium. And that's bothersome to Bidwill, who doesn't feel Glendale's officials are pulling their weight.

"I think they're acting very selfishly," he said. "I think that you look at specifically the hotels out there, they're just worried about their bottom line and that's not the way great cities act. That's not the way great leaders act.

"If people want to be big time and big cities, they've got to come together."

Bidwill said when legislation to build that stadium was passed, there were caveats for the home city -- Glendale -- that included public safety and traffic control. Both have been hot issues surrounding major sporting events at University of Phoenix Stadium, most notably the 2008 Super Bowl.

According to multiple media reports, Glendale and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee are asking the state legislature separately for financial assistance leading up to the game, to be held Feb. 1, 2015.

In a bill submitted Jan. 23 by State Rep. David Gowan, the state would reimburse cities hosting large-scale events up to $4 million for costs relating to public safety, according to The Associated Press. However, only events that are acquired through a competitive-bidding process, have at least 14,000 in attendance and are broadcast on live television are eligible.

"If we don't get something like this, we're going to be forced in the future not to host major events because we simply can't afford it," Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers told the AP.

And that doesn't sit well with Bidwill.

Winning the right to host Super Bowl XLIX was a statewide effort that included help from the Cardinals, the government, the corporate world and the private sector, Bidwill said. The financial benefit will be felt throughout the Valley, if not the state.

Bidwill estimated the economic impact will be at least $500 million.

"It is invaluable from a tourism standpoint and from everything else," Bidwill said. "We're going to continue to go after big games."

Earlier this week, Glendale was named a finalist to host an NCAA men's basketball Final Four between 2017-2020, and University of Phoenix Stadium will host the 2016 College Football Playoff championship game.

According to reports, Glendale lost $2 million when the Super Bowl was last in Arizona and it was directly attributed to the lack of hotels near the stadium.

Already, events for the Super Bowl are being spread out around the Valley.

Jay Parry, the CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, told another Phoenix radio station Thursday that the NFL Experience will be in downtown Phoenix, most likely the Phoenix Convention Center, another blow to Glendale's economy.

"If there's a city like Glendale that doesn't want to participate, they're going to lose out and all the activities will be going to the other cities that are participating," Bidwill said. "In this instance, it's going to be Phoenix and Scottsdale for the most part, and they're great partners.

"The problem with Glendale all comes down to leadership and shortsightedeness, and it's really disappointing but they think they've got it figured out and they really don't. I think it's selfish and they've done a poor job of planning and financially planning. They made a lot of really bad decisions and been proud about those decisions. Let them consider all those things."

Josh Weinfuss

ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.