Crowds line Cardinals practice field

Record crowds lined NAU’s practice fields at the 2012 Cardinals Red & White scrimmage. This up-close fan experience is partly why Sports Illustrated’s Peter King named NAU the second best training site in the NFL in 2012. Photo by Steve Shaff

Northern Arizona University is awaiting a decision by the Arizona Cardinals on the location of their 2013 summer training camp amid reports the team may be relocating to Glendale.

Cardinals President Michael Bidwill told an audience at Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers’ State of the City address on Thursday that the team is close to a deal that would relocate its camp to University of Phoenix Stadium.

“Northern Arizona University, in partnership with Flagstaff, made an extraordinary offer and worked diligently to negotiate with the team,” said NAU President John Haeger. “We expect to receive official notice from the team at any time.”

Haeger said the proposal—prepared with the city of Flagstaff, the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona and Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce—kept the Cardinals rates flat for housing, food and other incidentals, carrying over prices from its 2009-12 contract.

“We are committed to offering the same high level of service to the Cardinals and their fans and being a part of one of the team’s longest-standing traditions since it moved to Arizona,” Haeger said. “If the team announces it will not return, the university will immediately begin planning other uses for our facilities that assure both revenue for the community and support for our academic mission.”