The Cards search of a new stadium prior to 2001…

GatorAZ

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I’ve been following the Coyotes situation with their history of failures to find an arena and went back 20+ years to when the Cards finally got their deal in Glendale. When they moved from St. Louis they were only supposed to play at ASU for a few seasons but couldn’t get a stadium because of issues as the market crisis of the 90’s derailing funding. There were always rumors of a stadium in downtown Phoenix (not sure the exact spot). There were rumors of the Indian reservation near Fountain Hills or Rio Salado land in Tempe. Anyways my question is what do you remember about that time and what was your reaction when you heard the new stadium was going to be on the opposite side of the city?
 

football karma

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in the big picture --

in the 1989-90 era there was lots of talk of a downtown stadium. And then the Savings and Loan crisis hit -- wiping out most of the local power structure supporting a stadium

it didnt help that the team then strung together a bunch of 4 and 5 wins seasons in the early 90s -- meanwhile, the Suns were winning 55 games and going to Conference finals. AND -- Jerry Colangelo was securing a new facility in downtown at that time.

Colangelo viewed downtown as his -- and so between the Suns winning, the Cardinals losing, and Bill Bidwill alienating local movers / shakers -- it was pretty easy to kill any stadium momentum for downtown.

it also didnt help that political process in the mid 1990s to build the baseball stadium poisoned the well in Phoenix for any sports related infrastructure.
 

speedy

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I initially thought the stadium coming to Glendale was going to be a boost for the west side, but it’s really screwed things up.

I voted for the tourism tax to fund the stadium, but if I could have a redo, I’d vote no today.

Public funds shouldn’t be devoted to building stadiums for professional sports.

The coyote deal on the front end was a bad for Glendale. Glendale cries foul, but that place has traditionally been ran by incompetence.
 

kerouac9

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It sucked when the stadium landed in Glendale. In the 20 years I’ve been going to games, I’ve been to the entertainment facility there exactly once. Can’t have been good business for Michael and the family, although they’ve been supported by concessions and gambling since.

The Cards were a toxic brand after the bond issue passed, and Michael didn’t do anything to endear himself to the local powers that be.
 

WisconsinCard

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John Long
John F. Long was a true story. He offered to give them the land around 75th Ave and McDowell. All they (BB) had to do was name the stadium after him. That is about the time big business was offering millions for naming rights, so he said no. That is why it took him so long to get a new stadium
 

football karma

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John F. Long was a true story. He offered to give them the land around 75th Ave and McDowell. All they (BB) had to do was name the stadium after him. That is about the time big business was offering millions for naming rights, so he said no. That is why it took him so long to get a new stadium
yes -- kinda

there was still the problem of who was going to pay to get a stadium built

and

back then, 75th ave and McDowell was a long way from the pop center of the Valley
 

BurqueCardFan

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I initially thought the stadium coming to Glendale was going to be a boost for the west side, but it’s really screwed things up.

I voted for the tourism tax to fund the stadium, but if I could have a redo, I’d vote no today.

Public funds shouldn’t be devoted to building stadiums for professional sports.

The coyote deal on the front end was a bad for Glendale. Glendale cries foul, but that place has traditionally been ran by incompetence.
The sports facilities are the only thing that put Glendale on the map. In my years of living in Tempe prior to the stadiums, I never once thought about going to the Westside until the Coyote arena was built, followed by the Cards stadium.
Now as an out of towner, we hit up Westgate every time we are in town for a game. Same goes for many of our Phx area friends. There are a lot of new things going up in Glendale that would never have happened without the sports facilities.
To say it’s only screwed things up, I can’t agree with that.
 

kerouac9

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The sports facilities are the only thing that put Glendale on the map. In my years of living in Tempe prior to the stadiums, I never once thought about going to the Westside until the Coyote arena was built, followed by the Cards stadium.
Now as an out of towner, we hit up Westgate every time we are in town for a game. Same goes for many of our Phx area friends. There are a lot of new things going up in Glendale that would never have happened without the sports facilities.
To say it’s only screwed things up, I can’t agree with that.
Found the burner for the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.
 

Mulli

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Do we have a thread for hand-wringing about AZ getting the Cards instead of an expansion team?
 

Dr. Jones

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I grew up on the west side at 87th and Peoria. Really odd driving south now and seeing the space ship right there when I get home.

Back in the 80's and 90's getting to the opposite side of the valley was such a chore. No wonder so many were bitter about the location choice.
 

vince56

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The Rio Salado Crossing project was interesting too. They tried to put the stadium on the Tempe/Mesa border in the late 90s, but it would have required a quarter of a cent sales tax to do so. It was countered by the NIMBYs at the time as a quarter sales tax which people took to be $0.25 for every dollar the spent instead of the actual $0.0025. That coupled with just always losing and the vibe around the team at the time (3-4 wins, firing coaches mid-season, fan-favorites Centers and Miller being let go for nothing, “Armpit of the NFL,” etc.) and the vote was handily shot down.

It would have been cool. It would have been Westgate but at a location where (I think) Tempe Marketplace is now.

Then they tried Tempe in another location and there were complaints about the cracked bedrock underneath it and it was in the direct flight path of Sky Harbor, etc.

I remember Mike Bidwill stepping into the limelight around this time too taking over the PR face of the team, probably due to the feelings around his father. Remember the New Times cover where it shows Bill Bidwill caricatured and it said he’s giving Phoenix the bird? Yeah being a fan of this team in the 90s was something else.
 

Dback Jon

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The Rio Salado Crossing project was interesting too. They tried to put the stadium on the Tempe/Mesa border in the late 90s, but it would have required a quarter of a cent sales tax to do so. It was countered by the NIMBYs at the time as a quarter sales tax which people took to be $0.25 for every dollar the spent instead of the actual $0.0025. That coupled with just always losing and the vibe around the team at the time (3-4 wins, firing coaches mid-season, fan-favorites Centers and Miller being let go for nothing, “Armpit of the NFL,” etc.) and the vote was handily shot down.

It would have been cool. It would have been Westgate but at a location where (I think) Tempe Marketplace is now.

Then they tried Tempe in another location and there were complaints about the cracked bedrock underneath it and it was in the direct flight path of Sky Harbor, etc.

I remember Mike Bidwill stepping into the limelight around this time too taking over the PR face of the team, probably due to the feelings around his father. Remember the New Times cover where it shows Bill Bidwill caricatured and it said he’s giving Phoenix the bird? Yeah being a fan of this team in the 90s was something else.
The location was Mesa Riverview, where the Cubs Spring Training Facility is.
 

MadCardDisease

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The location was Mesa Riverview, where the Cubs Spring Training Facility is.

Yep. Part of Mesa. I still remember her name, LaRue Gates, the old hag that lived in a nearby trailer park didn't want a big ugly stadium next to her home and the traffic that it would bring 8 times a year. She got her petition on the Mesa ballot which would have stalled the groundbreaking of the stadium for about at least a year. That essentially killed the site as an option for the Cardinals.
 

TruColor

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Yep. Part of Mesa. I still remember her name, LaRue Gates, the old hag that lived in a nearby trailer park didn't want a big ugly stadium next to her home and the traffic that it would bring 8 times a year. She got her petition on the Mesa ballot which would have stalled the groundbreaking of the stadium for about at least a year. That essentially killed the site as an option for the Cardinals.
Didn't make a claim like stadiums bring drugs and prostitution along with them or something?
 

oaken1

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Yep. Part of Mesa. I still remember her name, LaRue Gates, the old hag that lived in a nearby trailer park didn't want a big ugly stadium next to her home and the traffic that it would bring 8 times a year. She got her petition on the Mesa ballot which would have stalled the groundbreaking of the stadium for about at least a year. That essentially killed the site as an option for the Cardinals.
The Tempe mayor killed it...too close to planes landing at sky harbor... I remember vividly hating that bastard throughout the process. He did everything he could to kill any deal that took the team out of tempe
 

Brian in Mesa

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The location was Mesa Riverview, where the Cubs Spring Training Facility is.
Technically it was where the Riverview now is and all the way over toward where the Cubs are now. Then Tempe tried but got shot down by Phoenix and the FAA. Too close to the flight path so instead they built hundreds of apartments in that exact spot. I believe one joint-city proposal was killed before it could begin by a Tempe councilman. Mesa tried again on its own, but it got voted down again.

Really surprised that neither the Cardinals nor Coyotes got something built either on tribal land or did a land swap with a tribe to acquire land for a stadium/arena. The most recently proposed one near the Pavilions in Scottsdale could have avoided a public vote from what I remember.

Too many naysayers in a public vote for a stadium. Most are ready to vote NO before even knowing the facts. Then, you could explain that the team is paying for nearly everything and they'd still vote NO out of distrust.
 

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