The Arizona Cardinals family suffered a loss on Wednesday as owner Bill Bidwill passed away at the age of 88. News of his passing quickly spread on social media as many expressed their condolences and offered their thoughts on the late owner. Bidwill’s time as an owner lacked sustained success on the football, with the Cardinals making the playoffs just eight times over his 57 years as the team’s owner.
In Remembrance of Mr. B
Read by Larry Fitzgerald pic.twitter.com/YKAO0Awtrp
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) October 2, 2019
A Family Business
Charles Bidwill, Bill’s father, purchased the Chicago Cardinals in 1933. After his death in 1947, his wife Violet took over the team. Violet Bidwill moved the team to St. Louis before the 1960 season. After Violet’s passing, Bill became co-owner in 1962 with his brother Charles Jr. He became the sole owner in 1972. For 57 years, Bidwill held ownership of the Cardinals.
Making the Move
Following the 1987 NFL season, Bidwill announced he would be moving the team to Arizona. The decision came after St. Louis decided against building a new stadium for the team. The Phoenix Cardinals played at Sun Devil Stadium, home for the Arizona State University football team, from 1988 through 2005. Bidwill’s team would later change their name to the Arizona Cardinals in March of 1994.
At the time of his passing, Bill Bidwill was the longest-tenured owner in the NFL. Bidwill’s move to the desert went on to leave a significant mark on the NFL and the state of Arizona. The Cardinals began play at State Farm Stadium (formerly known as the University of Phoenix Stadium) in 2006, a state of the art facility located in Glendale, Arizona. The stadium annually hosts the Fiesta Bowl and has been the place for the 2007, 2011, and 2016 college football national championship games. It has also hosted the 2008 and 2015 Super Bowls, the 2017 NCAA Final Four, Wrestlemania XI, in addition to numerous major soccer tournaments.
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Though I did not know him well we should all be grateful for the fact Bill Bidwill brought the Cardinals to Arizona. Many of the voices you hear on radio, faces you see on television and writers that you read would not be here in AZ if not for that decision. Thank you.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) October 2, 2019
The Cardinals became Arizona’s team and has served as a driving force for athletics throughout the state. In 1996, Bidwill brought in his son Michael to serve as the team’s Vice President/General Counsel. In 2007, Michael Bidwill became team president. While Bill had taken a backseat to the day-to-day business of the club, he remained an integral part of the franchise’s commitment to the community. The Cardinals have spent countless hours working with local charities and groups on a variety of topics from funding for youth athletics to working with active military and veterans.
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He will forever be remembered for his charity and willingness to use his wealth to better his community. Bill Bidwill may not have had a successful run as an NFL owner but he was a successful human being. The entire Full Press Coverage family sends out condolences to the Bidwill family.