Lockout Means No Arizona Cardinals Summer Business for NAU and Flagstaff
To me, the real victims of the NFL lockout are the fans, the staffers, and the businesses that rely on the NFL running its business. One of those victims this summer could be Northern Arizona University where the Arizona Cardinals hold their training camp. Speaking from personal experience, no camp in Flagstaff is a such a shame.
It's a beautiful time of year in July and August in the pines at 7,000 feet above sea level. Well, Flagstaff is beautiful anytime of year, let's be honest, however in the summer it provides an escape for the fans from the heat. It also gets the players into great football shape training in the high altitude. It brings thousands of people from Phoenix and all over the region into Flag and gets them to spend money at the city and university establishments.
Hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, they all suffer if the Cards are not able to train in Flag this summer. All hotels and most restaurants are packed during the 3-4 weeks the Cards spend up north.
I can speak personally about the Cards training camp experience. You see, I spent two seasons as a ball boy up at training camp and during the preseason for the Cards. The Cards selected six of us from Brophy College Preparatory to spend the summer with the Cards and help them run their camp. They were long days, but very rewarding. NAU opened their arms to all involved, the fans, the media, the players, and people like myself on the staff. We frequented local attractions on our days off, such as Snow Bowl.
The people of Flagstaff are good people and no camp will hurt the local economy. Now they won't be down and out as people will still go to Flag, but having the Cards up there is a boon for the economy. From Motel 6 to Little America. From McDonalds to Beaver Street Brewery. They will all feel the effects of no camp.