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  Football Cardinals Leave St. Louis
Brief Description:  The Football Cardinals of the National Football League left St. Louis for Phoenix, AZ following the 1987 season. Their departure followed months of civic debate and negotiations between team owner Bill Bidwill and then-Mayor Vince Schoemehl. At issue was Bidwell´s request for the City to construct a new stadium for his team. At the time, the Football Cardinals played at Busch Stadium, which had been built in 1966 to house both the football and baseball teams. Bidwell´s request went unheeded at first, so he threatened to move to St. Louis County. This sparked a controversy between the City and County, one which was not resolved for several years. When no realistic plan for a new St. Louis-area stadium was forthcoming, Bidwill made good on his threat and moved his team to Phoenix. Local officials and fans were shocked, as most had felt the team was only bluffing. The move of the "Big Red" left the City with a perceived hole in its "major league status." Subsequent efforts to secure an expansion franchise failed, but the City was able to lure the Los Angeles Rams to town in 1996 after a new football stadium was built as an expansion of the convention center.
Year:  1987
Decade:  1980 - 1989
Beginning Date:    1987



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