Chicago Cardinals

Chicago Cardinals

Cardinals Timeline


Chicago Team Formation

In 1920, the team became a charter member of the American Professional Football Association which became the NFL in 1922, for a franchise fee of $100. The Cardinals and the Bears, originally founded as the Decatur Staleys before moving to Chicago in 1921 are the only charter members of the NFL still in existence, though the Green Bay Packers, who joined the league in 1921, existed prior to the formation of the NFL. The person keeping the minutes of the first league meeting, unfamiliar with the nuances of Chicago football, recorded the Cardinals as from Racine, Wisconsin. The team was renamed the Chicago Cardinals in 1922 after a team actually from Racine, Wisconsin (the Horlick-Racine Legion) entered the league. That season the team moved to Comiskey Park.

Moving to St. Louis

Chicago Cardinals owner Violet Bidwill had married St. Louis businessman Walter Wolfner in 1949, two years after inheriting the team from her late first husband, Charles Bidwill. When it became obvious that the Cardinals could no longer hope to compete with the Chicago Bears, a move to St. Louis seemed to make sense.
The NFL conducted a survey of St. Louis and concluded that it was capable of supporting a team. The league's 12 owners unanimously approved the move, ending their 62-year stay in Chicago.
The new St. Louis football Cardinals were competitive for much of the 1960s. New stars emerged in Larry Wilson, Charley Johnson, Jim Bakken, Sonny Randle, and Jim Hart. Violet Bidwill Wolfner died in 1962, and her sons, Bill and Charles, Jr. took control. Although the Cardinals were competitive again in the '60s, they failed to achieve a playoff appearance during the decade.

Cardinals Relocate to Phoenix

Not long after the 1987 season, Bidwill agreed to move to the Phoenix area on a handshake deal with state and local officials, and the team became the Phoenix Cardinals. They planned to play at Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe on a temporary basis while a new stadium was being built. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the savings and loan crisis derailed financing for the stadium, forcing the Cardinals to play at Arizona State for 18 years.

Name Change to Arizona Cardinals

In March 1994, Bill Bidwill renamed the team the Arizona Cardinals due to fan preference, Bidwill had initially resisted the name "Arizona Cardinals" due to the NFL's tradition of team names that identified home cities, although the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots were longstanding exceptions and the Carolina Panthers were set to start play the following year. The rest of the NFL owners quickly approved the name change.

New Glendale Stadium

In 2000, Maricopa County voters passed a ballot initiative by a margin of 51% to 49%, providing funding for a new Cardinals stadium as well as for improvements to Major League Baseball spring training facilities in the greater Phoenix region; and youth recreation. After some legal obstacles, the Cardinals began construction of their new facility in April 2003, in Glendale, one of the western suburbs of Phoenix. University of Phoenix Stadium features a retractable roof and a slide-out grass surface, which is good for the hot desert weather; the new stadium has a state-of-the-art air conditioning system and high-back seats.
The 63,500-seat stadium (expandable to 72,800) opened on August 12, 2006 when the Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-13, in a preseason game. The Cardinals then hosted their first regular season opening day game since moving to the Phoenix area in 1988, defeating the San Francisco 49ers in a rematch of the 2005 blowout in Mexico City, 34-27, in front of a sellout crowd of 63,407. In February 2008, the stadium hosted Super Bowl XLII.

Cardinals Primary Logo History Cardinals Alternate Logo History No Wordmark Logo History


Team Information Team History

Chicago - St. Louis - Phoenix

Cardinals - Contrary to popular logic, the team was not named after the beautiful bird but instead because the team owner Chris O’Brien purchased used and faded maroon jerseys from the University of Chicago in 1901 and dubbed the color of his squad’s new outfits “cardinal red.” A nickname was born. The team adopted the cardinal bird as part of its logo as early as 1947 and first featured a cardinal head on its helmets in 1960.

University of Phoenix Stadium
2006 - present
Sun Devil Stadium
1988 - 2005

*St. Louis*
Busch Memorial Stadium
1966 - 1987
Busch Stadium
1960 - 1965

Soldier Field &  Metropolitan Stadium
Comiskey Park
1922 - 1925, 1929 - 1958
Normal Park
1920 - 1921, 1926 - 1928

Bill Bidwill
1972 - present
Bill Bidwill and Charles Bidwill, Jr.
1962 - 1972
Violet Bidwill Wolfner
1947 - 1962
Charles Bidwill
1933 - 1947
Dr. David Jones
1929 - 1933
Chris O'Brien
1898 - 1929

Established: 1920

League History:
National Football League
1920 - present

Team History:
Arizona Cardinals
1994 - present
Phoenix Cardinals
1988 - 1993
St. Louis Cardinals
1960 - 1987
Chicago Cardinals
1945 - 1959
Chicago Cardinals
1920 - 1943

Super Bowl: 0
NFL Championship: 2
1947, 1925

Retired Numbers:
8 Larry Wilson
40 Pat Tillman
77 Stan Mauldin
88 J. V. Cain
99 Marshall Goldberg

  *Red is this team's history

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