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.
The overall mediocrity of the Cardinals, combined with an old stadium, caused game attendance to dwindle, and once again the Bidwills decided to move the team, this time to either Baltimore, Phoenix, or Jacksonville. Nonetheless, Cardinals fans were unhappy at losing their team, and Bill Bidwill, fearing for his safety, stayed away from several of the 1987 home games. Their last home game was on December 13, 1987, in which the Cardinals won 27-24 over the New York Giants in front of 29,623 fans on a late Sunday afternoon.
On March 16, 1988, the NFL team owners voted to allow Bidwill to move the Cardinals from St. Louis to Phoenix, Arizona for the 1988 NFL season.
The club then moved to St. Louis in 1960 and played in that city through 1987 (sometimes referred to as the “Football Cardinals” or the “Big Red” to avoid confusion with the Major League Baseball St. Louis Cardinals).
Chicago – St. Louis – Phoenix
1920 – Present / National Football League
1994 – Present / Arizona Cardinals
1988 – 1993 / Phoenix Cardinals
1960 – 1987 / St. Louis Cardinals
1945 – 1959 / Chicago Cardinals
1944 / Card-Pitt
1920 – 1943 / Chicago Cardinals
Cardinals – The “Cardinals” began play in Chicago in 1898 before moving to St. Louis in 1960 and Arizona in 1988. See the nickname description of the Chicago Cardinals.
Super Bowl 0
NFL Championship 0
2019 – Present / State Farm Stadium
2006 – 2018 / University of Phoenix Stadium
1988 – 2005 / Sun Devil Stadium
1966 – 1987 / Busch Memorial Stadium
1960 – 1965 / Busch Stadium
1959 / Soldier Field & Metropolitan Stadium
1922 – 1925, 1929 – 1958 / Comiskey Park
1920 – 1921, 1926 – 1928 / Normal Park
1972 – Present / Bill Bidwill
1962 – 1972 / Bill Bidwill and Charles Bidwill, Jr.
1947 – 1962 / Violet Bidwill Wolfner
1933 – 1947 / Charles Bidwill
1929 – 1933 / Dr. David Jones
1898 – 1929 / Chris O’Brien
8 Larry Wilson
40 Pat Tillman
77 Stan Mauldin
88 J. V. Cain
99 Marshall Goldberg
*Blue is this team’s history