New stadium for Cardinals a tough sell

The Phoenix Cardinals say they need a fancy new domed stadium to remain financially competitive in the National Football League.

And they want sales taxes generated in Maricopa County to help pay the costs for the 73,000-seat domed stadium with a retractable roof and a grass field. The Arizona Legislature currently is considering a proposal that would use increased hotel room and rental car taxes in Maricopa County, stadium-related sales taxes and the income taxes paid by professional football players to pay for the new facility.

Granted, of course, the plan gets out of the Legislature, is signed by the governor and then approved by voters.

That’s going to be a tough sell.

The Cardinals would be better off figuring out a way to establish a little competitiveness on the playing field before seeking taxpayer help to establish financial competitiveness in the NFL.

A report last week in Sports Illustrated highlighted what most football observers already know: The Cardinals represent not only one of the least competitive professional sports franchises in the NFL, but in all of professional sports.

In Arizona, the Cardinals have won only 36 percent of their regular season games over the past 13 years. They have never won a division title; 85 percent of the time they win less than half their regular season games and they’ve finished last in their division five times. That is the third-worst record in the history of all professional sports.

The Cardinals’ pitiful performance is not just an Arizona anomaly. During the 28 years the franchise was in St. Louis, the team only had a .480 winning percentage, they won only two division titles, 57 percent of the time the team finished below .500, and finished last in their division four times. That is the sixth-worst record in the history of all professional sports.

In all honesty, has their ever been a more pathetic football franchise in NFL history?

The Cardinals have it all backward. It’s not at all about the field on which the team plays, but rather the caliber of play on the field.

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