NFL Films: St. Louis Cardinals History
Is Bill Bidwell the reason why St. Louis doesn’t have an NFL franchise right and now and that they lost both the Cardinals and now Rams, or is the St. Louis community itself and they’re lack of investment in their NFL franchises the reason why they lost two NFL franchises, including the 1999 Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams? I believe the answer is a combination of both. People there and outside of St. Louis will say that St. Louis is essentially a baseball and hockey community. Where they have one of the most successful MLB franchises in the Cardinals both historically and currently. And they also have the Blues which are one of the most consistent winners and playoff teams in the NHL. But you could also argue that the St. Louis market is a predominantly MLB and NHL market, because the Cardinals and Blues are consistent winners. And St. Louis wants to see winners and not pay good money to watch losers.
Should St. Louis built a new NFL stadium in the late 1980s for the Cardinals and prevent the Cardinals from moving to Phoenix? You could argue that especially since the Cardinals were losing money at Busch Memorial Stadium and that stadium was perhaps better suited for baseball anyway. But to go back to my original point about St. Louis not wanting to subsidize losers, the Cardinals after the 1984 season where they just barely missed the NFC Playoffs went back to their bad habit of losing again. And management not investing the money for the Cardinals to compete with the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, as one of the top teams not just in the NFC East, but the NFC and even NFL as well. The Cardinals were good in the mid 1970s under head coach Don Corywell and were good again in the early 1980s under Jim Hanifan. But basically while in St. Louis the Cardinals could be expected to lose 10 plus games every season.
The St. Louis fans could have put more pressure on Bid Bidwell and company to invest more in the franchise and not just try to make profits from losing and do that on the cheap. But Bill Bidwell was never going to invest the resources in that franchise for them to become consistent winners in St. Louis. He was never committed to winning in St. Louis. And while he owned the Phoenix Cardinals he was never very interested in winning there either. The Cardinals only became consistent winners in the NFL and NFC West post-Bill Bidwell. And now Phoenix is a place where good NFL players want to play and live, because they know the Cardinals will pay them well to do that. And why should the St. Louis community invest good money and hundreds of millions of dollars in the Cardinals and Rams, when they were never committed to winning there?