For the first time, the Arizona Cardinals held Fan Fest in Glendale that was free for fans of all ages to attend. Those fans came in mass as more than 15,000 filled the lower south east bowl of the stadium.
“What a great atmosphere!” explained Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt. “It was amazing to see how many fans we had in here and how loud it got. Usually when we do something like this you don’t know how the team is going to react. It was a good sign the way they did tonight.”
Before the start of practice, the Cardinals players signed autographs for kids aged 12 and under. And the organization presented framed pro bowl jerseys to Adrian Wilson, Patrick Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald in front of all of the fans.
Then the practice with helmets but no pads began. Fans cheered when Larry Fitzgerald caught a pass or reacted to a deep pass down the field. Fans also voiced their opinions about the quarterback competition between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton as at one point during the practice, Kolb received some boos.
But all-in-all it was a very positive evening.
“It really felt like a game atmosphere,” said Cardinals defensive lineman Calias Campbell. “It felt good to make some plays and hear some screams and it felt good to be under the lights in the stadium.”
For most rookies, like Cardinals first round pick Michael Floyd, it was the first opportunity to play under the lights of University of Phoenix Stadium.
“It’s great! I love it!” mentioned Floyd. “Them (the fans) coming out and cheering us on at a practice on a Wednesday actually. This is a nice stadium and it’s going to be rocking come Sunday.”
The Cardinals wrap up minicamp this week and will have about a month off before the official grind of the season begins at training camp in Flagstaff on July 24.