Cardinals face schedule issue with final home game of 2009 season

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals violated terms of their University of Phoenix contract by having their final home game of the 2009 season scheduled one day before the Fiesta Bowl.

The Cardinals' and Fiesta Bowl's contracts with the operator of the Glendale stadium require 48 hours between the games. But in the schedule released last week, Arizona's final game is Jan. 3 at home against the Green Bay Packers. That's one day before the Jan. 4 Fiesta Bowl.

The Fiesta Bowl has sought written assurance that the problem won't be repeated. Now the two sides are in discussions about what to do regarding the conflict.

"We want to carefully approach the thing because, first and foremost, we want to protect the interests of the Fiesta Bowl," Fiesta Bowl president and CEO John Junker said from Pasadena, Calif., where he is attending BCS meetings.

The problem occurred when the Cardinals failed to notify the NFL of the conflict that would occur if the team played its final game at home.

Cardinals spokesman Mark Dalton said Tuesday that meetings are planned with representatives of the Fiesta Bowl, Arizona Tourism and Sports Authority and the stadium's contracted operator, Global Spectrum, to see what can be done.

Options could include moving the Cardinals' game to Saturday or playing the NFL game Sunday with the Fiesta Bowl banners and other special bowl setups in place.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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