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Cardinals in search of new stadium naming-rights partner

The Arizona Cardinals and the University of Phoenix announced Tuesday that the team will seek a new stadium naming-rights partner.

Since it opened in 2006, the University of Phoenix Stadium has played host to two Super Bowl, three college football National Championship games, a Final Four and well over 100 Arizona Cardinals' home games.

Though the building is here to stay, the Cardinals and the University of Phoenix announced Tuesday that the Glendale stadium will have a new name in the future as the sides mutually agreed to end their stadium naming-rights partnership, according to multiple reports.

The decision to end the partnership comes nine years before the University of Phoenix's contract to have its name on the stadium is set to end, as the original deal the two sides struck was supposed to last through 2026.

According to a report from The Arizona Republic, the parent company of University of Phoenix, Apollo Education, is struggling with declining enrollment and regulatory issues along with a variety of other problems. The decision for the two sides to end the partnership reportedly frees up $7.7 million annually for Apollo Education that it would have paid each year to keep its name on the stadium.

As for now, Cardinals.com has reported that University of Phoenix's name will remain on the stadium until the franchise finds a new naming-rights partner.

The Cardinals' decision to allow the University of Phoenix relief from its contract suggests Arizona believes it can command more money for the rights to the stadium's name, especially considering the stadium has hosted so many marquee events through the years. 

No reports indicated that the Cardinals have a timeline for a new naming-rights partner to be in place, so it's unclear whether the organization wants the deal to be done prior to the start of the 2017 season.

Arizona will host a pair of preseason games during the first two weeks of August before hitting the road for its final two preseason contests at the end of the month. 


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