The Arizona Association for Economic Development held its Spring Conference for 2017 at The Nautical Inn in Lake Havasu City on April 27. Attendees heard a special keynote speech from Michael Bidwill, President of the Arizona Cardinals.
Bidwill gave his 30 minute speech before the AAED group and then headed back to the Cardinals’ Tempe war room for Draft Day. Supervisor Buster Johnson, a longtime AAED member, was enthused about the AAED holding its event in Lake Havasu and said “the addition of a significant presence like Michael Bidwill raises the conference and its accomplishments to an even higher level.”
In his AAED speech, Bidwill said economically, “the state of Arizona couldn’t be better. It might be the best we’ve been in the history of Arizona. Everybody needs to have that attitude.” He said all towns should feel that way because overall, all of them “are in excellent shape.” He praised Governor Ducey repeatedly, saying that he’s “the most aggressive governor in all 50 states, a real business guy and, he has definitely put his foot on the gas economically.” He says the governor also completely “understands branding and the importance of messaging.
Bidwill pointed out that Arizona’s sports teams, like the Suns, Coyotes, Diamondbacks, and, of course, his own Cardinals, are instrumental in positive economic development for the state. Since 2007, when Bidwell took over day-to-day operations of the club from his father, Bill, the Cardinals have grown into a consistent contender.
As to the future of the Cardinals, he added “the strength of the team is to be able to change and adapt from year to year. We try to make sensible decisions within the confines of the salary cap.” He says, obviously, we need to get better and that’s “what we plan to do.”
Bidwill was especially proud of something that had never happened before in any state– three major events came into Arizona over three consecutive years – A Pro Bowl and a Super Bowl in 2015; in 2016, the College Football Championship Game and in 2017, the Super Bowl itself.
Supervisor Johnson said Bidwill’s attitude is contagious for economic development.
“I’m pleased the AAED held its Spring Conference and I’m glad the president of the Arizona Cardinals addressed the group and enthusiastically touted the value of economic development achievements in the state,” Johnson said.