Arizona Cardinals at IMG good for the local economy

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BRADENTON, Fla. - The Arizona Cardinals have been giving our local economy a small boost this week. The NFL team has been staying at the Ritz Carlton and practicing at IMG Academy in Bradenton.

The Cards face the Bucs in Tampa on Sunday and the team decided to spend the week in Sarasota to cut down on needless travel.

Along with spending money on lodging, the team is also spending money on food, transportation and for practices fields at IMG Academy in Bradenton.

“We have the Cardinals with us which is really exciting not just for us but really for the whole community. They are spending the week here, they are staying in area hotels, they are eating in area restaurants so the effect that it has beyond our campus is pretty tremendous,” said Kim Berard.

Berard is the Director of Communications at IMG and tells ABC 7, they are glad the Cardinals decided to spend the week in town.

“When a professional team comes in they pay a facility rental fee that gives them access to our campus and they have access to our weight room and other things to help them in their training.”

Berard also says having an NFL team on campus has benefits other than economic.

“All of our students athletes have access to seeing pro athletes train on the same fields that they train in and the same facilities that they train in so it is pretty unique and special place and a great opportunity.”

It is a great opportunity for students and for area businesses that rely on tourism.

IMG Academy hosted the Carolina Panthers a week before last year's home opener at Raymond James Stadium.