A favorite summer ritual among Rim country football fans has long been the trek to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where the Arizona Cardinals conduct the team's preseason training camps.
There, fans can get a free and up-close look at the professional football team as it goes about gearing up for the new season.
This year, under new coach Dave McGinnis, the Cardinals report to Flagstaff on Friday and will remain there until Aug. 15. Morning practices begin at 8:40 a.m. and afternoon sessions begin at 3 p.m.
Traditionally, the sessions last about two hours. However, since this is McGinnis' first visit to Flagstaff as the Cardinals' head coach, the lengths of the sessions could change.
Two-a-day practices will be held Aug. 1, Aug. 4, Aug. 5, Aug. 8, Aug. 10, Aug. 12 and Aug. 13.
On Aug. 4, an intrasquad scrimmage will be held in NAU's Walkup Skydome. Kickoff time will be announced later this week. For that scrimmage, NAU usually charges a nominal spectator's fee that benefits one of the school's programs.
Cards vs. Raiders
At 8 p.m. Aug. 11, Arizona hosts the Oakland Raiders in a preseason game to be played at Tempe Sun Devil Stadium.
All Flagstaff practices are held on three fields east of the Skydome. During bad weather, the practices are moved inside the dome.
For those hoping to get an autograph from Jake Plummer or their favorite player, the best time to approach the athletes is minutes before each session as the athletes walk to the fields from the NAU dorms where they reside during training.
After breaking camp Aug. 15, the Cardinals return to practice sessions in the Tempe facility.
Fans can obtain daily practice updates by calling one of two hotlines: (602) 379-1714 in Phoenix and (520) 523-2273 in Flagstaff.
Other preseason games will be played at 7 p.m. Aug. 18 at Seattle, 5 p.m. Aug. 25 at Chicago and 7 p.m. Aug. 31 vs. San Diego in Sun Devil Stadium.