Cards QB Kurt Warner retires from NFL
Phoenix Business Journal - by Mike Sunnucks
Jim Poulin/Phoenix Business Journal
Kurt Warner walk off the field after an early season loss.
quarterback Kurt Warner announced his retirement Friday.
Warner ended a career that led the historically struggling Cards to playoff appearances for the past two seasons. He also led the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl victory in 2000.
Warner won two National Football League MVPs with the Rams and led the Cardinals to their first Super Bowl last season.
Warner, 38, suffered a concussion this season and had hip surgery after last season. The quarterback made the announcement at a press conference Friday at Cardinals headquarters in Tempe.
The retirement leaves the Cardinals with an uncertain future. Backup Matt Leinart will likely takeover quarterbacking duties from Warner, and the team faces decisions on other key players including wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive lineman Darnell Dockett.
The Cardinals posted winning records the past two years. Previously, the team only had one winning season (1998) since moving to Arizona in 1988.
The Cardinals hosted playoff games this and last season. Before that, the Cardinals had not hosted a home playoff game since 1947. The Bidwill family has owned the team since 1933.
The Cardinals playoff runs were led by Warner and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. That success has helped boost ticket sales and the teamís popularity after lacking success for decades.
Warner and Fitzgerald also became the face of the franchise spurring jersey and merchandise sales in a Phoenix sports market historically dominated by the Phoenix Suns
and last decade the Arizona Diamondbacks
The Cardinals did not comment on what kind of impact Warnerís retirement might have on ticket sales and demand. The team has sold out all its games since moving to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale in 2006.
Pro sports teams are facing a challenging economic environment in light of the housing market collapse, credit crunch and curtailed consumer spending.
The Suns, Diamondbacks and Phoenix Coyotes
are all currently running various ticket deals aimed at frugal fans. The Suns and Coyotes are also stepping up their social media efforts aimed at local fans.
Warner, who began his pro career as a quarterback in the Arena Football League, is expected to make the NFL Hall of Fame.