Learn about Arizona Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill, including how he made his wealth, his education and more.
William (Bill) Bidwill largely leaves day-to-day operations of the Cardinals to his son Michael Bidwill, who has served as team president since 2007.
Education: Georgetown University
How They Acquired the Franchise: The team has been owned by the Bidwell family since 1932, the year Charles Bidwill purchased the then-Chicago Cardinals for $50K (the equivalent of ~$918K in 2018). Bill and his older brother Charles Bidwill Jr. jointly inherited the Cardinals in 1962 from their mother, Violet Bidwill. He then took over sole ownership of the team in ’72 when he bought out Charles Jr.
Net Worth: $1.4 billion (per Forbes in 2015)
Franchise Valuation: $2.15 billion (per Forbes in 2017)
How They Made Their Money: The Bidwills have made the majority of their wealth from the Cardinals, watching the team appreciate from $50K to $2.15 billion.
In the Owner’s Words: Speaking to The MMQB in 2016 about the NFL’s personal conduct policy, Michael, the chair of the Conduct Committee, said: “Arrests were down by 38% between 2014 and ’15, so clearly the two years of training we’ve been doing and the emphasis on proper conduct, the message has gotten through. And I think we’re going in the right direction. Certainly there is more we can do. I just had a meeting with some of the college athletic directors along with some of the league staff out here in Phoenix around the national championship game to emphasize that we’re hopeful the message is getting down to the colleges. And it is that if you want to play in the NFL, you’ve got to make sure that you’re not making mistakes during college. It’s really important that we continue to push that message down to the colleges and high schools, not just because of the careers of future football players, but also because it’s the right thing to do.”
Political Donations: Per FEC filings dating back to 1997, Bill Bidwill has donated tens of thousands to the Republican National Committee, and contributed to the presidential campaigns of both Mitt Romney and John McCain. On the state level, while Bidwill has primarily donated to Republican candidates, he also has donated to the Arizona Democratic Party and several democratic candidates for office, including Gabrielle Giffords.
NFL Committees: Michael: Health and Safety Committee; Stadium Committee; Stadium Security and Fan Behavior Committee (Chairman); Business Ventures Committee; Conduct Committee (Chairman); Workplace Diversity Committee; NFL Foundation Board.
Next in Line: Given his role as team president, it’s widely assumed Michael will eventually take over as chairman and owner.