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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: New Stadium for Cowboys

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posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 11:55 AM
Dallas Cowboys representatives and city officials unveiled plans for an NFL stadium on Monday.

The proposed $650 million stadium in Arlington would seat 75,000 under a dome with a retractable roof. It also would feature an interactive Cowboys hall of fame, a museum outlining the team's history, numerous concession stands, video boards and message boards, officials said.

The Cowboys have been looking for a new home to replace Texas Stadium in Irving.

"This will be the premier facility and the largest stadium in the NFL," Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said. "I can promise it will be a place that the Eagles, Giants and Redskins won't particularly enjoy."

He said planners had visited with other teams and cities to get ideas for the proposed stadium, which could handle up to 90,000 fans for special events.

A cost-benefit study commissioned by Arlington city officials showed that the city could add $238 million a year to its economy and gain an estimated $7 billion in benefits over the next 30 years.

"We all know we need new sources of revenue in Arlington, and this could be the stimulus for that," Arlington mayor Robert Cluck said.

He said that the city, located midway between Dallas and Fort Worth, would be the ideal location for the venue, which would be built next to the Texas Rangers' Ameriquest Field.

The Arlington City Council was scheduled to vote on Tuesday on the plans and the tax increases needed to finance the construction. Arlington's share of the project's cost would be capped at $325 million.

Cluck said the team will pay the city $2 million a year in rent starting in 2009 when the stadium is completed and 5 percent from all naming rights for the stadium, valued at up to $500,000 a year.

"I'm hopeful and feel good that the council will see their way to put it on the ballot," team owner Jerry Jones said at the team's training camp in Oxnard, Calif.

"I'm very confident that to get the tradition and the visibility and the regional and national interest that the Dallas Cowboys enjoyed over the last 40 years, that it would be a very positive addition to what Arlington is about," Jones said. He said the Cowboys appreciate Arlington's stature as an entertainment destination.

posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 06:14 PM
We'll be glad to help break in the new stadium when it's done. Nothing like starting out a new home with a loss, just ask the Eagles...


posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 08:22 AM
Cowboys get closer to new stadium

City Council members gave initial approval Tuesday night for a deal with the Dallas Cowboys to build a $650 million football stadium in Arlington and to place the project in voters' hands.

Arlington council members unanimously voted to place a referendum on the Nov. 2 ballot asking voters to increase sales and other taxes to pay for half of the retractable-roof, 75,000-seat stadium that would be among the NFL's largest.

The council approved the deal with the Cowboys on an 8-1 vote. Councilwoman Sheri Capehart said she was voting against the plan because she had more questions than answers.

Final approval is expected at meeting next week, before the Aug. 24 deadline to put the item on the fall election ballot.

Mayor Robert Cluck said Arlington, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, would be the ideal location for the venue, which likely would be built next to the Texas Rangers' Ameriquest Field. Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones has said the team will not change the Dallas name.

"The organization is pleased with tonight's vote and enthusiastic about moving forward with our stadium in Arlington. Tonight's vote was a show of the overwhelming support Arlington city leaders have given this project," said Cowboys spokesman Brett Daniels.

About 50 members of Touchdown Arlington, a group formed to lobby for the stadium, held a celebratory dinner at a nearby restaurant and then marched to City Hall in time for Tuesday's meeting. Outside City Hall, a high school marching band played in support of the Cowboys.

But not everyone in Arlington is happy about the plan. About two dozen people spoke against the proposal, many saying that taxpayers should not subsidize an entertainment venue. Some said the city already had budget problems.

Members of Concerned Taxpayers of Arlington are urging residents to vote against the deal, which they say would not spur the economic development or bring the other benefits touted by the city and team.

"We're going to have to put up a whole lot of money, but we're never going to get it back," said Bruce Deramus, president of the grassroots organization of about 460 members. "The (council members) know in their heart that it's not good for Arlington."

Group members say they are still waiting for the benefits predicted before the Rangers' $191 million baseball stadium was built in 1994. The city's debt on that project has since been retired.

Before Arlington voters in 1991 overwhelmingly approved a half-cent sales tax to fund the new stadium, Deramus said, city leaders promised a transportation system linking Six Flags and the ballpark -- as well as a nearby amphitheater, shops and a river walk, "but it was all a big farce."

Arlington would pay no more than $325 million for the football stadium. If approved by voters, the funding would come from a one-half percentage-point sales tax increase, a 2-percentage-point increase in hotel-occupancy taxes and a 5-percentage-point increase in car-rental taxes.

The Cowboys would play home games for 30 years in Arlington; pay $2 million in rent annually at the new stadium, with two 10-year lease extensions allowed; and give the city 5 percent of any naming-rights deal.

Arlington officials said revenue from user fees, including a 10 percent ticket tax and a $3 parking tax, would go to the team.

The city could add $238 million a year to its economy and gain an estimated $7 billion in benefits over the next 30 years, according to a study commissioned by Arlington officials.

The Cowboys have been looking for a new home to replace Texas Stadium in Irving, where the team has played since 1971. Last month, Arlington officials announced they had been negotiating with the Cowboys for a stadium after the team's talks with the city and county of Dallas apparently fell apart.

While negotiations were under way in Dallas, the plan's funding mechanism was criticized by the Hotel Association of Greater Dallas and some residents and business owners who formed a group called No Jones Tax.

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