Cowboys’ record-breaking stadium to spark new building war?

The Dallas Cowboys officially have the world’s largest video board, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. The question now is, as I’ve noted before, whether this ups the ante for other NFL teams’ stadium demands. Peter Callaghan of the Tacoma News Tribune wonders today whether Cowboys Stadium could be “the first stadium of the next round” of stadium extortion in the NFL.

“Every time a new stadium or arena opens it has something new that everyone else wants,” notes some guy with a website to Callaghan. Sports economist Rod Fort counters that not every market could really support a 100,000-person capacity stadium or the world’s largest video board; but then, keep in mind that Fort is also the one who once quipped to me: “I don’t see anything wrong, from an owner’s perspective, with the idea of a new stadium every year.”

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4 comments on “Cowboys’ record-breaking stadium to spark new building war?

  1. Maybe I’m just an optimist, but I think that Cowboy Stadium is just the latest in the current round of stadium construction that’s been going since the mid 90’s. The New Meadowlands Stadium will be the next salvo, with the potential Niners and LA stadiums coming after that if they get off the ground. But it’s all still a result of the wave that started with B of A Stadium in Charlotte or Jacksonville Stadium depending on who you ask. Rather than asking for new stadiums I think what you’ll see in the coming years because of Cowboys Stadium and New Meadowlands is owners asking for improvements to many of the stadiums built in the late 80’s and 90’s like bigger TV’s and the like.

  2. Neil;

    The question I have is, how long can the effort to extract ever more consumer dollars from the paying fans succeed?

    While the public often pays for a significant portion of these facilities’ construction, it is ultimately the ongoing support of the consumer (be it the virtually tax exempt corporate consumer or the rapidly disappearing mere mortal ticket buyer) that generates the annual revenues that drive the ‘new’ stadium frenzy.

    Over the last 20-30 years, we’ve watched as the high end seats and luxury suites have become the new economic base on which sports businesses are built. Could that turn around with a return to fiscal sanity? I think it might.

    We’ve already seen the two biggest, newest NFL stadia go without naming rights contracts. MLB, the NBA and the NHL have all seen downturns in luxury suite sales, and franchises not in major media markets have in some cases cut nosebleed ticket prices. Even the mighty Yankees misread the market for their club seating… $2600 per game, indeed…

    I would never say we are back to a situation where ordinary fans can afford season tickets (for most sports), but one senses the tide turning slightly. It remains to be seen if this trend will continue, or if the apparent divine right of franchise owners to wring the maximum amount from their supporters (with or without their consent) will continue.

  3. I just read the interview with Jeff Loria in the New York Times article “A Stadium as a work of art” (September 20th)… I really have no words to describe what the “next wave” may look like. And this coming from a guy who actually had to wait awhile to get his new palace.

    Perhaps the next wave will be a series of $1 billion+ palaces filled with $1,000 seats while the “cheapskates” are stuck with $50/game HDTV packages at home.

    It’s starting to have a Montgomery Burns feel to it.

  4. The Bengals have something in their lease that says if any improvement shows up in 14 other NFL stadiums, Hamilton County must pay to add that to Paul Brown Stadium. I think the Bengals used that to get the county pay for artificial turf in the stadium, even after years of saying one reason they needed a new stadium was to get a grass field. So this arms race may have an effect here in Cincinnati.

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