Who’s to blame (or credit) for Cowboys’ Arlington move?

The Dallas Morning News has a long editorial (or maybe a column? hard to say, as online it’s unsigned) today asking why the Cowboys built their stadium in Arlington instead of Dallas. (This prompted by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recounting how he spurned Dallas after Mayor Laura Miller patted him on the knee.) Among the questions posed:

Was the loss of Cowboys Stadium a failure of leadership or was a Fair Park location a fantasy that had no chance of becoming reality, particularly with Jones shopping for the best deal available? …

Where was the council? Where were the opposition leaders who gleefully blocked Miller on other issues?

Of course, who really knows if a stadium could have been built in Dallas? Fair Park was too small for what towers over Arlington.

All fine questions, but missing is one big one: Would Dallas have been better off if it had built a stadium instead of Arlington? After all, Arlington had to kick in $325 million and displace local businesses to make way for the Cowboys’ new digs; Dallas residents, meanwhile, still get to go to the games, but are spared the expense. Arlington presumably gets some added tax revenues as a result of the stadium, but it’s still a worthwhile question: Did Dallas win by losing? If so, maybe that knee-pat, if it really happened, wasn’t so inexplicable after all.


4 comments on “Who’s to blame (or credit) for Cowboys’ Arlington move?

  1. Only real disadvantage is that DART won’t run to Arlington – though they didn’t to Texas Stadium either. Guess Jones figures if you can’t afford a car, you can’t afford tickets.

  2. Mr. Jones has had almost six years to explain his side of the story as to the behind-the-scenes negotiations between Dallas County (and Laura Miller) and his business. He finally speaks out about it all the while taking potshots at former mayor Miller in the process?

    Why all of a sudden now?

    To deflect attention away from his recent inebriated rant caught on video in which he disparages both Bill Parcells and Tim Tebow. Mr. Jones is a master of deflecting attention away from his personal conduct. Sadly, the local media plays right along with his shenanigans, rarely questioning the timing or motivations behind his actions. Of course, this is the same media that has never bothered to read a peer-reviewed journal article or book on stadium financing. Editorials like this are one of the main reasons I terminated my 13-year subscription to the Morning News last year.

  3. George-I’ve found the same thing in dealing with reporters on the Santa Clara stadium issue-they haven’t read Neil’s book, they haven’t read what economists have written about stadium financing, they don’t even read articles like the NY Times Xmas day ‘Stadium Woes’ article about NFL stadium debt carried by municipalities. Here, they don’t read the Term Sheet between the city and the 49ers either. It’s like reinventing the wheel. And they often don’t understand concepts like ‘net present value’ which means they can’t explain issues to their readers. We canceled our 20+ year subscription to the SJ Mercury because of the bias and lack of intelligent reporting.

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