Reporting Jack Fink
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COLLIN COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) – It could be Jerry’s World taken to a whole new level.
If you thought AT&T Stadium was a touchdown for Arlington, then a deal to move the Dallas Cowboys corporate headquarters and practice facility from Valley Ranch in Las Colinas to an empty plot of land near Warren Parkway and the Dallas North Tollway, may be an even bigger catch for the city of Frisco.
Sources tell CBS 11 News the Cowboys deal is part of a master planned entertainment district, the first in the nation to be centered around an NFL team. The 91-acre development will include an indoor stadium for the team and Frisco Independent School District students. Concerts and other big events could be held there as well. And don’t forget about the luxury resort-style hotel, restaurants, and shops that are also a part of the plan.
Mayor Maher Maso could barely contain himself Monday morning. “This is an exciting time for the city of Frisco.” Hours later, the Frisco City Council, two development boards, and the Frisco ISD approved the plan.
The four entities will spend a total of $115 million for the new corporate headquarters, an indoor stadium for the team and Frisco high school teams, and a parking garage. City officials say property and sales tax rates will not go up as a result of the deal.
An analyst hired by the city told council members Monday night that the deal will bring 4,500 jobs to the city, and add nearly $23.5 billion to the region’s economy, over the next 13 years.
Earlier Monday morning, crews put up a big tent at the proposed sight where the official announcement will be made at 11 a.m. Tuesday. The site has been owned by the Community Development Board since December 2010. Frisco had tried to lure a massive Nebraska Furniture Mart store for the location, but ultimately the retailer chose a location along the 121 Toll Road in The Colony instead.
The new Cowboys facilities will be adjacent to a 250-acre development called Frisco Station that will house offices and apartments.
Dr. Sara Gondol is a pediatrician who opened her Starside Pediatrics two and a half years ago. It’s located right across from the proposed site.
She hopes the city’s deal with the Blue Star will help her practice grow off the charts. “We’re always looking for new patients to come in and this is a great area for parents to come and bring their kids by. Obviously, Frisco is a wonderful sight for families.”
While Dr. Gondol is pleased with the plan for the long-term, she says she’s slightly concerned in the short run about any potential problems that could result with construction and traffic.
Nearby at the 3rd Base Sports Bar, general manager Robert Verich says the Cowboys’ likely move to Frisco will be a huge score for his restaurant and the city. “People know about Frisco, but when the Cowboys move here, it will really legitimize Frisco as a place where you can have your business and do business.”
Frisco is already home to the FC Dallas soccer team, the RoughRiders baseball farm team for the Texas Rangers, and the practice ice for the Dallas Stars NHL team.
Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business sports marketing adjunct professor Erin Patton said the deal could be an economic touchdown, not only for businesses big and small in Frisco, but for the Cowboys as well. Patton believes owner Jerry Jones may attract more season ticket holders from the growing and affluent suburbs in Collin and Denton counties.
The believed move was apparently a tough one. Irving Mayor Beth Van Dyne said she fought hard to keep the Cowboys’ practice facility and corporate headquarters at Valley Ranch, and said the city is proud of its history with the Cowboys and wish them nothing but the best in the future.
Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck said his city also tried to lure the Cowboys’ practice facility and corporate headquarters to their city.
The Cowboys organization didn’t have any comment Monday.
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