IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – First Texas Stadium was basically rendered useless and eventually demolished, then it was announced the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament is moving after 2018. Now the city of Irving is losing the Dallas Cowboys training facility as well. So, what does that mean for the place the team is leaving?
The City of Irving’s image has a four-decade connection to the Dallas Cowboys. Now the city has to look at a future without America’s Team.
There are more than 220,000 who live in Irving. But the Cowboys didn’t employ as many people as NEC, Microsoft or Exxon-Mobil, all with offices in the city. In other words, Irving is on offense, not defense.
If your view of Irving is from its growing Urban Center in Las Colinas, life appears to be looking up.
City leaders say previous claims to fame have and will not affect their current or future city outlook. “The economic impact is minimal,” Mayor Beth Van Duyne said plainly. “We were proud to have the Cowboys here. It was bragging rights, it’s a very recognizable national brand.”
Texas Stadium as imploded in 2008 and now the Cowboys headquarters will pull up stakes in three years.
But Irving city leaders want to corral any claim that once the Cowboys go so goes the touchdowns of business, residential and population expansion. In fact, the city is in the midst of an economic resurgence of sorts. Cases in point — its Urban Center, complete with apartment living, or new residential subdivisions, have realigned Irving’s growth away from the Cowboys neighborhood of Valley Ranch.
“We look at the number of jobs, those are growing, our population is growing, [and] our sales tax base is growing. Those are all good measurements,” Van Duyne said, but admitted, “We hate to lose the Cowboys. It’s a great brand. We’re huge Cowboys fans.”
Irving Chamber of Commerce President Chris Wallace said the presence of the Cowboys has always helped Irving, but the entity’s exit hasn’t hurt. “People need to realize, yes Irving had a brand with the Cowboys for a long time, but we’ll always have a brand associated with big business and numerous amounts of small business.”
While the Byron Nelson is leaving for greener grounds in Dallas, city officials say they are working to replace that economic hit with other events.
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