Dallas Committee Explores New Sports Team Possibility – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Earlier this month Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson responded on Twitter with why he believes the city would deserve a new expansion team if the National Football League had one to give. Fast forward to two weeks later, and the mayor started a new city council committee focused on recruiting and retaining professional sports.

On Tuesday the mayor announced he created the ‘Ad Hoc Committee on Professional Sports Recruitment and Retention’ which he is the chair. The committee is made up of four city council members including Tennell Atkins, Adam Bazaldua, Paula Blackmon and Casey Thomas.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time as a potential driver of economic development in our city, a way to spark development in a part of our city that really needs it,” said Mayor Johnson in regards to Southern Dallas.

Professional sports teams like the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers technically play in Arlington, and the mayor said he would like to see some action in the Dallas city limits.

“The reality is, none of those teams you just motioned play or practice in the city of Dallas and there is no economic benefit to the resident of Dallas to having those teams practice and play where they do,” Mayor Johnson said. “We support them from a fan standpoint, but what the city needs from an economic standpoint are for the activity to take place within the city of Dallas that’s why we’re so grateful to the Stars and Mavericks for being in the city and while we want to make sure they stay, we also like to talk about bringing more teams that aren’t here now to the city.”

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He said the first order of business would be to make sure that the Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Stars stay in the city since their leases at the American Airlines Center come to an end in 2031.

The other main goals would be to see if it’s feasible to renovate Cotton Bowl Stadium to NFL standards and also update Fair Park Coliseum to Woman’s National Basketball Association standards. According to the memorandum

that went out on Tuesday, they would explore if funds from the “Brimer Bill,” which is up for a vote in Nov., could go towards the makeover.

They will also see if Hensley Field would serve as a good development to be the site of a stadium or headquarters for a future sports team.

“The opportunity to build something like the Star in Frisco in Dallas would itself be incredibly transformative would generate all kinds of economic benefits,” said Johnson. “It’s a beautiful sight, for a headquarters and practice facility for some organization, then we also want to talk about the possibility of public ownership of a sports franchise for Dallas like the Green Bay Packers model where the citizens of Dallas, residents of this area could actually have ownership in a team and then we want to talk about minority ownership and I think that’s an important area too to address the equity issues,” said Johnson.

The new concept of a committee focused on bringing professional sports to Dallas proper is just starting the conversation in the community.

“I think it’s exciting news for Dallas if we could pull it off,” said Brandy Runyan who is the owner and CEO of Black Diamond PR & Sport Management Firm.

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She manages professional athletes and thinks it would be a bonus to have more teams in the metroplex.

“Sports brings everyone together, I don’t think there’s a more loyal fan base than what we have here in Dallas,” said Runyan. “I think it would be an incredible experience to have more things to root for.”