Earlier this month, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson replied on Twitter with why he thinks the city would deserve a new expansion team if the National Football League had one to offer.
Fast forward to two weeks later, and the mayor has created a new city council committee focused on recruiting and retaining professional sportspeople.
On Tuesday, the mayor announced that he had created the “ad hoc committee on recruitment and retention of professional sports”, of which he is the chairman. 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 thought about for a long time as a potential engine for our city’s economic development, a way to spur development in a part of our city that really needs it,” Johnson said of the south. from Dallas.
Professional sports teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers technically play in Arlington, and the mayor said he’d like to see some action within the Dallas city limits.
“The reality is that none of these teams you just mentioned play or train in the city of Dallas and there is no economic benefit to the Dallas resident of these teams training and play where they do,” Johnson said. “We support them from a fan perspective, but what the city needs from an economic perspective is for the activity to take place in the city of Dallas. That’s why we’re so grateful to the Stars and the Mavericks to be in the city and while we want to make sure they stay, but we’d also like to talk about bringing more teams that aren’t there now to the city.”
He said the first thing to do would be to make sure the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars stay in the city since their leases at the American Airlines Center will end in 2031.
Other primary goals would be to see if it is possible to renovate Cotton Bowl Stadium to NFL standards and update Fair Park Coliseum to WNBA standards, according to the memorandum.
They will also see if Hensley Field could serve as the site for a stadium or the headquarters of a future sports team.
“The opportunity to build something like The Star at Frisco in Dallas would itself be incredibly transformative. It would generate all kinds of economic benefits,” Johnson said. “It’s a beautiful sight, for a headquarters and training facility for an organization, so we also want to talk about the possibility of public ownership of a sports franchise for Dallas like the Green. Bay Packers model where citizens of Dallas, residents of that area could actually have team ownership.Then we want to talk about minority ownership and I think that’s also an important area, to address equity issues. “
The new concept of a committee focused on bringing professional sports to Dallas is just starting the conversation in the community.
“I think it’s great news for Dallas if we can make it happen,” said Brandy Runyan, owner and CEO of Black Diamond PR & Sport Management Firm.
She manages professional athletes and thinks it would be a bonus to have more teams in the Metroplex.
“Sport brings everyone together, I don’t think there’s a more loyal fan base than what we have here in Dallas,” Runyan said. “I think it would be an amazing experience to have more things to root for.”