The mayor of Dallas is bored.
It must be.
We believe Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson is a nice man and has the best interests of the city at heart.
For some reason, Johnson is obsessed with adding a professional sports team to the city of Dallas.
On Tuesday, the mayor announced a new five-member ad hoc committee on the recruitment and retention of professional athletes. Johnson is going to direct it. In a memo to elected officials, he noted that several sports teams are named after the city but are based elsewhere in North Texas.
It all started when the mayor answered a question from CBS Sports on Twitter about which city deserves an NFL team.
Johnson told Dallas.
The NFL isn’t bringing another franchise to Dallas. Jerry Jones is one of the most powerful owners in the sport, perhaps in all of sport, and he’s unlikely to share that market with any other NFL team. And besides, do you really think the quality of the NFL would improve with 34 NFL teams versus 32?
Of course, Johnson’s quest to get teams playing in Dallas isn’t limited to location.
A quick history lesson on the city’s professional sports teams tells you that the Cowboys were once based in Dallas, but moved to Irving and now ply their trade in Arlington. It would take a documentary to explain why Dallas Mayor Laura Miller couldn’t make a deal with Jones to bring the Cowboys back to Dallas more than 10 years ago.
The Rangers were still in Arlington after moving from Washington, D.C. in the 1970s. Dallas tried to lure the Rangers in 1989 and faced fierce opposition from Arlington lawmakers and eventually dropped the suit. In 2014, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings opened talks with Rangers officials for a possible move with the stadium’s lease expiring in 2023. The city of Arlington presented a financial package voters believed that sealed Arlington’s fate with the Rangers. Rawlings described discussions with Rangers officials as not being “specific or advanced”. Let’s be honest, the Rangers weren’t seriously thinking about Dallas.
The Stars and Mavericks are based in Dallas, so we think they’re doing well. However, Mavs owner Mark Cuban is tied to the American Airlines Center through 2031 and noted, “I would say the likelihood of us staying at AAC right now is less than 50 percent.”
Cuban has built a training facility near the AAC and there is room for a new arena to share with the Stars. But that’s years away.
Would the NBA or NHL expand and add a team to Dallas? Only New York and Los Angeles host two NBA teams. New York has three NHL teams: Buffalo in Upstate, the Islanders in Long Island, and the Rangers in the city. Strong hockey cities like Minneapolis and Detroit could host multiple teams. Perhaps. But is there a high demand? It looks like the NHL is looking to expand into a Canadian city and a new market before adding Dallas.
Professional leagues add multiple teams as they expand. It usually takes two to grow, and if you want to move a team, you better find a city in need. Seattle needs an NBA team. Do you remember the Sonics moving to Oklahoma City? The NHL is having trouble in Arizona, so what about the Coyotes moving to Houston or even Austin?
As for other professional teams, the Wings played in Detroit and Tulsa before moving to Arlington. FC Dallas once played in the Cotton Bowl but now resides in Frisco.
Dallas is a great sports city.
Of course, we’d love to see any sports teams in downtown Dallas or the south side of the city.
I understand what the mayor wants, he doesn’t get it.
The Dallas Cup is full of its sports teams. Sure, those teams play in other areas of Dallas-Fort Worth, but there’s no question where the majority of the support is coming from.
Now we agree with the mayor that major events should come here. The Dallas-Fort Worth area deserves another Super Bowl, especially with the number of events and the money it brings in. Major League Baseball is expected to hold an All-Star Game in Arlington. Still, MLB pulled the Atlanta All-Star Game due to Georgia’s restrictive election laws. Texas has similar election laws that could create problems.
Dallas could host another NBA All-Star weekend. Maybe the NHL Winter Classic can return to the Cotton Bowl in a few years.
“The city of Dallas has incredible assets and presents incredible opportunities for any professional sports franchise,” Johnson said in a memo to Dallas lawmakers. “It’s high time for the city of Dallas to play to win these franchises and these events.”
We get it, but the mayor should calm down, because adding another pro sports team to Dallas just isn’t happening.
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