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Monday, May 16, 2005

NFL stadiums cost $40-$50m more than advertised?

So says this article by Judith Long in the recent issue of Journal of Sports Economics. She analyzes the total cost of publicly built stadiums, including costs, land, and ongoing maintenance.

Arlington was told it would only cost us $325m in initial costs, another $325m in interest payments over 30 years, and now it looks like it might cost us another $50m or more than we were intitially aware of.

I want to vote again!!

Here's a picture of the proposed Cowboys stadium site from Google Maps:

The black box is essentially the area that is going to be stolen for the new stadium. The creek running through the middle of the box is Johnson Creek and the greenland around the creek is actually Federal land that the Cowboys cannot build on. The stadium is proposed to go in the upper left corner of the box and parking lots extend to the south and the east, bending around Johnson Creek (environmentalists where are you when we need you!?!?)

You can see Ameriquest park in the upper right corner. The road running directly to the south of the stadium is Randoll Mill Road. This is the northern boundry of the land that is being confiscated for the football stadium. The western edge of the box is Collins Street which actually runs very close to the UTA campus. The road at the bottom of the box is Division Street. You can see the neighborhood that will be demolished and the trailer park that will also be gone.

On the far lower right corner is just visible the GM plant and right around Ameriquest Field there are a lot of warehouses and light industry, which is not very high on the beauty scale. Why couldn't the stadium couldn't be built on the warehouses and leave the green space alone?

This picture shows where the proposed stadium will lie. The parking lot directly to the north of the proposed stadium site was a Kmart and Walmart is in the process of building a Super Walmart right there - food, beer, etc. It will be interesting to see who wins the battle between the Cowboys and Walmart - the Cowboys will likely bar food and beverage into the stadium, and Walmart will likely lobby for food and soda being brought into the stadium.

Here's another look at the proposed stadium site in central Arlington.

Ameriquest field and the proposed stadium site are located in the upper right corner. The University is boxed in the middle of the graph, and Maverick Stadium (our little used 21,000 person football stadium is boxed in the lower left corner).

Remember that the Cowboys and stadium proponents claimed that all sorts of development will occur around our two stadiums. Given that the warehouse district isn't really pretty (like Baltimore's) it is unlikely that the development that failed to occur with one stadium will magically occur with two stadiums.

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