The Dallas Cowboys’ collection of shiny things—AT&T Stadium, a .700 record, running back Demarco Murray, et.c—just got a little shinier. The long-planned new team facility was officially unveiled this week, and “shiny” is the word for it. It’s in Frisco, it’ll open in 2016, and it’s named “The Star”—which isn’t the least bit confusing even though it’s opening near the Dallas Stars’ facility (which is also in Frisco) and it’s in the same metropolitan area as a newspaper called the Star-Telegram.
Ignore, for a moment, the potential hilarity of a tourist hoping to take a taxi from the airport to the “Star facility” in Frisco and having a 50/50 chance of ending up looking at a football field or a hockey rink. The plans for the Star are Jerry Jonesariffic. As the Dallas Morning News reports, the compound, which will serve as the team’s corporate headquarters and practice and training facility, is gonna be fancy:
Expect there to be lots of technology in the development, whether it’s kiosks like the one pictured in the rendering above or opportunities for augmented reality, which supplements what people are seeing in person with computer-generated information. The AT&T Stadium app available for the Arlington facility already offers augmented reality features.
The tech details are interesting, but they’re hardly the focus here, if you want to talk excess: the $2-$3 billion estimated construction cost makes for a better headline, as does the 91 acres the facility is expected to cover at the intersection of Dallas and Warren parkways. In addition to dramatically increasing the odds that your average Frisco-ite (Friscan?) might spot a Cowboys special teamer at Tom Thumb (keep those autograph books handy, kids!), it’s also going to improve quality of life for Frisco families in other ways. It’s a partnership between the Cowboys, the City of Frisco, and Frisco ISD, and that’s not just a euphemism for “Jerry convinced the city to give him public funding for his latest shiny thing,” the Morning News reports:
The multi-use event center will open onto a plaza with the Omni Frisco Hotel on the right and a two-story retail and conference center on the left.
“This project, this partnership with the Dallas Cowboys organization and the city, is extraordinary in so many ways,” Frisco ISD Superintendent Jeremy Lyon told the crowd gathered for Tuesday’s announcement. The city will own the 12,000-seat multi-use event center, the outdoor practice fields and the two-level parking garage under the headquarters and plaza area. Those will be tax-exempt.
The remainder will be owned by the Dallas Cowboys and yet-to-be named third parties that decide to join the development. Already Omni Hotels & Resorts has announced it will build the Omni Frisco Hotel adjacent to the event center. “This project has taken on a life of its own,” Jerry Jones Jr. said Tuesday.
Football is the focal point, from Cowboys practices to high school football games. But it’s not the only game in town. Frisco ISD is looking to host other sporting events, such as soccer, in the multi-use event center. The center will also be ideal for marching band competitions. Other pairings are also in the works. Broadcast personnel with the Cowboys and the school district are already discussing using the same equipment for their respective needs.
A 12,000-seat multiuse event center will surely come in handy for Jones, as well, who will presumably find a way to charge fans money to sit in those seats to watch the ‘Boys warm up or something. (Perhaps if the Raiders really do move to San Antonio, as our friends at the San Antonio Express-News have been reporting, Jones will move the Cowboys’ training camp from the Alamodome to the friendly confines of The Star, instead.)
The high school quarterbacks will practice on The Star’s indoor field, while the Cowboys will exclusively use the two outdoor fields (one grass, one turf, naturally). Still, assuming Jones and the Cowboys haven’t left Tony Romo a broken shell of a man by the time the facility opens in 2016, it’ll presumably be a thrill for any young man in North Texas to practice for his high school team on the same 91 acres that the QB is working on. As the Morning News quotes Jones saying:
Owner Jerry Jones envisions the day when a Frisco high school quarterback is “getting ready to start taking snaps at a Frisco high school football game on exactly the same place that Tony Romo just came from” during a Cowboys practice at the multi-use event center.
Additionally, of course, there’ll be public tours of the facility available for guests who don’t end up at the hockey team’s facility by mistake. We can only assume that the revenue from those tours will help recoup a couple of the billions Jones is spending on this admittedly pretty awesome-sounding building.
(AP Photo/James D Smith)