Arena games

City Hall finds $35 million--and toys with turning Reunion into a reflecting pool

In other words, closing the doors is simply routine--and since only two members of the city council ever challenge the city attorney's wisdom on this point, it seems likely that this cavalier, ofttimes illegal, behavior will continue.

I just didn't know how likely until last week.
In a May 31 memo we unearthed, sent from new arena-project director David Morgan to John Ware's administrative assistant, Marsha Evans, it becomes painstakingly clear that the arena will remain permanently underground.

"At the request of John Ware...Downtown Sports Development Project (DSDP) briefings should be on future Executive Session agendas every Wednesday," Morgan wrote. "Per your request we will check with the Agenda Office every Friday to verify if the briefings are, in fact, scheduled for Wednesday of the following week. If they are not on the agenda we will contact you to inform you of the status."

And if, for some reason, the briefings are erroneously set for open session for Wednesday of the following week, we will set fire to the briefing packets. With kind regards, etc.

Last February 16, Dallas taxpayer and oil investor Aubrey Black wrote to councilman Glenn Box about this new arena idea.

"Dear Mr. Box: According to an article in The Dallas Morning News, the new arena will generate 340 times as much revenue with only 12.6 percent more seats than a renovation. DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THIS?

"I ask only two things. 1) Please don't put ANY of the debt on the Dallas taxpayers, either sales tax, ad valorem, or any other tax. 2) Check the original projection on Reunion Arena against actual. (You sure haven't checked DART projections with actual.)

"Very truly yours, Aubrey Black."
Three weeks later, Box replied.
"Dear Mr. Black: Thank you so much for your recent letter concerning the importance of keeping the Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Stars in downtown Dallas. I completely concur with you, and I have been working toward this goal for over a year now.

"Negotiations are difficult, but I remain committed to do whatever it takes to accomplish the goal of maintaining these sports teams in downtown Dallas.

"Fortunately, the council overwhelmingly fought back an effort to scuttle the process when we defeated a resolution to place a referendum on the May 6 ballot concerning this issue.

"Thanks again for taking the time to write. Sincerely, Glenn Box."
Mr. Black shot the letter back to Box with this handwritten note at the bottom:

"Dear Mr. Box: You should read your mail before answering. It is of little importance to the average citizen (the new arena) and its benefits are greatly exaggerated (except to a very few.)

"Your reply is a good example of what is going on at City Hall."
We couldn't have said it better.

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