[Editor's note: Apologies for the morning's delay and the inability to post comments. Apparently, the hamster fell off the treadmill that powers our server. He's since been replaced with the chicken at the State Fair of Texas against whom you can play Tic Tac Toe. Now, back to business. Maybe.]
When last we talked to Maura Gast, exec director of the Irving Convention & Visitors Bureau, she was hoping to make a few bucks off Irving's inevitable decision to make Texas Stadium go boom. Maybe, she had hoped, the city could get a movie studio or a production company interested in paying for the cost of imploding the Dallas Cowboys' old home, now nothing but a sealed-up shell of its former self. That didn't happen: Late yesterday the Irving City Council voted to spend $5.9 imploding the sumbitch itself. But Gast tells Unfair Park this morning there will be no shortage of those interested in preserving the demolition.
"We've had a number of inquires from cable, independent producers -- a lot of folks who want to capture it, and a lot of folks who want the exclusive," she says. "Everyone was only interested if it was imploded, and now we know that it will, so we'll begin the process to deal with those inquiries. But no major studios expressed interest -- nothing's getting funded." Gast, who used to work in the Irving Film Commission office, says should know within 30 days what that process will be, but she's got time: Demo's not expected to commence until January or February of next year, after months' worth of asbestos abatement. And it could take longer. (See: Reunion Arena.)
Gast and Irving Mayor Herb Gears would also like to raise some money for Irving charities who relied on Cowboys donations now being spread around Arlington. Hence, the plan to auction off the right to push the plunger that brings down the stadium; and, again, it'll be about a month before Gast decides how to make that happen.
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"There's interest in other options outside of this market," she says, meaning, oh, maybe a New York Giants fan might be enticed to pay big bucks to vanish the joint. "We want to be able to say, 'There's more than just a stadium coming down.' And we want to target groups who want to come down here to watch it."
They'll have to watch it from a distance, though -- about the closest available land available for a good view is some property around the University of Dallas, Gast says.
Gast also wants to use the adiosing of the past to remind folks that there's a future plotted for the spot: Crossroads DFW, being developed by the folks responsible for the Merc redo in downtown Dallas, as well as Dallas Area Rapid Transit's Orange Line that'll eventually wind up at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
As Gast reminds, "There is life after the Cowboys."