After the Explosion: How Irving Might Wind Up Using Texas Stadium Site

Patrick will be along shortly with some photos and observations from today's final final media tour of what remains of Texas Stadium before the big blow-em-up on April 11. (Hey, there's Billy Joe Dupree!) But for five years, Irving's been preparing for this moment: Life After the Dallas Cowboys, as the press release put it back in June 2005. And we've directed your attention myriad times to the city's official At the Crossroads of Dallas-Fort Worth Web site, where Forest City (the peeps behind the Merc redo), RTKL, Southwest Premier Properties and the city have been touting "the possibilities" and "future development" for the last couple of years.

The Wall Street Journal just posted a piece that asks: What's Irving planning on doing with those some 400 acres at 183 and 114? In short: A factory outlet! For starters, of course, but ... duh. And what else? Depends, says Forest City's Jim Truitt, who imagines, oh, "a large hotel, an entertainment venue or a medical campus." And condos.

Regardless of how Irving redevelops the site, the project already is a rarity. Many plans for the construction of NFL stadiums in the past 15 years called for razing the old structure and building a new one on the same site, as in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Other new stadiums were built on adjacent sites, and their predecessors were razed to make way for parking lots, as in Denver. Still others, like Washington's RFK stadium, remain in use for other sports such as professional soccer.

NFL stadiums, even those that are outdated, typically have excellent highway access to their sites and ample parking. "They're in the sweet spot," said Patrick Phillips, chief executive of the Urban Land Institute. "That's often why the new stadium is built on the site of the old stadium." Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, however, built a $1.2 billion, 80,000-seat stadium 15 miles away because of incentives offered by the suburb of Arlington, leaving Irving with the rare challenge of finding a new, different use for its site.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky