Late last week Dallas-based law firm Winstead PC announced it had a new chairman and CEO: Houston attorney Denis Clive Braham. Who he? Well, in a nutshell, Braham led the charge to bring Super Bowl XXXVIII to Houston and worked with the Winstead suits to help Jerry Jones build the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington. Reads the release: "Braham is a member of the firm's Corporate and Real Estate Sections and he also chairs Winstead's Sports Business & Public Venues Practice Group, counting among his clients the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans." Sounds like someone's trying to dip their chocolate into their peanut butter.
And, yeah, sure 'nuff: In today's Houston Business Journal, there's a Q&A with Braham in which he talks specifically about helping to bring the Super Bowl to Arlington in 2011. Only, you need to be a subscriber to the HBJ to read the piece -- which is why Unfair Park brings you the highlights after the jump. --Robert Wilonsky
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HBJ: How did you get involved with bringing the Super Bowl to the Dallas/Fort Worth area?
Braham: We're representing the Jones family on the new stadium deal. (The Dallas Cowboys, owned by Jerry Jones, plan to build a new $1 billion stadium with public and private funds that is scheduled to open in 2009 in Arlington.)
They were aware of our expertise in working on the Houston bid and asked us to get involved. But this isn't an effort that the Cowboys organization is running, and the Cowboys aren't bidding. This is a regional effort.
HBJ: In recent years, cities with new stadiums have either hosted or have been awarded Super Bowls. Now, it appears the Dallas bid is based, in large part, on having a new stadium. Is this a requirement for landing a Super Bowl?
Braham: Historically, the NFL has always favored, until very recently, having games in the Southeast or Southwest, Florida or California, because they're great weather sites.
Over the past few years, as new stadiums have opened up, more cities have put forth strong bids and the owners have gone for them. That's why you've seen other cities, like Detroit, host a Super Bowl.
But it's not just about the stadium. It's more about what the community puts forward to host the event. It's the entire set of activities the community puts together to showcase itself to the global media and to the fans...
HBJ: On paper, it appears that Dallas/Fort Worth would have many of the same assets Houston has to put behind its bid. Is the game plan for bringing the 2011 Super Bowl to the Metroplex the same as Houston's, with a few nuanced changes for the location?
Braham: Dallas has similar amenities. The challenge for the bid up there is that it's not a Dallas bid. It's a North Texas bid and that's probably the major difference...
In the Metroplex, there's less of a history of the jurisdictions working together. In this case, it won't be Dallas or Fort Worth or Arlington which wins the bid. It'll have to be all of them coming together to win the bid...
There are reasons that these bids are getting larger, even for places that have hosted Super Bowls before. If you get the event, economic history has shown that the value of these events to a community and a state can be in excess of $300 million. That's $300 million into that community, a lot of which will stay in that community and have a multiplier effect.