Dallas Cowboys

Texas Stadium: Rest in Peace. Er, Pieces.

Spent yesterday afternoon out at Cowboys Stadium, where about 30 mayors - from Southlake to Sunnyvale - convened for an update as to the goings-on about Super Bowl XLV. By the way, 445 days and counting ...

I was there hounding Roger Staubach about an upcoming Dallas Observer cover story and, to be honest, I'm never comfortable in a room with that many politicians. But I did have an interesting chat with Irving grand poobah Herbert Gears, who isn't exactly shedding a tear over the impending doom of Texas Stadium.

"At this point we're trying to maximize our exposure and our revenue from the event," Gears told me.

The "event" of course, is the imploding of the house built by Tex Schramm, Tom Landry and, obviously, God.

Prepare to cringe. 

Demolition, according to Gears, will likely be in early March. One company wants to use the implosion as the central part of its new television advertising campaign. Another just wants to sponsor it. One wants to exploit the destruction as a reason to give money to charity.

"We've had every offer under the sun," Gears said.

For most of us - except the mayor, apparently - it will be a bittersweet day, sans the sweet. I might actually have to dab my eyes when the hole in the roof is reduced to a hole in the ground.

"Bittersweet? Not really, because the Cowboys are still headquartered in Irving," Gears said. "The players punch their time clock in our city and then go to Arlington just to play their games. We still consider them our team."

When the dust settles on the $6 million implosion, the 15-acre site at the intersection of Highway 183 and Loop 12 will eventually be transformed into retail shops, a mall, restaurants, who knows? Millions of cars pass the place each month.

Said Gears, "It's prime real estate."

At least we know Texas Stadium's immediate future: The unwilling subject of a pyrotechnics show in about five months and then - just like that - a parking lot.

For the next 84 months - at a cool $16 million - TxDOT has rented the space as a staging zone for all its area construction projects. Hence the tons of construction vehicles/machinery outside the stadium.

Cowboys Stadium is nice and big and perfect and all, but it'll never be Texas Stadium. At least not until the Cowboys fill it with five Super Bowls and 38 seasons worth of memories.

Only one question remains: Who will have the guts to push the plunger?

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt