SBD/August 14, 2013/Facilities

Cowboys' Partnership With Frisco School District Could Become New NFL Facilities Model

Jones says he's open to splitting Cowboys camp between different facilities
The Cowboys' new HQs and practice facility in Frisco is being partly funded by the city's Independent School District, and the team's move to "share facilities and promote youth sports could become a model for the rest of the country," according to Valerie Wigglesworth of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said that that factor "weighed heavily in the decision to move to Frisco." Jones said, "We’re using our visibility, using what we’re about, to encourage and create a positive atmosphere for youth sports that is of great interest to us." Wigglesworth notes the facility "will be built on 91 acres," and is being funded by the city of Frisco, the Frisco Independent School District, the Frisco Economic Development Corp. and the Frisco Community Development Corp. The city will "own the stadium and the associated parking structure in an arrangement similar to those with Dr Pepper Arena, Dr Pepper Ballpark and FC Dallas Stadium." The team's HQs will be "owned by the team." Jones said that while he has "drawn up some ideas for how the whole development will look, nothing has been formalized and no contractors have been hired yet." The Cowboys will have the "exclusive right to name the stadium and select sponsors for the facilities in it," and any sponsor naming-rights and revenue from parking fees "will be shared between the Cowboys and the city." The 25-year agreement also "calls for at least one week per year of official preseason football training camp to be held in Frisco" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/14).

GONE CAMPING: While the Cowboys' training camp deal with Oxnard, Calif., ends in '14, Jones said that the team is "already working on a contract extension with city officials." Jones: "We’ve been doing this for how many years now? 30-something, 35 years if you really count Thousand Oaks. This is what we ought to be doing. And we’re working right now on trying to extend it." In Ft. Worth, Clarence Hill notes the Cowboys are "obligated to spend at least two weeks in Oxnard next year." But in addition to the team spending one week of camp at its new Frisco facility beginning in '16, San Antonio has "expressed interest in hosting camp next year and beyond." Jones is "open to having split camps but indicated he would need five preseason games to achieve it, like the Cowboys have this season because of the Hall of Fame game" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/14). Jones said, “I think the opportunities we’ve got to continue our West Coast presence, and potentially with our fan base in San Antonio, a dual participation in camp is good for the team. It’s a plus. ... Let’s take this year as an example. Our time in Oxnard is up Friday. We leave for Arizona to play our third preseason game then turn around and come back to Dallas, where we will have as much as 10 days that are the equivalent to training camp. We will soon be able to do that at our facility.” In San Antonio, Tom Orsborn noted the "earliest the Cowboys could hold at least a portion of camp in San Antonio" would be '15, and the city's Dir of Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Michael Sawaya "remains hopeful the team one day will return to San Antonio" (MYSANANTONIO.com, 8/13).
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