SBJ/May 14 - 20, 2007/This Weeks News

Rangers hold suite plans to watch Cowboys

The Texas Rangers have decided not to sink an eight-figure sum into constructing five bunker suites at their ballpark in Arlington until they get a better idea how many skyboxes the Dallas Cowboys plan for their new stadium down the street.

The Cowboys plan 200 suites for their new
stadium but could go up to 400, sources say.

Officials from the Cowboys and HKS and Manhattan Construction, the firms designing and building the $1 billion facility, maintain that 200 suites are planned, including 40 field-level units.

 Sources in Dallas, however, said the NFL club could double that total to 400, which would be 40 more than the 360 suites at Texas Stadium in Irving, the Cowboys’ current home.

“They are building flexibility into the design with space that can be turned into more suites at a future date,” said one local major league executive familiar with the project. The possibility exists that the team could add more suites as soon as a year after the new stadium opens in 2009.

“We are at 200 right now. That’s the number we’re building, finishing, marketing and using,” Cowboys spokesman Brett Daniels said. What’s unknown is “where we’re going to be in 2010, 2015 and 2020,” Daniels said.

The Rangers will delay a decision on
starting construction for five bunker
suites at Rangers Ballpark.

HKS is also the Rangers’ consultant for designing the five bunkers under the stands, which would wrap around home plate and connect to Tom Hicks’ owners box, built when Rangers Ballpark opened in 1994.

Rangers President Jeff Cogen said it does not make sense to start tearing seats out for bunker suites until his club determines the effect that the NFL stadium will have on the market for high-end suites.

The Rangers also want to see how Glorypark, the $1 billion mixed-use project planned across the street from the ballpark, develops as an attraction in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Glorypark’s construction and projected attendance are still being defined, Cogen said.

“This is very strategic,” he said. “I think we’ll be smarter in 18 months to two years.”

Glorypark’s groundbreaking, originally scheduled for last month, has been pushed back to late July to resolve zoning issues with the city of Arlington, said Casey Shilts, executive vice president for Hicks Holdings, Tom Hicks’ real estate firm. The firm has a financial stake in the development.

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