Sources: Cowboys In Process Of Finalizing Stadium Naming-Rights Deal With AT&T
The Cowboys are in the process of "reaching a stadium naming rights deal with AT&T," according to sources cited by Mike Fisher of FOXSPORTSSOUTHWEST.com. The framework of the deal "once centered" on a $25M annual fee. But a source said Farmers Insurance's bid of $700M for a proposed new stadium in L.A. and the 49ers’ recent 20-year deal for $220M with Levi Strauss "re-set" the framework for conversations. The source also said that the AT&T deal would "go into effect for the 2014 season." It is "not yet known how AT&T will be included in the new name." Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones in the past has "talked of the value of 'Cowboys Stadium' as its own brand" (FOXSPORTSSOUTHWEST.com, 7/22). In Dallas, David Moore notes Cowboys COO & Exec VP Stephen Jones yesterday "did not deny" the initial report by KRLD-FM of the potential deal, but he "stressed nothing has been finalized." Jones: "We’ve been pretty close to done on many things. We’ve always been involved in naming rights, but I think that’s way premature to be saying anything like that.” Moore notes an improving economy has "rekindled the initial dialogue between the Cowboys and AT&T." Jerry Jones has "consistently said there are only a few brands that would make sense for the Cowboys," and AT&T "is one of them" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/23). ESPN DALLAS' Calvin Watkins noted AT&T already is a "major sponsor with the Cowboys and currently has a plaza named after the company inside" the stadium (ESPNDALLAS.com, 7/22).
I'M MOVIN' OUT: The DALLAS MORNING NEWS' Moore reports Cowboys officials are in the "final stages of negotiations to move their practice facility to Frisco." Sources said that work "remains before the team severs ties with its home of 28 years at Valley Ranch in Irving to travel north." It is "doubtful an announcement will be made in the next few days or weeks." But sources "speak in terms of when, not if, the club departs Valley Ranch." It appears the new facility will be "part of the Frisco Station project," a 317-acre mixed-use development. Irving has made a "strong bid to retain the Cowboys." Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne yesterday said that city negotiators have "suggested several locations for a new facility, including the land where Texas Stadium once stood." Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck also "met with the Cowboys more than three months ago to inform them of his city’s interest." Cluck has said that he always "considered the stadium the most important asset for Arlington but considered the opportunity to land the practice facility a bonus." But the deal Frisco officials have put in place and their "persistence to get something done have left competitors in their wake" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/23).