On Jan. 17 we will go to the polls and decide what Downtown Dallas will look like for the next 30 years.
The proposed arena project will be paid for by the City of Dallas and the Arena group (a partnership between the Stars and the Mavericks) on a 54.35 percent to 45.56 percent split. So why am I in favor of this proposed agreement? Because I feel that there is much more positive than negative in the long term for us as taxpayers and residents of Dallas both in a real monetary and civic sense.
In a study performed by Deloitte-Touche it was determined that an arena brings more than $200 million in economic benefit to Downtown Dallas. Since this is a 30-year agreement, this would mean more than $6 billion in our Downtown area.
Even if one discounts this benefit by half it still means a more than $3 billion benefit on an investment of $125 million by the City. Secondly, the new facility will be built on land in need of environmental clean-up that, in my opinion, will not be developed in my lifetime without it being associated with this type of project. This clean-up will be performed by the developer, not the City of Dallas. Third, this project will encourage additional development in this area that is next door to the West End and will be a beautiful entrance into the northwest side of Dallas that at this time is just plain ugly.
But why don’t the teams pay for all of it? Because we live in an area surrounded by neighbors who are offering better deals. This is just plain competition. So why not just let them go? Look at some of the cities such as Seattle, Denver or Philadelphia and see what sports facilities have done for their Downtowns both economically and for civic pride.
This project will be paid for by a hotel-motel tax and a rental car tax. This week the Hotel-Motel Association of Greater Dallas came out in support of this agreement. No property or sales taxes other than on rental cars will be used to build the arena.
I will hold a town hall meeting in early January. Before you make up your mind please come and hear about the entire agreement. I will send out a notice but if you do not get a card from my office announcing meetings call 214-670-4068 and find out when it will be. I believe this is a good deal.