From the Office of State Senator Royce West - District 23

For Immediate Release

CONTACT: David Quin or Kelvin Bass
(512) 463-0123
April 3, 2003

Cowboy Stadium bill wins Senate approval

AUSTIN -- An initial hurdle was cleared today with the passage of Senate Bill 1111 by Senator West. If passed into law, Senate Bill 1111 will allow Dallas County voters to approve the issuance of bonds. The bonds would provide funds for the construction of a new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys through the creation of a sports authority. The stadium will be built in Dallas County.

"This concept represents a rare opportunity for the citizens of Dallas County and is certainly a thrill for those of us who are Cowboy fans," said Senator West. "Dallas has always prided itself on being a city with a can-do attitude. Take a look at the landscape. The Mavericks and Stars have a new stadium and a new attitude. The Ballpark at Arlington is an attraction in itself. Surely America's team should have a new look for the millennium."

In recent years, Houston has used a similar strategy in building Reliant Stadium, now home of the NFL's Houston Texans. San Antonio was successful in using public funds to help open the SBC Center in 2002 where the NBA's San Antonio Spurs now play. The Dallas Cowboys say the 75,000 seat stadium, which will feature a retractable roof, will anchor a retail complex that will include a hotel, restaurants, an entertainment complex and adjacent youth sports fields. Only the stadium will use public funds. Senator West and team officials envision that the development will also stimulate economic growth activity in the Dallas County area.

"For this to happen, the voters of Dallas County must make a decision," said Senator West. "Most people say we want the Cowboys in Dallas County and most people in the City of Dallas say they want to see the Cowboys come back to the City of Dallas. This particular bill gives us the opportunity to make that a reality."

Senator West has called the prospect of helping to build a new stadium a worthwhile public private partnership that will benefit the city that is chosen for the project. Potentials sites have been narrowed to near downtown Dallas and Irving. Citing the recent Big 12 Tournament held at the American Airlines Center, Senator West and the Cowboys envision the stadium hosting major sporting events like the NCAA Final Four Tournament or the Super Bowl.

Senate Bill 1111 was approved on a 25-3 vote of the 31 state senators. The bill now goes to the Texas House of Representative for further debate.

For more information, please contact David Quin or Kelvin Bass at 512-463-0123.