Letters: Friday, September 29, 2004
City leaders did one heck of a job standing tough for Arlington on this deal.’
Penalties on the Play?

To the editor: Dan McGraw’s well-written article on the proposed Nov. 2 Arlington tax hike to finance a new Cowboys stadium (“Double Reverse,” Sept. 15, 2004) is another glaring example of how out of whack our nation’s priorities are. Not to say that I have never enjoyed a pro football game, but the entire big-money, big-media professional sports system in this country is absurd and an insult to anyone’s intelligence who researches it with the slightest bit of critical thought. When a pro football player receives $12 million to toss a ball around on a field for three years and is heralded as a superhero and role model while we continue to drastically underpay our school teachers, police officers, and other public servants who really do make a difference in our lives, we must question the necessity for a publicly funded sports arena from which Mr. Jones will obviously rake in the profits. I personally think that the tax dollars could be much better spent.

Gregg Orange

Fort Worth

To the editor: I believe it is important to clarify a few of the numerous inaccuracies in Dan McGraw’s recent article on the Arlington stadium election.

The article states that a call to ERA (the firm that developed the economic impact analysis) produced no answer. Jeff Cohen of ERA called Mr. McGraw on Aug. 10 and left a message, but never received a return call. McGraw complains that player salaries of approximately $80 million are not re-spent locally and do not have an impact on our economy. The ERA study does not include player salaries as economic impact. Regarding the multipliers used in the study, he says that “the re-spending might amount to 20 percent, but none of these multipliers that they use work in the monetary sense.” ERA states that the multipliers used are those developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Perhaps Mr. McGraw was concerned that by doing the appropriate research, the one-sided premise of his story would be proved false. Additional research would have shown that ERA has a reputation for providing accurate, if not overly conservative, predictions of economic impact. Instead, he chose to speak only to the usual crowd of college professors who have made a career of dismissing the proven impact of stadiums and ignoring real-world, professional economists who might disagree with his assumptions.

Come November, I am confident that a large majority of Arlington residents will support the stadium referendum because the facts garner their support. We receive a $325 million private investment to clean up a run-down area, our economy will receive an annual impact of $238 million, our city budget will gain $2.9 million in new revenues each year, and 2,000 new jobs will be brought to Tarrant County.

In addition, the Tarrant County Commissioners Court has promised $25 million to improve our roads in Arlington if the November election is successful. That’s $25 million to reduce traffic in Arlington with no impact on our city budget.

City leaders did one heck of a job standing tough for Arlington on this deal. We get $60 million in rent, $16.5 million from the team for sports fields and youth initiatives, and up to another $15 million in stadium naming rights revenues ... and the Cowboys pay for all cost overruns. Comparing this to other public-private partnerships across the country, Arlington’s deal is one of the best in history. Our city council and Mayor Cluck negotiated a wise deal that will provide thousands of jobs and millions in economic impact for decades to come.

Robert Rivera


Vote Yes! A Win for Arlington

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