May 30, 2024

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Dallas mayor pushes for second NFL team, says 'serious chance' to move to Chiefs

Dallas mayor pushes for second NFL team, says 'serious chance' to move to Chiefs

Mayor Eric Johnson said the Kansas City Chiefs have a “serious chance” to move to their original home in Dallas. The athlete.

Johnson is publicly pushing for a second NFL team to be created near his hometown. He sees the Chiefs, the Super Bowl champions, as reasonable candidates.

Johnson, who has been in office since June 2019, pressed the Chiefs to consider Dallas after voters in Jackson County, Missouri, rejected a ballot initiative for a tax that would help the Chiefs' Kansas City Royals.

“Welcome home to the Dallas Texans,” Johnson said on Channel X, referring to the original name of the Chiefs franchise.

“The connections are so deep, the history is so rich,” Johnson said. The athlete. “We can actually put together deals that would make sense for them to bring them here.”

Before the Kingdom of Chiefs or the four Super Bowls existed, American businessman Lamar Hunt created an American Football League (AFL) franchise called the Dallas Texans. The Texans began play in 1960, sharing the Cotton Bowl with the Cowboys. Hunt moved the franchise to Kansas City in 1963 and renamed the team the Chiefs.

Six decades later, Lamar Hunt's son, Clark Hunt, is the current owner of the Chiefs. Clark Hunt is a Dallas native who lives in the city's upscale Highland Park neighborhood with his wife, Tavia, and three children. He is also the Chairman and CEO of the MLS franchise, FC Dallas.

Johnson said he was speaking with Hunt but refused to say whether they had talked about a move for the Chiefs. “I'm not at liberty to say other than that I have a good, open line of communication with Clark Hunt,” Johnson said. “And that line of communication remains.”

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Johnson says there's a good economic case for a team in Dallas, too. The Cowboys play about 20 miles away in nearby Arlington. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Dallas-Fort Worth's population has increased nearly 23.1 percent since 2010. That's the most for any metro area in the United States during that time frame, according to the Census, which estimates that Dallas-Fort Worth could become the third-largest metro area. in the country by the 1930s.

That would put Dallas directly behind Los Angeles and New York, two cities that each have two NFL franchises.

“When the NFL looks to its next round of expansion, they will not find an American city where there is no current NFL franchise that would be a more lucrative or faster-growing market to base a team in,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had a conversation about a second team in Dallas two years ago when the city was It seeks to host the men's World Cup matches in 2026. Jones rejected the idea of ​​creating a second local NFL team.

“You can rest assured that you will never have the NFL supporting another team because of the type of value the game and the NFL receive. [the] Dallas Cowboys as one of its prominent teams. In 2022, Jones told the Dallas Morning News.

according to Latest reviews from ForbesAt $9 billion, the Cowboys are one of the NFL's most valuable franchises. Johnson believes a second NFL team near Dallas could benefit Jones financially.

“Never say never because he's a businessman and he's in the business of making money,” Johnson said. “There is a strong case to be made that the value of the Cowboys franchise is not tied to the city it plays in or is associated with. It is an international phenomenon at this point.

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“It's not about us. It's about what's in the best interest of these organizations that we care about. I think there's an argument to be made for Jerry Jones, one that's not harmful and probably beneficial to the Jones family and the Dallas Cowboys to be the center of football by having two NFL franchises.” “The American Football League, one in each conference, competes here every week and draws attention to this market.”

Since 2010, there have been three major relocations in the NFL: the Rams moving back to Los Angeles from St. Louis (2016), the Chargers also moving back to Los Angeles from San Diego (2017), and the Raiders moving to Las Vegas from Auckland (2020). ).

For a second NFL team to play in Dallas, there must be a stadium and player complex. Hensley Field, a 738-acre city-owned site that was formerly Naval Air Station Dallas, could be home to the future, Johnson said. The waterfront property has the space and proximity to a mixed-use project that could become “an economically vibrant area of ​​the city that provides new opportunities for its residents and workers,” he said.

Johnson, who rejected recall efforts last monthhe has long pushed for the creation of another major sports team for his city.

Two years ago, Johnson formed a committee dedicated to attracting and retaining bands of all types. He said the group meets regularly.

Kansas City's inclination to act remains uncertain, even after the failed vote. The proposed sales tax was expected to generate about $2 billion, including money to help renovate Arrowhead Stadium, a 52-year-old structure that will be one of the host sites for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The agreement to keep the Chiefs at Arrowhead expires in 2031.

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Developers across the state line in Kansas have proposed a shorter move in the past few years. In those discussions, developers recommended multiple attractive locations for a modern NFL stadium and training facility. One logical destination would be Kansas City, Kansas, near the Kansas Speedway and Children's Mercy Park, the headquarters of Sporting Kansas City.

“We are disappointed,” Chiefs president Mark Donovan said after the failed vote. “We feel we put on the best show for Jackson County. We were ready to expand the long-standing partnership the teams have had with this county.”

“We will and look forward to doing what is in the best interest of our fans and our organization as we move forward.”

As for Johnson, he will continue to push his Hensley Field idea for a second NFL franchise.

“There is a deal to be made here,” he added.

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(Mayor Eric Johnson photo: Shelby Tauber/Bloomberg via Getty Images)