How Far 'Out There' is the New Stadium?

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Not too long ago, I was at Texas Stadium watching some high-school playoff football when a long-time Cowboys executive bemoaned what he saw as the only real negative to the club's move to Arlington.

"It's just so damn far out there,'' he griped.

That, of course, depends on your geographic position; if you are a fan who has spent a lifetime attending Cowboys games staged in Irving – just 15 miles from downtown Dallas – the shift West across the Metroplex represents an "out-there-ness.''

But if you are from the west side of the Metroplex. … or the north. … or the south. … the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington is not "so damn far out there.''

It's actually closer to you. And, I'm discovering, it's also closer to your price range.

Not MY price range. But apparently, yours.

Was there sticker shock when news first broke that the new digs, set to open the doors – and the roof! – in 2009, would require seat-holders to pay a hefty license fee? Yes sir. The idea of having to spend $16,000 to $150,000 just for the RIGHT to actually pay more to rent a chair seemed outrageous.

But as always when it comes to bidness, Jerry Jones knows what he's doing, knows his audience, knows what the market will bear.

So not only are seats being sold at a rapid-enough rate according to the Dallas front office – at last count, the organization had peddled 10,000 season tickets -- but luxury suites sales are through the roof! (Pun intended, and I promise that'll be the last one.)

The original plan for the $1.1 billion Jerryassic Park called for an announced 200 luxury suites to be constructed. That's where the corporate bigwigs and the big-moneyed fatcats would smoke cigars and gobble shrimp-puffs and sip fine wine.

So the prices at the joint are "so damn far out there,'' huh?

Guess again.

Those 200 suites are on the way to growing to 300, I'm told, after having been gobbled up like so many shrimp-puffs and guzzled up like so much fine wine. In fact, the franchise is considering eliminating a few of the "cheap seats'' (yes, it's all relative) in order to construct maybe 100 more sweet suites, bloating fatcat territory to 400 suites or more.

Now: If it costs $16,000 to $150,000 just to get the right to get a chair. … And if the actual seat costs $300 more, times 10 (home games), times 70,000 available seats. … and don't even start me on the cost to "Getcha Popcorn Ready'' …

How much will it cost to get a suite?

Let's put it in the half-a-million-dollar range, and do some more dot-dot-dot math: $500,000 for an average suite. … and there are 400 or 500 of them. … and the sales team does its thing. … that's $250 million annual gross in suite sales alone.

I can't afford a seat, let alone a suite.

But apparently a lot of SOMEBODIES can. And good for Jerry, because all these transactions add to the allure of the Cowboys brand, add to the amount of money that goes through Jerry and down to the team, adds to the attraction of free agents and happiness of players and potential on-field success.

Where do you think the money to sign Zach Thomas comes from?

So, overall, success at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington? It's not that damn far out there.

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