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Arlington Mayor Lassos Cowboy Stadium Deal; Site Prep Kicks Off

Fri March 24, 2006 - West Edition
Jim Boyle

After more than 40 years at Texas Stadium in Irving, TX, the Dallas Cowboys are venturing west. No, they haven’t gone Hollywood. In fact, they’re only going approximately 15 mi. away to their new home in Arlington.

The process began a year and a half ago when Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck met with team owner Jerry Jones to make his case.

“I think I knew the city was going to get the contract right when I walked in the room,” said Cluck. “We talked for two hours, and I felt very confident when I left. The fact that we were able to offer partial financing was a big draw for them. That and the location would be right in the middle of the entertainment metroplex.”

The complex, which includes Ameriquest Field, home of the Texas Rangers, and a Six Flags amusement park, has sparked tourism in Arlington, and will get a boost with the arrival of the football stadium.

“We’re becoming quite the destination,” said Cluck. “We get about 6.5 million visitors for the theme park and baseball games. When the Cowboys start playing in 2009, we expect the number to jump to 14 million.”

Arlington voters approved the deal in November 2004, taking on half of the $650 million projected cost and the planning, land acquisition and construction.

Property negotiations began in July 2005, with demolition starting in November, managed by Tarrant County’s second precinct.

Currently 146 of the 168 land parcels in the project area have been acquired, with removal and grading on schedule for completion by the end of June.

“We have a long way to go and a short time to get there, but we’ll get it done for sure,” said Project Supervisor Randy Owens. “This is probably the biggest project I’ve ever had to work for.”

Most of the architecture features apartment buildings and single-family homes. Owens has relied mostly on a Komatsu PC300-7 excavator to take them down.

“It’s really good for apartments because it has a really long arm that can reach up to the highest points and get the structures down safely,” he said.

Crews haul the debris 4 mi. to the Arlington landfill, where Big Cities Concrete separates and recycles the concrete.

Continental Equipment in Dallas, led by Territory Manager Sol Gieser, was instrumental in getting the necessary machinery.

Equipment on site includes a Gradall XL 4100 excavator, two Komatsu WA320 wheel loaders, three track loaders, a skid steer and 11 dump trucks.

When the site prep is completed, stadium construction will be managed by Manhattan Construction Company, which formed a strategic alliance with two minority-owned firms, Rayco Construction and 3i Construction.

The project will result in a 20-story structure with a 78,000 seat capacity, expandable to 92,000 to 93,000.

The site rests 400 yds. southwest of Ameriquest Field, with plans to develop the space between the arenas with retail and entertainment attractions.

Infrastructure work, including road upgrades and construction, will begin early next year.

With the brand new field and warm climate, Cluck expects Arlington will host a Super Bowl not long after the stadium opens in 2009. CEG

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