Sorry, mayor, Dallas isn’t adding another major pro sports team to its roster


The mayor of Dallas is bored.

He has to be.

We believe Dallas mayor Eric Johnson is a nice man and has the city’s best interest at heart.

For some reason, Johnson is obsessed with adding a professional sports team to the city of Dallas.

On Tuesday, the mayor announced a new five-member Ad Hoc Committee on Professional Sports Recruitment and Retention. Johnson is going to run it. In a memo to elected officials, he noted several sports teams bear the city’s name but are based elsewhere in North Texas.

This all started when the mayor answered a CBS Sports question on Twitter about which city deserves a NFL team?

Johnson said Dallas.

The NFL is not bringing another franchise to Dallas. Jerry Jones is one of more powerful owners in the sport, maybe all of sports, and it’s doubtful he’s going to share this marketplace with another NFL team. And besides, do you really think the quality of the NFL would get better with 34 NFL teams compared to 32?

Of course, Johnson’s quest to get teams playing in Dallas is about more than just location.

A quick history lesson on the pro sports teams in town tells you the Cowboys were once based in Dallas but moved to Irving and now ply their trade in Arlington. It would take a documentary to go over why then-Dallas mayor Laura Miller couldn’t work a deal with Jones to move the Cowboys back to Dallas more than 10 years ago.

The Rangers were always in Arlington after relocating from Washington, D.C., in the 1970s. Dallas tried to lure the Rangers in 1989 and were faced with fierce opposition from Arlington lawmakers and eventually dropped the chase. In 2014, then Dallas-mayor Mike Rawlings opened discussions with Rangers officials for a possible move with the stadium lease expiring in 2023. The city of Arlington presented a financial package voters believed in that sealed Arlington’s fate with the Rangers. Rawlings described the talks with Rangers officials as not “specific or advanced.” Let’s be honest, the Rangers weren’t seriously thinking about Dallas.

The Stars and Mavericks are based in Dallas, so we believe they’re fine. However, Mavs owner Mark Cuban is tied to American Airlines Center until 2031 and noted, “I’d say the likelihood of us staying at the AAC right now is less than 50%.”

Cuban built a practice facility near the AAC and there’s room for a new arena to share with the Stars. But that’s years away from happening.

Would the NBA or NHL expand and add a team in Dallas? Only New York and Los Angeles host two NBA teams. New York has three NHL teams: Buffalo upstate, the Islanders in Long Island and the Rangers in the city. Strong hockey towns like Minneapolis and Detroit could hold multiple teams. Maybe. But is there a strong demand? It would seem the NHL would look to expand to a Canadian city and a new market before adding to Dallas.

Pro leagues add multiple teams when expanding. It takes two to expand, typically, and if you want to relocate a team, you better find a city in need. Seattle is in need of an NBA team. Remember the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City? The NHL has problems in Arizona, so what about the Coyotes moving to Houston or even Austin?

When it comes to the other pro teams, the Wings played in Detroit and Tulsa before settling into Arlington. FC Dallas once played in the Cotton Bowl but now resides in Frisco.

Dallas is a great sports town.

Sure we’d like to see all the sports teams in downtown Dallas, or in the southern sector of the city.

I understand what the mayor wants, he’s just not getting it.

Dallas’ cup is full with its sports teams. Sure, these teams play in other areas of Dallas-Fort Worth but there’s no mistaking where a majority of the support comes from.

Now, we do agree with the mayor that major events should come here. The Dallas-Fort Worth area deserves another Super Bowl, especially with the number of events and money it brings. Major League Baseball should bring an All-Star Game to Arlington. Yet, MLB pulled the All-Star Game from Atlanta due to Georgia’s restrictive voting laws. Texas has similar voting laws that could create problems.

Dallas could host another NBA All-Star weekend. Maybe the NHL’s Winter Classic can return to the Cotton Bowl in a few years.

“The city of Dallas boasts incredible assets and presents amazing opportunities for any professional sports franchise,” Johnson said in a memo to Dallas lawmakers. “It is long past time for the City of Dallas to play to win these franchises and events.”

We get it, but the mayor should calm down, because adding another professional sports team in Dallas just isn’t happening.

Twitter: @calvinwatkins

Dallas mayor to lead panel that looks to add pro teams to Cowboys, Mavs, Stars lineup

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