Forget Winning One — Dallas Is a Long Way From Even Hosting a Super Bowl


Roll out the red carpet.

The most-watched sporting event on the planet — the World Cup — is coming to North Texas in 2026.

Golf’s PGA Headquarters is already here, in Frisco. So, too, a World Series championship in Arlington, courtesy of the Texas Rangers.

Texas-OU is alive and well, staying put in Dallas’ soon-to-be-upgraded Cotton Bowl. Women’s college basketball hosted its Final Four here last year. The Dallas Mavericks’ new casino magnate owners hope to build a world-class resort/stadium in Irving.

Professional Bull Riding has moved its crown jewel event from Las Vegas to Fort Worth. An ATP tennis tournament just took place at SMU, there’s a new professional rugby team in Dallas and even a Major League Cricket franchise now playing in Grand Prairie.

Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is coming to Globe Life Field in July.

Everyone, it seems, wants to be us. Or is at least planning to come play sports in our sand box.

Not surprisingly, Sports Business Journal named Dallas as America’s “No. 1 Sports Business City” for 2023.

“I don’t think it can get any better than this,” said Monica Paul, executive director for the Dallas Sports Commission at a star-studded January event celebrating the award. “I truly have been preaching that Dallas is the number one sports business city for a very long time. It’s very rewarding that this data is coming out and people finally agree.”

The public back-patting at the George W. Bush Presidential Center was attended by Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, Texas Rangers Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez, Rolando Blackman of the Mavs and Marty Turco of the Dallas Stars. SBJ bestowed the honor on Dallas because of its giant footprint of surrounding cities, outstanding venues, progressive team owners and lower cost of living than most of its big-market peers.

Wrote SBJ in its exhaustive study of more than 100 cities: “Dallas is clearly the star.”

We hate to interrupt the congratulatory circle-jerk but, um, this all raises an important question.

Which will happen next: The Cowboys winning a Super Bowl, or merely hosting one?

One and Done?

It’s been 28 years since they won Super Bowl XXX. But, don’t look now, it’s also been 13 — and counting — since XLV was played in Arlington’s then-Cowboys Stadium.

Owner Jerry Jones’ team annually produces double-digit regular-season wins and enough offensive fireworks to keep the Cowboys one of the most profitable (Forbes ranks them the planet’s most valuable) and popular (they again led the NFL in attendance last season) sports organizations. But with NFL owners awarding Super Bowl LXI to Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium in 2027, it will be at least another four years before America’s most popular sporting event could possibly return to the Metroplex.

Next year’s Super Bowl LIX will be in New Orleans; LX is set for San Francisco in 2026.

It’s fair to ask at this point: Was the Super Bowl played in Arlington a one-hit blunder?

As we remember all too well, February 2011 was an unmitigated disaster. An ice storm ground Super Bowl week to a near standstill. Our roads became icebergs. Chunks of snow and ice fell off the roof of the stadium and injured seven people. A ticket/seat snafu led to multiple lawsuits from fans.

“It is not that at all,” Jones claimed last December. “The issues that were involved because of the weather won’t be involved again. Television would tell you that it was one of the finest presenting Super Bowls they’ve ever had. I know that at the time, it was certainly the best economic Super Bowl the league ever had.”

The NFL, however, apparently hasn’t forgotten the fiasco.

San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium will host two Super Bowls in 10 years. L.A.’s SoFi two in six seasons. The Cowboys’ 100,000-seat, $1.2 billion Taj Mahal may be one of the most recognizable sports venues in the world, but it can’t get off the bench. At the very least, it will be a 17-year wait between hosting.

The league briefly considered Arlington as an alternative Super Bowl site during the pandemic in 2021, but …

“What we’ve really run into is the NFL likes to, when you build a new stadium, they really like to take that market and give it the big bump that goes with that new stadium and have a Super Bowl in that area,” Jones said late in 2022. “And I think that more than anything, the building of other new stadiums, has kept us from having another one sooner than we have.”

But with the big game’s return to the Bay Area, Jerry’s rationale no longer holds water. His peers continue to turn a cold shoulder. Worse news: The Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans have all announced plans to build new billion-dollar stadiums with luxury amenities. The stadiums of the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots are undergoing $250-million-plus facelifts.

“We want to fit it in when it works for us,” Jones said during the December explanation. “Sometimes the criteria that go along with it are just more than what we want to do. It just doesn’t fit for us right now.”

Said Jones about the league’s latest decision to award another Super Bowl to SoFi Stadium, “You can have conflicts. You can have aspirations for a little thing called soccer, things like that. I’m totally satisfied with it and not a bit disappointed.”

Maybe, but … if the NFL wanted AT&T Stadium then AT&T Stadium would bend over backward for the NFL.

Dallas’ sports culture may be thriving. But at this point Cowboys fans have an understandably bleak outlook on their team either winning – or hosting – another Super Bowl.


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