advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jerry Jones’ $40 million dollar do-over.

Aka, “Yeah, no, just make it higher.” Done! If only it were that simple.

Watching the Cowboys last night in their new $1.15 billion with a B taxpayer-funded sportsplex, I’m guessing owner Jerry Jones was on his cell with stadium architect HKS asking what in the hell they plan on doing about their little problem.

The one problem where Tennessee punter AJ Trapasso hit the new 600 ton with a T, 160’ long x 72’ tall, $40 million dollar scoreboard.

When your scoreboard costs more than the last stadium you had (Texas Stadium, $35 million), moving it’s gonna be tough. The lowest point is 90’ off the surface, not really a challenge for the average punter. Given the current use of Skycams over the field and the unique challenges they present, surprised this hasn’t happened more.

Raising the screens is going to ruin a lot of sight lines that Jerry showed off during the halftime show too. The ones in the standing room only sections that hold 35,000 fans. (At $29 a ticket, that’s $8.1 million in home game ticket revenue alone.)

The solution I’d have suggested initially would now be hella expensive to pull off so close to the first game of the season, but here goes: Keep the same height, keep the four screens, but as indicated in red below, move each out to an imaginary sideline extending straight up vertically and out of the field of play:

This allows an even closer view of the monitors for fans.

Plus, you’ve now created the equivalent of a foul ball pole in baseball. If the ball hits it, you know it's out and the play is not affected. As it is now, it’s treated as a do-over as it was Friday night.

You can also run screens on the back side of each one for a total of eight, visible from any seat in the house. More ad revenue for Jerry.

Otherwise, here’s what’s on next week when the Monday late-night talk show cycle kicks in: Jones’ new toy just made the top 10 of every staff writer’s list.

Worse though, imagine your team makes it to the Super Bowl the year they have it at the new Cowboys’ stadium. Maybe even a game that would decide if you were going to make the playoffs.

FF >> final play, your team down by six about to receive a punt with almost no time left. The football gods being fickle like they are, this one was going to be returned for six, until “doink.”


The football gods do not repeat their miracles.

This time, your team is stopped. It’s one thing to know your team lost because of fog or a freak snowstorm. It would be the ultimate suck to know it was because of something inside the stadium, a state of the art facility designed to shelter the team from the elements.*

Of course, Jerry could make lemonade here and co-promote with Taco Bell to offer fans a free taco whenever a punter hits the scoreboard.

*Useless trivia: The Oakland Raiders’ Ray Guy hit the gondola of the Louisiana Super Dome during a Pro Bowl. appearance.


Mike said...

'Tax-payer funded' is misleading. $325 mil came from the City of Arlington, $150 mil from the NFL. Everything over and above came from Jerry's pocket. What's the last thing your team owner spent half a billion on?

mtlb said...

Actually, that’s misleading.

My understanding is that the city kicked in $350 mill initially, then there was an increase in the sales tax by one half of one percent, an increase in the hotel occupancy tax by 2 percent, and increase in the car rental tax by 5 percent.

The NFL kicked in an additional $76-150 million as a loan (one of the other sources I saw). Jones was responsible for cost overruns.

Which, there must have been seeing how the original cost was in the $650 million range, the majority of which would’ve been still picked up by taxpayers.

New funding for the overruns look to be covered by the sale of personal seat licenses and bonds bought from the city.

So while it looks like Jerry may be “paying” for the stadium, and it is a gorgeous stadium, he’s really not.

When I add up those tax increases along with what the city gave him, it sure looks taxpayer-funded to me.

The screens are the main point though. Jerry has a problem, no matter who paid for it.

As for Ralph Wilson, the last decent thing he spent money on was Jim Kelly.

Paul McEnany said...

I'm still just pissed they put the thing in Arlington instead of Dallas proper.

But, yeah, you'd think the ball hitting the screen would be something they could have solved for from the beginning rather easily. It's the main thing they've been selling since the project was in conceptual stages. You'd think someone might have pointed out that it could be a problem...

phillybikeboy said...

And here we thing advertising is a fucked-up business. Some of the incompetence in architecture is beyond belief. One must suspect the guys responsible for this design, and the catwalks at Tropicana Field have never seen the games that will be played there. "You mean the ball goes up in the air? D'oh!"

And you forgot Wilson spending money on TO. That's not a bad investment.