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Old 05-22-2004   #1
Vinny
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Default Cowboys Fair Park Project

Quote:
By DAVE MICHAELS / The Dallas Morning News

The $654 million stadium envisioned by the Dallas Cowboys for Fair Park would include a $107 million retractable roof, $12 million in Jumbotrons and scoreboards and a $4 million open end zone, according to a construction document obtained by The Dallas Morning News.

Dallas County officials cautioned that the document is preliminary and that costs could change. County commissioners, who are negotiating with the Cowboys to build a stadium in Fair Park, asked the team to itemize the stadium's costs beyond the overall figure it released last month.

Cowboys officials said the construction budget also accommodates the needs of the State Fair of Texas. The bottom level of the parking structure, which would cost $47 million, would be a livestock barn with 350 stalls and enough room for 1,200 animals.

"There is not a lot of fluff in what we have put together," said Jud Heflin, the team's director of stadium development. "We have not padded anything. We think it's accurate."

Several commissioners said the document is the first glimpse of the stadium's costs but said it is not nearly enough to justify the $425 million public investment the Cowboys have requested.

"I really want some verification of the cost they associate with each item," said Commissioner Jim Jackson.

The Cowboys and Dallas County have begun negotiating to build what would be the country's most expensive football stadium. At 2.1 million square feet, it would also be the largest, team officials said.

Houston's Reliant Stadium, which opened in 2002, cost $449 million. Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field opened in 2003 at an expense of $520 million.

Houston did not require new parking for Reliant Stadium, which uses surface parking left over from the Astrodome.

Reliant has the NFL's only retractable roof, designed by Uni-Systems of Minneapolis. Jerry Dinkins, director of facilities for the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, said the roof cost about $75 million.

The Cowboys have said their Fair Park stadium would include 380 luxury suites. The construction document estimates that the suites would cost $9.6 million.

A Fair Park stadium would have one open end zone, rather than the two envisioned at other sites. The end zone would face a park where the Cotton Bowl once stood, Mr. Heflin said.

"It is an attempt to put the park back in Fair Park," Mr. Heflin said.
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