Thursday, March 22, 2007

Laura Miller has a lot of nerve

Laura "Madam No" Miller is a carpetbagger who is currently mayor of the City of Dallas, Texas. She rose to prominence as a Dallas city council member by agitating against the city providing partial funding for construction of the American Airlines Center (where the Mavericks and Stars play). She was unsuccessful in this campaign, the arena was built, and is by most accounts a success.

But a few years later, after being elected mayor, she was successful in torpedoing the construction of a new football stadium in Dallas for the Cowboys. Jerry Jones, of the Cowboys, promptly took his toys and went over to Arlington, a city which has had previous success with a publicly funded baseball stadium.

The City of Arlington's taxpayers then voted to fund approximately 1/3 of the 1.1 Billion dollar project. When built, it will be the biggest, bestest, most expensive football stadium ever built. Probably the premier sports facility in the entire history of the world, ever. If you detect a note of irony here, you are correct, but I kid you not when I tell you that this thing is mind-bogglingly awesome in every conceivable sense of the word. I encourage you to check out the presentation here. You will be amazed.

Anyway. So Laura Miller and the City of Dallas passed on the opportunity to host this facility, and to share in its costs. There are good arguments on both sides of the publicly funded professional sports venue issue, and I will not recount them here. Suffice to say, my view is that most of these teams can probably afford to build their own venues, and do not need public money, but local governments and their citizens do reap certain benefits from having the teams and their venues, and therefore if a particular stadium funding plan is deemed beneficial by taxpayers, then so be it. (In the case of the DFW suburbaplex, there are many municipalities that will enter into this process, negotiate with teams, etc., so it is almost like a free market, open bidding type of situation, with the taxpayers deciding whether to pull the trigger.)

So you can argue whether Laura Miller and the City of Dallas (in this case, without consulting the taxpayers) made a good decision. But now, Jerry Jones has put together a Super Bowl Committee, the purpose of which is to bid on the 2011 Super Bowl in the hopes of hosting it at their new 1.1 Billion dollar football palace. Roger Staubach, local real estate magnate, has been put in charge.

Apparently Roger thought it would be a good idea to seek input from, and possibly enlist the support of, the City of Dallas in this effort. While that sounds perfectly reasonable given that the City of Dallas would benefit greatly from having the Super Bowl in the area, involving the City of Dallas in something like this appears to have been a grievous error.

Laura Miller and the Dallas City Council consider themselves the "800 lb gorilla" in the situation, claim that without their participation "there is no bid", and threaten to withhold such participation unless the Cowboys, the Super Bowl Committee, and the NFL meet their list of "non-negotiable" demands.

This, after refusing to make any contribution to building the new stadium without which there would be no Super Bowl Committee, no Super Bowl talk, and no Super Bowl, period.

Laura Miller and the Dallas City Council, let me explain something to you: while you may be very good at padding your expense accounts, twisting the arms of recalcitrant furniture vendors, and browbeating waiters in local dining establishments, you will get absolutely nowhere with presenting the NFL (the fucking NFL!!!) with a list of non-negotiable demands. The NFL is the most powerful organization this side of the U.S. Marines, and it CAN and WILL squash you like a bug if you so much as look at it the wrong way. If the NFL wants to come to your residence, ransack your living room, sell your furniture on eBay, raze your house to the ground, and have a pre-Super Bowl party on your barren homestead lot, it will do so, without so much as a please-and-thank-you.

If the NFL wants to have a Super Bowl in a neighboring city, and forbid every single football fan in the country from setting foot in your city during Super Bowl week, then that is exactly what it will do. If the NFL decides to never, ever, have a Super Bowl within 1,000 miles of your city during your life and the lives of your grandkids plus 75 years, then that is precisely what will happen.


Kingfish said...

The Tarrant County Cowboys don't need no stinkin Laura Miller. Has Texas-OU moved yet?

HHL said...

TX/OU is locked in until 2010, but it looks like it will move to JerryWorld after that, though there are rumblings that Deloss Dodds is still pushing for home/home at that point, which I believe will ruin its uniqueness.