Saturday, September 15, 2007

Change DFW to AFW?

Arlington (that's Texas, not Virginia) has received several recent mentions in the national news lately, both of interest to us in Fort Worth.
A Wall Street Journal article Thursday, reported on the fact that Arlington is the largest city in the U.S. (around 350,000) without public transportation. Residential and business growth has now burdened the road capacity to the point where they have to do something and and one solution being considered is cooperation with Fort Worth in their public transit system. An example of this growth is the Tom Hicks development, GloryPark. The development will add several hotels, retail centers and apartments, about 500 million dollars worth, to the already booming Ballpark/Cowboys Stadium area.
Related but a separate news item: the Dallas Cowboys are now valued #1 of all the franchises in the NFL according to a recent Forbes magazine study. Forbes currently values them at 1.5 billion dollars.
Which brings me to the change of DFW to AFW. I wasn't born here and don't know the antipathy developed over the years between Dallas and Fort Worth. But I shake my head in disbelief of Dallas sometimes. Why let the number one sports franchise in football not only move out of the city but move out of the county? I'm sorry, the Laura Miller argument doesn't work for me, and the libertarians need to get a grip on reality. If only for civic pride they ought to support it. I don't care how rich Jerry Jones is. I was around the people who almost got the Mavericks to move to the north- of- Dallas suburb cities. Dallas almost lost the Mavericks and would have lost them had it not been for Mayor Kirk. Now look at what is happening near the AA Center, and that is as it should be. But Dallas' loss of the Cowboys is our gain and kudos to Arlington for their vision. Dallas still gets the name recognition but Arlington gets the future income. I'll take the latter, but Dallas could have had both. I don't seriously think DFW will ever be AFW but Arlington and Fort Worth are winning their fair share of the competition for incoming businesses and residents. A drive down the tollway from Highway 121 in Frisco to Downtown Dallas gives you an idea of how much bigger the Dallas and immediate north is than Fort Worth, Arlington and its immediate north. But the difference today is a whole lot less than when I moved here 25 years ago especially when you consider that the growth immediately north of Dallas is not in Dallas. It's in Addison, Carrollton, Richardson, Plano and now Frisco. Frankly, if I were in charge of Dallas, I would be worried about it. I think Dallas has a problem, I really do. If you think growth is automatic in a city, ask someone from Cleveland or Detroit where populations have halved in the last 15 years.
Congratulations to Arlington, all of DFW will benefit, but next to Arlington itself Fort Worth and its residents will benefit the most.

Dallas Cowboys stadium:
Dallas Cowboys, #1 valuation in NFL:


Andrew said...

Yes... Dallas Sucks.

jeromey said...

i've been thinking about this post for the past couple of days and now have this to say:

as a community/city whole, the stadium probably is a good thing for arlington, however, if you were one of the people forced to sell your property because of forced eminent domain, you probably don't think so.

when an individual's rights (yes, owning property is a right) are sacrificed to satisfy the (supposed) needs (pronounced "desires") of the community, something's wrong. i like the dallas cowboys, but not jerry jones. that has nothing to do with the fact that i don't like what happened to those property owners. i don't agree with this use of eminent domain - and i think it's morally wrong.

as a business decision, i'm sure it was great for the city and the cowboys organization - so if that's what you base your judgment of the situation on, then you're right.