As the Dallas Cowboys players and coaches prepare in Southern California for the upcoming season, club officials are in the final stages of negotiations to move their practice facility to Frisco.
Work remains before the team severs ties with its home of 28 years to travel north. It’s doubtful an announcement will be made in the next few days or weeks.
But those who privately acknowledge the discussions speak in terms of when, not if, the club departs Valley Ranch.
It appears the new facility could be part of the Frisco Station project, located on the Northwest corner of Warren and the Dallas North Tollway. Houston-based Hines recently unveiled plans to develop office, shopping and residential space on the 317-acre site.
Preliminary indications are the Cowboys would make the move before the start of the 2016 season.
Frisco officials had no comment.
The Dallas Cowboys stance has been to explore all options. But the deal Frisco officials have put in place and their persistence to get something done have left competitors Irving and Arlington in their wake.
Irving mayor Beth Van Duyne said Monday that city negotiators have suggested several locations for a new facility, including the land where Texas Stadium once stood. When she last spoke to club officials two weeks ago, she said the organization was seriously eyeing the Frisco deal.
“It’s hundreds of millions of dollars in brand new infrastructure, brand new product, that the Cowboys are basically going to fit into,” Van Duyne said.
There have been discussions of building an indoor facility the Cowboys would share with the Frisco Independent School District. The Cowboys have been without one at their current site since their practice bubble collapsed during a storm more than four years ago.
The Dallas Cowboys have called Valley Ranch home for 28 years.
That’s about to change.
The club is looking to move from what has become one of the NFL’s more outdated practice facilities. Those same sources say that Frisco is one of the cities ready to welcome the Cowboys with open arms. But they aren’t the sole suitor as club officials actively discuss a move.
Arlington officials met with the Cowboys earlier this year about building a practice facility near Cowboys Stadium. And Irving officials have made it known they don’t want to lose a franchise that has been part of the city’s fabric since Texas Stadium opened its doors and roof in 1971.
It’s difficult to pinpoint a timeframe at this stage of discussions. There are too many moving parts to project when the club will leave, although it’s clear the team will continue to practice at its current location for the 2013 season.
Still, there is no doubt about the Dallas Cowboys intention to build another practice facility.
Ground was broken on the team’s Valley Ranch practice site in November of ’83. Cowboys players and coaches reported to the practice facility in August of ’85.
Nearly three-quarters of the league’s teams have opened practice facilities since that date.
The current complex sits on 30 acres and is roughly 110,000 square feet. Renovations and additions, such as an MRI facility, have taken place periodically.
But the Cowboys do not have an indoor facility to use in inclement or freezing weather, choosing not to erect one after their practice bubble collapsed during a storm four years ago. The club also does not have the space or infrastructure for a full service dining hall, a luxury the majority of teams in the league possess.
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