Some things seem to take forever to get built here, like the little lake, unneeded flood diversion channel and canals that Fort Worth is very slowly trying to see in their Trinity River Vision.
And then there is something like the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium. It seems like just yesterday dozens of homes were taken and thousands of people displaced in what many believe to be the worst case of eminent domain abuse ever to occur in America.
This morning I got a typically ignorant comment to the YouTube video I made that shows what was destroyed to build the new stadium...
"I've lived in Arlington since 1966 and the apartments that were the vast majority of the buildings that were torn down were havens for criminals and crack dealers. That area of town was responsible for the highest total cost of police calls in all of Tarrant County. The last holdout homeowner received $1.5 million for her house. Everyone who lived or owned a business there got paid well. Scandal my ass."
First off, the last hold-out, Evelyn Wray, finally settled for well over $2 million. Second off, not everyone got paid well, several of the homeowners, who's homes were taken against their will, are still fighting in court for more money. Arlington has had to pay out many millions more than they'd originally planned, due to the dozens of court cases. Third off, if this area of Arlington was such a crime haven why would Wal-Mart build the nicest Wal-Mart Supercenter I've ever seen in that location? I'm sure Evelyn Wray and her neighbors love reading their former neighborhood was such a slum.
Before I interrupted myself I intended to say that unlike some public work projects that seem to take forever to get built, the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium seemed to get built at hyper-speed. The new stadium sort of had its Grand Opening on Wednesday.
There was no ribbon cutting. Instead Arlington Mayor Cluck pulled a lever that opened the giant glass doors at the west end's end-zone. Once the doors were open about 1,500 people walked inside. I do not know if any of the former residents, who's homes the stadium was built on, were among the invited guests. Or if any of them are getting free tickets to the first event in the new stadium, that being the June 6 George Strait, Reba McEntire concert.
Cowboy owner Jerry Jones was quoted as saying, "A building like this is beyond anything that me and my family could ever imagine."
If they were unable to imagine it, how did it manage to get built?
The new stadium cost $1.15 billion. Arlington taxpayers paid $325 million of the tab.
Jerry Jones talked about an interesting revenue raiser at Wednesday's door opening. Outside the stadium, past the end zone glass doors, there are end-zone plazas. Jones said they were designed to create an exciting atmosphere during events. He said that fans will be able to buy tickets to hang out on the plazas and the main concourse platforms at the Cowboy games this fall.
So, if you are not one of the 90,000 inside the new stadium watching, Jones says, "This plaza along with the platforms allow us to have as much as 30 and 40,000 people here that come to an NFL football game and be involved, and they may not be paying but $30, $29 a ticket to get that done."
Will people actually pay 30 bucks to mill around outside, watching the game on big video screens, just to somehow feel like you're part of the game? That will truly amaze me if it actually occurs.