Randy Garrett, left, and Frisco Economic Development executive director James L. Gandy talk about the proposed complex as they view a scale model of The Star at an event at AT&T Stadium on Tuesday. (Photo by Louis DeLuca/DMN)
The Dallas Cowboys joined with city and school officials from Frisco on Tuesday to announce the name of their 91-acre development at the northwest corner of Dallas and Warren parkways. The Star in Frisco, as it will now be known, has a lot of aspirations. As the months pass, the development will continue to take shape. Here are some of the highlights, along with images from the renderings that were on display at Tuesday’s announcement:
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Frisco Mayor Maher Maso answer questions from the media after Tuesday's announcement. (Photos by Valerie Wigglesworth/DMN)
1. It’s a true partnership. This joint effort among the Dallas Cowboys, Frisco ISD and the city of Frisco was first announced in August 2013. Combining the strengths of each entity is what will make this project work. The city and the school district couldn’t afford on their own the quality of the facilities that the Cowboys are able to build. The school district brings the students, who are a key component for the Cowboys. And the city brings its track record of partnerships (think Dr Pepper Ballpark, Dr Pepper Arena, Toyota Stadium, Fieldhouse USA) and quality development. And all three entities have a drive to be the best.
The multi-use event center will open onto a plaza with the Omni Frisco Hotel on the right and a two-story retail and conference center on the left.
“This project, this partnership with the Dallas Cowboys organization and the city, is extraordinary in so many ways,” Frisco ISD Superintendent Jeremy Lyon told the crowd gathered for Tuesday’s announcement. The city will own the 12,000-seat multi-use event center, the outdoor practice fields and the two-level parking garage under the headquarters and plaza area. Those will be tax-exempt.
The remainder will be owned by the Dallas Cowboys and yet-to-be named third parties that decide to join the development. Already Omni Hotels & Resorts has announced it will build the Omni Frisco Hotel adjacent to the event center. ”This project has taken on a life of its own,” Jerry Jones Jr. said Tuesday.
The logo for the new Dallas Cowboys development under construction.
2. It’s all about The Star. The team’s iconic logo is easily recognizable. What better tribute than to make it the name of the team’s new home in Frisco? Officials on Tuesday said its five points represent key traits of the Frisco development: performance, amateur competition, health and wellness, engagement, and entertainment. The hope is that The Star becomes synonymous with the Cowboys and Frisco. “We want Al Michaels to refer to The Star,” team owner Jerry Jones said of the sportscaster. But as one observer on Twitter pointed out, The Star is not to be confused with the Dallas Stars, the NHL franchise whose headquarters are also located in Frisco inside the Dr Pepper Arena. Now that The Star is named, officials will work on identifying potential candidates for naming partnerships for facilities such as the indoor stadium and the headquarters building.
This rendering shows the possible offerings at a medical center on site.
3. A big focus will be on health and wellness. Frisco ISD Superintendent Jeremy Lyon is a big advocate for healthy living. The project’s concept, he said Tuesday, is “to create that place where health and wellness and exercise and fitness are modeled and demonstrated.” Beyond the football offerings, some of the possibilities listed in a rendering for a medical center at the site included brain research and a sports science institute. There’s also talk about a running track and other fitness venues at the site. “I like the dialogue around bringing in fitness groups and making a place that kids can move and do things in,” Lyon said.
This is one of the many renderings that offer a glimpse at the possibilities for the private development.
A rendering along one of the main streets in the development.
4. The $5 Billion Mile may be a bit conservative. Frisco officials recently dubbed a one-mile segment of the Dallas North Tollway as The $5 Billion Mile because of the potential value of the Cowboys project along with three other mixed use developments planned between Warren Parkway and Lebanon Road: Wade Park, The Gate and Frisco Station. But that moniker came with a $1 billion estimated worth for the Cowboys development. Owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that the value of the entire 91-acre development could be as high as $2 billion to $3 billion. “The real issue will be how many of those improvements do we as an organization own and build and how many do third-parties build,” Jones said. The city and the school district are capped at $90 million for the publicly owned facilities. The Frisco Economic Development Corporation is putting in $25 million toward the Cowboys’ headquarters. As of this week, about $70 million in public money has been spent on the site.
This rendering offers a view of the 12,000-seat multi-use event center.
5. A place not just for football. Football is the focal point, from Cowboys practices to high school football games. But it’s not the only game in town. Frisco ISD is looking to host other sporting events, such as soccer, in the multi-use event center. The center will also be ideal for marching band competitions. Other pairings are also in the works. Broadcast personnel with the Cowboys and the school district are already discussing using the same equipment for their respective needs. Superintendent Jeremy Lyon is also looking for partners throughout the private development for the district’s independent study and mentoring program. Many of those private entities are still being decided. It’s worth noting, Mayor Maher Maso said, that the Cowboys name carries clout. Officials are capturing the attention of some big organizations who wouldn’t normally give Frisco the time of day. “I think the public’s starting to notice that it’s much more than a Cowboys practice facility,” Maso said. “There’s so many things that will continue to come out that we’re not even aware of yet.”
This rendering shows the possible interactive displays available at the project.
6. High-tech is king. Expect there to be lots of technology in the development, whether it’s kiosks like the one pictured in the rendering above or opportunities for augmented reality, which supplements what people are seeing in person with computer-generated information. The AT&T Stadium app available for the Arlington facility already offers augmented reality features.
The two outdoor fields will be for the exclusive use of the Dallas Cowboys.
7. The fields are top-notch. The complex will have two outdoor practice fields – one grass, one turf – that will be exclusively for the Dallas Cowboys’ use. Their placement below ground level and with strategic screening will allow the team to practice without prying eyes from the competition. The indoor practice field with artificial turf will have to meet the standards of not only the University Interscholastic League but also the NFL. Owner Jerry Jones envisions the day when a Frisco high school quarterback is “getting ready to start taking snaps at a Frisco high school football game on exactly the same place that Tony Romo just came from” during a Cowboys practice at the multi-use event center.
The northeast corner of the multi-use event center with two of the tower crane bases just outside the wall line. (Photo courtesy Ron Patterson/City of Frisco)
The columns shown here are for the parking garage. (Photo courtesy Ron Patterson/City of Frisco)
8. Construction work is progressing, but you can’t see it. “From the road you can’t see anything because it’s all down in a hole,” said Frisco assistant city manager Ron Patterson, who is coordinating the project for the city. The far northwest corner of the site has been dug out to accommodate the underground parking garage as as well as the multi-use event center, whose base will sit below ground level. It’s like building a basement, Patterson said.
Among the recent milestones is the erection of the first vertical wall piece, which will be part of the southeast corner of the multi-use event center. In addition, about 300 of the 900 piers for the foundation of the stadium are already in the ground. The Cowboys are expected to move to the site in June 2016.
This rendering of a Star Walk hallway pays tribute to Tom Landry.
A rendering of the headquarters lobby.
9. History is important. The Dallas Cowboys will be emphasizing their history and traditions and paying tribute to past and current players in their new headquarters building. A lot of Hall of Fame elements will also be featured. Officials are planning to offer public tours of their headquarters and the multi-use event center once they open.