Frisco ISD will partner with the City of Frisco and Dallas Cowboys on a world-class facility that will serve as the NFL team’s corporate headquarters and training location.
The project will be the centerpiece of a 91 acre mixed-use development at the northwest corner of the Dallas North Tollway and Warren Parkway in Collin County.
A multipurpose, 12,000-seat indoor stadium and two outdoor fields will be used by the Cowboys, City of Frisco and Frisco ISD. FISD will host football and soccer games and other athletic, academic, fine arts and entertainment events and competitions.
“We have a philosophy of building smaller schools with one thing in mind – to provide opportunities for students to be successful,” said FISD Superintendent Jeremy Lyon during Tuesday’s formal announcement. “Our partnership today takes that set of opportunities for our students to be successful and does great things for it.”
Frisco ISD will contribute $30 million to the project, or 1.2 million annually for 25 years. The money will come from an existing revenue stream generated by a Tax Increment Financing District.
The City of Frisco will contribute $30 million; the Frisco Economic Development Corporation, $30 million; and the Frisco Community Development Corporation, $25 million. The Cowboys will be responsible for any cost overruns.
“This is another example of how great things happen when people come together to collaborate and partner for the good of the community,” said FISD School Board President Renée Ehmke. “The economic impact of this project will be phenomenal, but the varied experiences provided to our students due to this partnership will be unparalleled. We could not be more excited.”
No increase in property or sales tax rates for the FISD, City, FEDC or FCDC is projected.
“This partnership opportunity came at the exact right time in the growth of our school district,” Lyon said. “We could in no way duplicate a stadium of this caliber on our own, spending the same amount for construction.”
Frisco ISD had been looking into the need for a third stadium, with its seventh high school, Independence, and eighth high school, Reedy, set to open in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The District’s six high schools currently play football on Thursday and Friday nights at Memorial Stadium and FC Dallas Stadium.
The cost of a stand-alone facility similar to Memorial Stadium would cost $27-$30 million. The partnership will allow FISD to enjoy a much better facility at the same cost.
“This public-private partnership better meets the needs of all of our programs with an ultimate savings to the taxpayers,” Lyon said. “We will pay only direct event costs, but will not incur ongoing maintenance and operation costs, resulting in a savings of $250-300,000 annually.”
A mixed-use development, including corporate offices, retail, restaurants and a luxury hotel is planned for 66 acres of the 91-acre tract.
The estimated economic impact over the next 30 years is $23.4 billion. Employment impact is estimated at 4,500 new jobs at full development, with tax revenues of $1.26 billion.
The project is expected to be complete by fall 2016. At that time, Frisco ISD will become the only school district in Texas to boast an indoor stadium.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for our students to walk and play on the same fields as professional football players,” said FISD Athletic Director David Kuykendall. “The memories that our students will make and take with them will last forever. It may motivate them to move on to the next level.”
Cowboys Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones said that he was impressed with Frisco’s commitment to youth sports and noted the impact that professional facilities can have on a student’s confidence level.
“You see kids that are around that and they are confident,” he said. “They may never run with the ball, but boy, get them doing something else and they’ll run with the ball in that way as well.”
A group of students from Hunt Middle School joined dozens of community members in showing their support for the partnership.
“We’re really excited,” said seventh grader Carter Yates. “We can’t wait for them to come.”
His friend, fellow Hunt seventh grader Ryan Middleton, acknowledged his favorite quarterback, Tony Romo, and shared his advice for the Cowboys: “Win the Super Bowl.”