Friday, March 25, 2011

Dallas Cowboys: The Affects of a Lockout in a Town Where Football is King

During the NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys are king and Cowboys' Stadium is always the most happening place in town on a Sunday afternoon.

If you've ever driven down Randal Mill Road you know the feeling of getting stuck in the kind of traffic that makes you wonder if getting out and walking the rest of the way wouldn't be faster. Sometimes you even consider paying someone just to put your car in park so you you don't have to wonder if you'll ever get to a parking lot.

With the NFL lockout looming and the possibility of not having a football season in 2011, it leaves some fans to wonder if the $1.15 billion stadium and its 80,000 seats will remain empty. Leaving the Arlington area to become a ghost town reminiscent of the old west.
But while the owners and players duke it out in front of cameras, microphones, and radio talk shows across the country, the two sides forget this affects more than just their bottom line and their business.

This affects the economy and businesses which surround each respective NFL stadium across the country.

In Arlington it's no different.

The restaurants, bars and clubs that are normally noisy and loud on game days will fall silent. Sure they'll have their share of customers but not nearly the amount they usually see on Sundays.

Hotels rooms, normally booked for out of town guests flying in to see a state of the art football stadium as well as their favorite team playing against the Cowboys, will stay empty. Money and guests normally rolling in will become only the usual business travelers these locations have gotten used to.

Then there are the people who are possibly affected even more than the hotels, bars, clubs and restaurants. They are those who count on the NFL for employment during the season.

The ticket takers, concessions, and those who guide fans to their respective seats. These are the people who no one thinks about. These are the people who are affected because two sides, who are already overpaid, can't agree on being paid that much more.

This game is bigger than the players and it's bigger than the owners.

For those us who live in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, Cowboys Stadium is a stadium well known for catering to the rich businessman. Football is called the new "America's Pastime" but they forget the average family spends more than $100 and that's before they ever sit down in their seats.

So, if the NFL decides they aren't going to have a season in 2011, the drive down Randol Mill Road will have a very different feel to it. The streets, usually lined with cars going in both directions and police directing traffic, will be empty with only those shopping in some of the stores surrounding the stadium.

The economy that counts on a game in a stadium that can possibly hold more than 100,000 fans will now need to count on fans still coming out to watch the game on big screens and enjoying it with other fans who want to watch the game outside of their own home.

If the NFL doesn't learn the lesson soon, they might be overtaken by the United Football League or even the Indoor Football League. The good news for the football fans in the Dallas/Ft Worth area is the fact they could take a jaunt to the American Airlines Center and watch the Dallas Vigilantes of the Indoor Football League.

Ok, so maybe the NFL won't be overtaken in ratings or fan support by either of those two leagues but if the owners decide to use replacement players with the lockout still in place, you may be getting to know players from both the UFL and IFL sooner than you think.

The Dallas Cowboys need their fans as much as their fans need them. The said thing is, the fans see it and the players don't.

The moment that begins to change is the moment the two sides get closer to signing a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Follow Todd Kaufmann @T_Kaufmann and National Football Authority @NFAuthority on Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment