Does anyone remember when Jerry Jones was looking for a new home for his Cowboys as he was preparing to leave Texas Stadium in the Dallas suburb of Irving? Dallas, if I remember correctly did not really jump at his proposals. I also remember that he was asking for taxpayer dollars and lots of them.
When the city leaders of Arlington became interested in Jerry’s vision they made a plea to those same taxpayers. As usual it had mixed results. People, as a rule, do not like to see their local government, state government, or national government even consider anything that might add to their tax debt. There are those who, however, can see the benefits. Those benefits do come with somewhat of a gamble because those asking for the tax money must be successful or the taxpayers will end up paying the bill.
Jerry Jones may not be the greatest General Manager in the NFL but don’t ever underestimate this guy when it comes to business success and his ability to make money. Luckily for those residents of Arlington the city leaders listened and bought in and Jerry brought the new home of the Dallas Cowboys to their city.
I won’t even go into all the different events that Jerry Jones and company hosts that brings money in huge clumps into his new venue and people in droves to Arlington Texas. I do know that it hosts many sporting events and no matter the season of the year, there is usually some type of competition or entertainment of some sort going on inside the building. It is unbelievable!
I will never be that person that compares Comanche to Arlington and I know that there doesn’t seem to be any one person in this city that has a fraction of the resources that Jerry Jones has. That is why it is important for a place like Comanche to combine the resources that it has to somehow try and copy the model set by Jerry himself.
So why am I even talking about this subject and where did this wild idea come from?
For starters, the University Interscholastic League in Austin, which governs all competitive events for public schools (and a few in the private sector) in the state of Texas, has expanded the number of teams who are eligible for the state playoffs. Every classification with the exception of the Six-man schools sends four teams into the playoffs in football and basketball.
In volleyball, baseball and softball all the classifications send four teams into the playoffs with the exception of Class 2A which sends three. In track and field, not only are there district meets and regional meets, there are now area meets. Plus there are the other sports such as golf, tennis, and powerlifting that are competing for state championships.
So what does all this have to do with this post? All these playoff teams are looking for places to play. They are looking for a host school or community who can provide a turn key operation where all they have to do is show up and play. They are looking for a site that has a community that wants them to come in and has a desire to be a gracious host. They are looking for a community that has sufficient eating places, shopping places, and convenience stores.
They want a site that is easily accessible, or would at least provide a quality road trip for their team. And of course they want to play at the best facility available. Remember the UIL has made it possible for all these teams to seek venues or sites of their choice. And the UIL is not crazy! I know that with this large number of teams playing, it not only gives more kids the opportunity to experience the post-season but it also adds many dollars to the coffers at the UIL headquarters as they get a part of every gate at every game.
So what does a community like Comanche need to do to get on board. My belief is that there needs to be a person or persons in place to coordinate and communicate. Doing this will take a person with plenty of energy and a passion for sports. That person will also need the ability to communicate to all those site seeking schools what Comanche has to offer.
The next thing the community needs is to have those quality facilities in place that will encourage those schools and communities to seek out Comanche for the destination of their choice. So how do we get those facilities/venues? We must pool our resources and become the community with realistic yet progressive ideas that provides us with the best opportunity to bring students into our town to compete and their fans to shop, eat, and stay the night if needed.
If we get the right person/staff to provide quality organization and communication and we get the city, the school, and the public to work collectively to build those facilities we will not always need to wait for the playoffs. There will be plenty of opportunities to host invitational contests during the season as well.
And do we need to limit this to sports? Not at all! There are academic competitions, competitions in agriculture (FFA-4-H), music (Band/Choir), rodeos, swimming, cross country/marathons, summer softball/baseball tournaments, soccer….. well you get the picture. And if this were to happen who knows: the entertainment industry might just get interested as well.
If all this seems like a fantasy, then visit with someone from Arlington or visit someone who is just a small part of the Jerry Jones empire. The opportunity is there for the taking; it just needs that special community to take it.
Is Comanche Texas that special place?