Cowboys cut discussions for Fair Park stadium

Updated: June 8, 2004, 4:19 PM ET
Associated Press

DALLAS -- The Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday suspended negotiations with Dallas County to build a new stadium in Fair Park because of differing vision for the stadium, the team's political consultants said.

Rob Allyn, the team's media consultant, said he would brief reporters on the decision later Tuesday but said team owner Jerry Jones would not comment.

"Despite efforts by all parties to reach an agreement, in recent weeks it has become apparent that the team and Dallas County are too far apart for future negotiations to be fruitful," said the team's statement, issued by Allyn.

The Dallas Morning News reported on its Web site that county officials appeared shocked by the news, saying they believed negotiations were just beginning.

"We have asked to look at some information relating to the activities and volumes at the existing stadium," said Allen Clemson, administrator for county commissioners. "That is as far as we have gotten. Certainly we were far apart, but too far apart? I feel it was premature to say that."

The team announced in May that it wanted to build a $650 million stadium in Fair Park with $425 million in public funds. The club set a deadline of June 30 for completing negotiations. County commissioners said that date was artificial and unreasonable.

Under the Cowboys' proposal, the county commissioners would have called for a 3 percent hotel-occupancy tax and 6 percent rental-car tax. The Cowboys wanted the new taxes on the November ballot for voters to consider.

County Judge Margaret Keliher said Tuesday, before the Cowboys' announcement, that she didn't think the team was serious about building a stadium in Fair Park.

"It seems difficult to believe that they are going to Fair Park if they have only given us three pieces of paper and the deadline is June 30," Keliher told The News.

Fair Park, home of the State Fair of Texas, is where the Cowboys started out in 1960. They moved to Texas Stadium in the Dallas suburb of Irving in 1971.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press