Price was right for area schools to stage playoff games at new Cowboys Stadium

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by BRANDON GEORGE / The Dallas Morning News

wfaa.com

Posted on November 12, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Area school district athletic directors said they're pleased Cowboys officials kept the charge for renting the team's new stadium for football playoff games close to what it cost to play in Texas Stadium a year ago.

Area athletic directors and coaches had concerns early on that they wouldn't be able to afford to play at the Cowboys' new $1.15 billion home. From 1971 through last season, Texas Stadium hosted about 700 high school games. Last season alone, 28 playoff games were there.

To rent Texas Stadium, the Cowboys charged $5,500 per team, Cowboys spokesman Brett Daniels said. The base rent was $500 plus an additional $5,000 to cover game operation expenses.

Arlington ISD athletic director I.C. Little said the Cowboys increased the game operation fees at the new stadium but kept them reasonable. Little said the more games played in one day at Cowboys Stadium, the lower the cost per team.

Cowboys Stadium is hosting eight Class 5A games today through Saturday.

District 3-5A teams will play 4-5A teams in doubleheaders today and Friday. On Saturday, District 5-5A and 6-5A teams play each other in four games.

Little said the 3-5A and 4-5A teams will pay about $7,500 each for their doubleheaders.

"It's a good deal for both sides," he said. "Jerry [Jones] is not making any money off this. They've been very good to high school coaches."

For Saturday's quadruple-header, the eight teams from 5-5A and 6-5A will pay fees of about $6,500 each, said Keller ISD athletic director Bob Dejonge.

"It's a little bit of an increase, but we understand with a larger facility, security issues and staffing to put on an event like that also increase," Dejonge said.

Little said the cost for renting the stadium for just one game is higher than $7,500 per team. That's what led the Lewisville ISD to move its annual "Mound Showdown" game between Flower Mound and Flower Mound Marcus this season to North Texas' Fouts Field on Oct. 30. In years past, the game had been at Texas Stadium.

Ticket prices at the gate will be $12, and parking is $10. Ticket prices – set by the school districts – for last year's games at Texas Stadium were $8. The parking charge – set by the Cowboys – was $5 last season.

This year's contracts between the Cowboys and school districts are similar to last year's in that the schools will split the gate receipts and the Cowboys keep all money collected from parking and concessions.

"It's always been important to Jerry Jones and the Jones family to have the stadium host high school football," Daniels said.

Daniels said Cowboys Stadium will host second-round playoff games next Friday and Saturday and also be available during the state semifinal round of Dec. 10-12.

The stadium won't be available for playoff games during the third and fourth rounds because of the Baylor-Texas Tech game Nov. 28 and the Big 12 Championship on Dec. 5.

"We don't know what all of our takes are going to be because of [Arlington] city taxes we'll pay," said Judy Mizell, the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD athletic director. "We always look at the financial aspects of it, but they worked with us and it's a situation that's worth it to us for our kids and coaches to get to play there."

Staff writer Matt Wixon contributed to this report.

 

Games at Cowboys Stadium

Here are the high school football bi-district playoff games that will be played today through Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. All are Class 5A games. Tickets cost $12, and parking costs $10.

TODAY

Richland (6-4) vs. Arlington Bowie (7-2), 6 p.m.

Haltom (5-5) vs. Arlington Martin (6-4), 9 p.m.

FRIDAY

Abilene (9-0) vs. Arlington Lamar (6-4), 6 p.m.

Burleson (7-3) vs. Arlington (7-2), 9 p.m.

SATURDAY

Euless Trinity (8-2) vs. Flower Mound (6-4), 11 a.m.

Grapevine (6-4) vs. Flower Mound Marcus (6-3), 2 p.m.

Colleyville Heritage (7-3) vs. Southlake Carroll (9-1), 5 p.m.

Keller (6-4) vs. Coppell (9-1), 8 p.m.

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