Saturday, December 20, 2008


The turmoil ongoing with the Dallas Cowboys is well documented and is nothing more than the predictable machinations of some very talented players frustrated at not winning every game. The intrigue appears to be part of the Dallas Cowboys Package especially when you have the likes of Terrell Owens and Adam “Pac Man” Jones on the roster. Owner Jerry Jones, either innocently but more than likely deliberately, keeps the pot stirred. But, that’s not the topic of this post. The turmoil we reference is caused by the incredible traffic jams ongoing at Texas Stadium and the seeming inability and unwillingness of the Dallas Cowboys organization to do anything about it. It looks like this same scenario is going to carry over to the Cowboys new stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboy's on field antics may just well pale beside their parking headaches - the supposed price of success.

Last Sunday Brother Coby and I attended the very important Cowboys-Giants tip that turned out to be one hell of a game. I wished that fellow Ole Miss Alum Eli Manning would have had a better game, though if he had, the Cowboys would have lost like the last time these two teams met.

What was really significant was the two hours it took to get to a Blue parking space (time mostly spent around the stadium) and the additional two plus hours it took to get out of (OK escape) the Texas Stadium parking lot.

I could almost understand the maelstrom before the game, but the confusion after the game was unforgiveable where it was literally everyone for themselves. Most drivers didn’t acknowledge the difference between parking spaces and lanes and it was like a whirlpool in reverse that would only allow cars to escape the lots until they had achieved the perimeter when the equally, very frustrated Irving, Texas police took over. Until that point it was pure confusion. The Cowboys impressive 20-8 victory may have been the only counter to a parking lot rage that could have understandably washed over many folks. Many season ticket holders including Brother Coby stated that it was the worst they had seen in twenty years.

What made it so bad were the parking attendants who seemed totally impotent with most just standing or sitting and just doing - nothing! When you tried to engage a parking attendant the response was a deliberate failure to make eye to eye contact, silence and a total failure to recognize your presence. They were in the eye of the hurricane - in their zone and they miserably failed the test. That happened over and over again much to the chagrin of Cowboys fans who had paid a hell of a lot of money to attend the game and park their transport. Many attendants didn’t attempt to direct traffic or bring rhyme and reason to the chaos and disorder. They just flat gave up! Shame on them!

I have attended Cowboys games since 1960, from Cotton Bowl days to the ascendency of the Cowboys in Texas Stadium in 1971 to the shut down of the stadium in 2008. Brother Coby, inheritor of the Buxton Cowboy heritage, again offered me a ticket to the Cowboy’s last game in Texas Stadium this Saturday, December 20, 2008 where they play the highly regarded Baltimore Ravens. I declined Coby’s very generous invitation for a couple of reasons. First, I had already committed to attend another function and secondly, I had no willingness to endure what will undoubtedly be another traffic nightmare. Brother John has declined invitations to attend Cowboy games because of the traffic bottlenecks and attendant confusion.

Mind, you, the Cowboys are bringing in their top 100 players to be present at the event and, no doubt, it’s going to be a media madhouse, not to mention the manic Dallas Cowboy fans that will travel from far and wide to just be in the same vicinity with and/or see the likes of Bob Lilly, Emmitt Smith, Don Meredith, Bob Hayes, Cliff Harris, DD Lewis, Tony Dorsett, Danny White, Rayfield Wright, Don Perkins, Craig Morton, Lance Alworth, Lee Roy Jordan, Herb Adderley, Chuck Howley, Randy White, Mel Renfro, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Troy Aikman, Drew Pearson, Dan Reeves, Roger Staubach and Michael Irvin among many others.

It is no rumor that the late. great Coach Tom Landry will take the field with his players, at least in spirit. Landry with his dignity and class, twenty straight winning seasons, 19 playoff appearances, 13 division titles, 5 Super Bowl appearances and 2 victories was the reason so many of us prevailed with the Cowboys. He was and remains the essence of this great team.

The frustrating thing is that all that august history and winning tradition doesn’t appear to offer hope for more and easier parking at the new $1.3 billion dollar (US) Arlington, Texas home of the Dallas Cowboys. Local Arlington residents are already frustrated since it takes over an hour to get out of their neighborhoods when the Texas Rangers play. It would seem that they are in for a more garish nightmare when the Cowboys start playing in 2009.
The Cowboys sent the city of Arlington an impressive looking traffic management plan about how they'll get fans to the new stadium smoothly. It appears to be a pie in the sky plan which will be a work in progress for many years to come.

The new stadium will have a seating capacity of 80,000 with a probable expansion of up to 100,000. Texas Stadium has a capacity of 65,595 and with much fewer problems though the potential for fewer parking options.

Surprisingly, no rapid rail was ever planned for Arlington though the Cowboys reflect that they are talking with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority? Since, Arlington, Texas has no local transit the future seems to hold little or no prospect of a rail line or mass transit to the new stadium. It would appear, then, that the greater majority of Cowboy fans will continue to arrive by car. In a green mindset the Cowboys speculate that the average per vehicle occupancy will be three people requiring a minimum of 26,675 parking spaces. The Cowboys are hopeful that they will have access to 30,000 parking spaces all within a mile of the new stadium. The Cowboys will have to rely on their neighbors that include Six Flags Over Texas, the Texas Rangers, privately owned office parks and shopping centers and a herculean cadre of parking entrepreneurs to reach that figure.

The Cowboys concede that some ticket holders will still have to walk nearly a mile from their parking spaces to the new Arlington stadium, but also point out that the back-row parking at Texas Stadium requires about the same trek. It would appear that the numbers of trekkers will increase substantially.

This plan will require very aggressive traffic management strategies via reversible and reassigned lanes, parking restrictions in residential neighborhoods and access control. Some folks including a lot of Cowboy fans have stated that the plan is just flat - not manageable.

The bottom line is that all those Cowboy legend luminaries whether they show up at Texas Stadium or in the future at the new Arlington Stadium probably wouldn’t be enough to entice me to attend another Cowboy’s game.

Well, OK, I’d attend if Landry came…


Ned Buxton

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