Archive for March, 2010

This is just the beginning

March 31, 2010

I know I’m supposed to talk about real estate and football, but I can’t help myself when it comes to the NCAA basketball tournament.  My first college basketball experience was in 1986 when my dad took me to the Final Four at Reunion Arena in Dallas.  We saw the Duke Blue Devils, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, and Kansas Jayhawks compete.  I fell in love with the Final Four at first sight.

This past weekend my dad and I went to Houston to see my alma mater, Duke, take on the Baylor Bears.  Sitting next to my dad watching John Scheyer, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith brought back memories of an 11-year-old kid sitting next to his dad watching Johnny Dawkins, Quin Snyder, Danny Ferry, and Tommy Amaker. 

The Final Four is a lot like the Super Bowl.  There’s hype, marketing, high ticket prices, rabid fans, and most importantly, a champion.  Jerry Jones and his team will bring the NCAA Champion to North Texas in 2014.  The 2011 Super Bowl is just the start of what Cowboy Stadium will bring to North Texas and my clients.  Thanks to all the hard work by the team who put together the plans for the stadium, we have a first-class facility to serve the citizens of North Texas for many years.

Jeff Staubach and Roger Staubach at the Elite 8 game March 2010



My predictions for next year

March 29, 2010

It’s going to be a whole year of excitement! The Cowboys are right in the heart of it with Minnesota, New Orleans and Green Bay.  There will be 5 or 6 teams at the start of the year that look like they could go all the way and any one of them could go to the Super Bowl.  I think Dallas is going to be one of those teams.  Because the game will be here, we are going to know that every Cowboy game is going to have an impact on the prediction of going to the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl.  That would be fun for us here because we really do have a good home team.  Last year, Miami was a decent team; they had been to the playoffs the year before, but they were pretty well out of the running in the beginning when they went 0-3.

There’s never been a home team that has actually played in their stadium; not in 45 years.  The opportunities have been there for Miami 10 times, and of course New Orleans has had 7 Super Bowls, but for next year, this looks to be the closest we might come to having a team with the potential to be in their home stadium.  That will be a great part of the whole thing as the year goes forward.  Last year, they were written off in the middle of the year, but they turned it around.  I think next season the Cowboys will be strong ’till the end.

All Super Bowls are not created equal (cont.)

March 22, 2010

Notes from our researcher, Steve Triolet
Two weeks ago we took a quick look at tax revenue generated from the Super Bowl in South Florida between 2006 and 2007.  Now let’s take a look at hotel occupancy rates and room rates (Source: Smith Travel Research)

The above graph illustrates that occupancy rates were up, but not as dramatically as one might expect for such a large event (evidence that Displacement Theory is in effect for South Florida).

As you can see, average room rates, however, were roughly double year over year due to the Super Bowl.  Therefore, despite displacement, larger events like the Super Bowl bring tourist to the area that ultimately spend more money than would otherwise be the case.  In this example for Miami-Dade County, the three-day revenue generated from hotel occupancy increased from $19 million to $41.1 million between 2006 and 2007 for Miami-Dade County.

What North Texas will do different from past Super Bowl host cities

March 15, 2010

As we start looking ahead to our Super Bowl XLV here in North Texas, I think we are going to do things a little different.  One thing is we are going to be tying the Super Bowl into a number of events throughout the year.  It’s not only those final two weeks.  As far as the rest of the country is concerned, it’s the last 2 weeks in the countdown when national attention will turn to the metroplex. It’s when the teams are arriving, practicing and there is all the stuff going on in that off-week. 

This past weekend was the kick-off of our Super Bowl Concert Series which is made up of three big events leading up to next February. Marianne and I got to attend the Faith Hill concert at Bass Hall in Fort Worth, which was the first of the series.  We met Faith and she was great. Unfortunately, she said she didn’t remember me in the ’63 Army-Navy game.  I am looking forward to when Sting comes to Dallas, and then we will have the third event later at the stadium.  With all these concerts in the works, I have been doing a little singing myself to get everyone in the spirit of the Super Bowl.

We also have a lot of community things going on like Slant 45, which is a youth program.  So we are going to try to keep focused on the opportunities both in and out of the stadium through the concert series and other activities.  Then, once football season starts, we will be right there in the thick of it watching the Dallas Cowboys.

All Super Bowls are not created equal

March 8, 2010

Notes from our researcher, Steve Triolet
This week, our company is hosting a 1,000 person conference in Florida for three days.  I wonder if having the Super Bowl in Miami this year influenced our decision to take our team to the sunny state. Are room rates cheaper after the Big Game?  

Consider how the North Texas Super Bowl will compare to Super Bowls of years’ past when it comes to economic impact.  Let’s face it, North Texas is not on the top ten list of tourist destinations in February.  Where we typically have mild winters in comparison to most of the United States, we’re not an ocean-front Metroplex.  In short, sunny beach-front areas are much more popular as a travel destination.  What this means economically speaking is that North Texas will experience a far greater impact than previous Super Bowls which where destination-centric, like South Florida or San Diego.  Part of the reasoning behind this is Displacement Theory.  In simplified terms, Displacement Theory is the principal that if you’re merely substituting one tourist going to the Super Bowl for another that would have already been there, the economic impact is negligible.  For example, Miami-Dade county reported sales tax revenue of $5.19 million in February 2006 compared to $5.82 million in February 2007.  By this metric, the Super Bowl increased the tax revenue by approximately 11 percent.  This was just one county; Broward County, which was also directly impacted, showed a similar increase.

Next week we will delve deeper into hotel occupancy and room rates to see how the Big Game brings big cash to the host community.

I still put myself in their shoes

March 4, 2010

People ask me when I watch a game like this past Super Bowl, if I still see myself and think about what I would have done.   Well, I do look back and compare because when I was playing I had a chance to be 4-0 in Super Bowls but I was 2-2.  The game in Miami, to me, was a little like when we played Pittsburgh.  I would always go back and look at the play I could have made that would have made a difference, and of course we were playing a really good team. I’m sure Peyton is going back, too.  It’s such a big game and it’s the game that people remember.  It defines your career. I still put myself in these guys’ shoes.  The winners are going to remember the game forever just as I remember – and fortunately we won.  No one can ever take that first Super Bowl away from you.  I can put myself in Peyton’s shoes and commiserate.  During the playoffs I saw the same thing; Favre had a chance to run for 5 or 7 yards and give their team a chance to win with a field goal.  He decided to gamble and throw the ball across the field.  There are a number of Super Bowl plays that haunt me that would have made a difference between winning and losing.  Those kinds of plays will stick with you forever. 

This weekend markes the first show of the Host Committee’s Kick-Off Concert Series where Faith Hill will be performing out at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. We will have Sting in Dallas at the AT&T Performing Arts Center on May 22nd and another great concert out at the new stadium on September 10th.  I am missing my company’s award ceremony that night to see the show but it will be a great event and I know the clients who are joining me are looking forward to it.

Showcasing our resources to the World

March 1, 2010

If you didn’t know everything about Vancouver two weeks ago, I bet you do today. Like the Olympics, the Super Bowl gives the host cities an opportunity to showcase their resources to the world. In North Texas, one of our prized possessions is real estate. We have an abundance of available land near great communities, schools, colleges, sports facilities, airports, shopping, and restaurants. North Texas provides an opportunity for corporate America to lower their cost of doing business while allowing all employees a low cost of living. Currently, North Texas is pursuing several large corporations considering the region for their future home. We have over 30 Class A buildings that can accommodate up to 300 employees with several poised for a 1,000 employee relocation. At first that sounds a bit scary for this market, but as of Q409, we are holding at 76.8% occupancy overall with Class A at 74.4% occupancy. Compared to other major markets we are still pretty healthy.