DALLAS -- It had all the super egos for a bad joke: So Jerry Jones, Mark Cuban and David Stern walk onto a stage…
But, no, no, Thursday’s improbable gathering featuring three of the most progressive American sports minds outside the American Airlines Center was for no yarn. The power trio officially announced plans to envelope North Texas in sports splendor beyond imagination.
Working together, the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks have landed the NBA’s All-Star Weekend 2010 in North Texas. The All-Star Game will be played at the Cowboys new stadium in Arlington, a spectacle NBA commissioner Stern confidently said will set an attendance world record for a basketball game.
Capacity at the site of the 2011 Super Bowl, Cuban said, will expand beyond 96,000, plus standing-room only. Cuban boasted he wants 100,000 in the building and boasted, “We’re going to make this the biggest event this country has ever seen.”
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Wearing jeans, a blue Mavs golf shirt and tennis shoes, Cuban sat next to four suits -- Stern, Cowboys owner Jones, Dallas mayor Tom Leppert and Mavs president Terdema Ussery, who Cuban credited as the essential front-man on the 14-month logistical jigsaw puzzle that will take over the region in 16 months.
The Dallas Convention Center will house the four-day Fan Jam event, while the rookie game on Friday night and Saturday’s skills events including the 3-point shootout and dunk contest will be at the American Airlines Center.
“I never imagined it would turn out like this,” Cuban said, beaming. “It’s a win-win situation and Jerry’s a great partner. Jerry knows a great opportunity when he sees it.”
The Mavs have not hosted an All-Star game since 1986 at Reunion Arena. Cuban had vowed since buying the team in 2000 never to bring the game to the AAC because the NBA takes most tickets and locks out season-ticket holders.
Jones’ jewel in Tarrant County takes care of that. Imagine 100,000 fans packed into a football stadium and situated around a 94x50-foot slice of hardwood that will sit exactly where?
“The court,” Jones said, “will literally be on the star.”
A few hundred die-hard Mavs fans attended the announcement and cheered wildly for Cuban and Jones, who incessantly praised his basketball brethren’s innovative spirit.
“I don’t think people really recognize that NBA All-Star Weekend has easily become the biggest weekend destination in this country, I mean by far,” Cuban said. “It’s just about what’s on TV, it’s not just about the people, 100,000 in the arena, there’s going to be people who come in from all over the world just to be part of the entire weekend.
“It will be a great chance for Dallas-Fort Worth to show off besides the All-Star Game, besides all the events.”
As for Fort Worth’s inclusion, Stern said the NBA Cares Caravan will likely be touring the west side of the metroplex. Hotels and restaurants could be the big winners.