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Cowboys star Emmitt Smith to open DFW Airport store

Need a Dallas Cowboys mug or Emmitt Smith jersey to give to a friend before you fly out of town?

The Pro Football Hall of Famer wants to meet that need with a new sports merchandise store at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

On Tuesday, the airport’s concessions committee approved a lease for Emmitt Smith Sports to be located at Terminal C’s gate 27. The store is expected to open next year.

“I think DFW is one of the finest airports in the entire country,” Smith said after an airport board meeting on Tuesday. “I see all the traffic and what happens within the DFW terminals ... Quite naturally, if you can get [a store] there you hope you can be successful.”

HG-Emmitt DFW P7, which Smith is involved with, has also invested in two other new concessions in Terminal C that will open next year: a Hudson newsstand and a MAC store.

Since he finished his football career in 2004, Smith has been involved in various business ventures. On Tuesday, The Dallas Morning News reported that Smith will leave E. Smith Realty Partners, a four-year-old real estate firm, but plans to remain active in that business.

The airport also awarded concession leases to two new ventures that will feature made-in-Fort Worth products. A Fort Worth magazine coffee and travel essentials store will be located at gate 33 in Terminal C and a FW Inc. newsstand will be at gate 36. Both will also open next year.

Zenola Campbell, vice president of airport concessions, said the airport wants to feature more local businesses and products at its terminals and held several outreach events in Fort Worth for this concession bidding process.

“We tried to get more people to come out and to see the opportunities and I can tell you it paid off,” Campbell said. “We ended up for the first time getting more solicitations and more bids from Fort Worth than we ever have.”

The airport also awarded leases for three spa locations. Be Relax will open a spa at Terminal B near gate 28 and Terminal D, gate 21 while Spa Here will open near Terminal C, gate 12.

Of the five terminals at DFW, Terminal C is the only one that has not been renovated as part of the $2.7 billion terminal renewal program that started in 2011. The concession leases approved on Tuesday will help refresh the aging terminal, said DFW CEO Sean Donohue.

“We’re doing everything we can from a customer perspective to improve the services we give in [terminal] C as we go through the process of determining what the [renovation] schedule will be for C,” Donohue said.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

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