For those of you who weren’t paying attention back in 1998, the battle to build a new arena in downtown Dallas was ferocious. Mayor Ron Kirk threw everything he had into getting it passed. Opponents, including one Laura Miller, fought a heated campaign against it. Sharon Boyd’s website, dallasarena.com, was created to air overheated conspiracy theories about it (I see that she has now moved on to newer topics, but you still find most of the juicier material on Google).Â Â The bond proposal passed by a tiny margin.
City Manager John Ware, who died on May 2, negotiated the deal with Tom Hicks and Ross Perot, Jr. that gave the city a commanding position in the financial structure of the (now-christened) American Airlines Center. Then he quit the job and went to work for Hicks. “Aha!” said the opponents. “See, it was fixed all along!” “Not so!” cried Hicks. “I hired him because he out-negotiated me!”
That’s the back story on today’s DMN report by Rudy Bush that the bonds the city issued to finance its part of the public-private investment will be paid off years before their 2027 due date.