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Is ‘Project X’ the Key to Keeping the Mavericks in Dallas?

The City Council will go into closed session today to discuss a "business prospect."
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Patrick Dumont to Mark Cuban: "Thank you very much. I'll take your team now." Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

We aren’t saying today’s mysterious agenda item is related to the City Council discussing a way to keep the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, but we’re not not saying it’s about retaining the Mavs.

At 3:30 p.m. today, a special called joint meeting of the Dallas City Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Professional Sports Recruitment and Retention and the Council Economic Development Committee (apologies for the mouthful) will be updated on the 2026 FIFA World Cup activities in North Texas. If you recall, the region is hosting nine matches and will also be the site of referee headquarters and an international broadcast center.

That’s interesting enough. But there is a real mystery in an agenda item slated for closed session, where the two committees will be meeting privately with attorneys. Here’s how the matter is described in the agenda:

“Discuss or deliberate the commercial or financial information that the city has received from a business prospect (“Project X”) that the city seeks to have locate, stay or expand in or near the city and with which the city is conducting economic development negotiations; and deliberate the offer of a financial or other incentive to such business prospect.”

It’s no secret that Dallas Sports Commission executive director Monica Paul has been working to bring all kinds of events to Dallas and North Texas, so this could literally be anything. But the broad language may be a clue (“stay or expand in or near the city”). And given the speculation around the new owners of the Dallas Mavericks and their suburban land acquisitions ahead of the team’s lease with the American Airlines Center expiring in 2031, perhaps Dallas is trying to get ahead of its competition.

Two historical notes before we let you go: in our D Magazine office library, we have a copy of 2004 DVD titled “Project X.” It contains computer-generated imagery produced by Halff Associates on behalf of the Dallas Cowboys. It shows a stadium complex built near downtown Dallas on the banks of the Trinity River. Is this Project X a sly callback to that Project X?

Finally, Project X was also a pretty good Todd Phillips movie from 2012. Is Dallas considering throwing a totally out-of-control party at City Hall?

Author

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson

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Bethany Erickson is the senior digital editor for D Magazine. She's written about real estate, education policy, the stock market, and crime throughout her career, and sometimes all at the same time. She hates lima beans and 5 a.m. and takes SAT practice tests for fun.

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