Will North Texas be better off if Tony Romo’s drive to take the Dallas Cowboys to Super Bowl XLV stalls next year?

Should We Root Against the Cowboys?

Fans might love to see the Dallas Cowboys win Super Bowl XLV next year, but local coffers could suffer.

One x-factor in the discussion of just how big an economic boom North Texas will see from Super Bowl XLV is the success of next season’s Dallas Cowboys. If Tony Romo somehow leads the hometown team to the top of the NFC heap and into the big game, local fans will be ecstatic, but there may be fewer visitors from out of town.

Make no mistake: we’re talking about a serious influx of cash carried by the tens of thousands of visitors who will descend upon the region early next year.

All of the estimates of economic impact—be they $30 million or $600 million—are based on the presumption that there will be a certain number of visitors to North Texas, spending so many nights in hotels, renting so many cars, etc.

That means that a Cowboys appearance in the NFL’s championship game could be a loss for the region. Irving Mayor Herbert Gears made local headlines recently at his annual state-of-the-city address, when he announced that he’d rather see a team like the Philadelphia Eagles reach the title game than the Cowboys, for that very reason.

It’s never happened that a team has been able to play in a Super Bowl on its own field, so no one really knows for certain what the effect will be. Sports economist Victor Matheson of College of the Holy Cross says it’s possible that the Cowboys’ participation could decrease the overall regional economic impact by a few million dollars.

“But that tends to not be very important, because the ticket allocation is such that the teams playing in the game get such a small amount of the tickets anyway,” Matheson says. “So you’d still see lots and lots of folks coming from around the country. Especially with the Cowboys, kind of America’s team. You have fans all over the country.”

Members of the North Texas host committee share this point of view, arguing that even if the number of out-of-towners goes down, it will be more than made up for by the sheer excitement and increased involvement of local fans.

“The people that come to the Super Bowl, they don’t care what teams are in it. They want to see the game,” says Roger Staubach, the legendary former Cowboys quarterback and chairman of the host committee. “It might impact it some, but this whole region would go crazy. It would be a fun thing. It’d be fun to see all the Cowboys people here get excited about that game.”

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