Always just a real estate deal!
5/16/10 The Lord moves
in mysterious ways.
Remember when Ross Perot, Jr. and Tom Hicks owned
this town, the Mayor, the City Manager and most of the city council?
The campaign against taxing non-related Dallas businesses to build an
arena for 2 billionaires ended with the January 17, 1998 election they
won by 50.1%.
A lot has changed
Tom Hicks is in the process of losing all of his sports empire.
Mayor Con Jerk (Ron Kirk) is up in Washington DC consorting with other
like minded liars. Former City Manager left city government to
take a cushy "thank you" job for a Tom Hicks company, and recently
We were promised all kinds of goodies for giving Jr. & Tommy the keys to
the city. We made several specific warnings as to why it was a Bad
Deal. A quick re-cap, we warned:
For 30 years
these guys could veto any city development they decide competes with their
(This was the primary reason we had nothing to offer the
Arkansas Freak when he pretended to want to locate his new stadium in Dallas.)
For 30 years these guys
would not pay city, school or county taxes on their Arena.
For 30 years these guys would get all revenues generated
by their Arena, including naming rights, concessions, parking, concert income --
even the circus. (They
got over $100 million from American Airlines for naming rights, when the pilots,
attendants and other employees were getting salary cuts.)
construction bidding. Ross Perot, Jr. would get to design, engineer and
construct his Arena.
Ross Perot, Jr., a Park Cities resident, would get to use
Dallas' right of eminent domain if someone gets in the way of his promised
development. (He took
property from Intervest, who fought his piracy and won a substantial increase
from the appeal board, but lost their property.)
Reunion's Fate would be
left up to these guys.
(During the campaign, they promised to manage Reunion
as a second venue and that it would not be demolished. It was a major
campaign issue, and Jr. & Tommy told a complete lie. Reunion has been
demolished at great expense to Dallas taxpayers. In 1998, we still owed
$28 million on Reunion.)
A year after the election, I wrote a DallasArena.com article when Mark Cuban
paid $280 million to Jr. to buy controlling interest in the Mavericks.
It was always just a real estate deal!
Now, Jr. is suing Mark Cuban:
Depending on the math,
there could be as much as $20 million at stake in the intensifying
legal fight between Dallas billionaires
Ross Perot Jr. and
Mark Cuban. But it's not about the money.
Perot says it's about
the right way to run a business ? in this case, the
Dallas Mavericks, in which he owns a 5 percent stake. Majority
owner Cuban says the team's business condition is nothing to worry
about. More to the point, he adds, his main goal is winning
Such are the convictions in play in a battle between two of the
city's highest-profile businessmen. And the more money you have, the
more you can afford to stand on principle.
Since Cuban bought a majority stake in the Mavericks from Perot in
2000, he has managed the team "in a careless and reckless manner,"
disregarding sound financial practices, Perot claims in a lawsuit
filed this week. As a result, the team is "insolvent and/or in
imminent danger of insolvency," the suit claims. ...
"It was always
just a real estate deal!" was the truth. Con Jerk/Ron Kirk,
everyone who supported the Arena sales tax on car rentals and hotel/motel rooms
|I wasn't a big fan of Mark Cuban in 1999, because he had ponied up to the
council for a tax abatement for his BroadCastNews.com to STAY in Deep Ellum.
That council was happy to give away Dallas taxpayers' money, but he never got
the abatement because his company never delivered the new jobs or his other
promises. I feel differently about Cuban in 2010.
A big confession to some readers who don't know -- I'm a big Mavericks fan.
An old friend calls me a fanatic about the Mavericks. I still have never
set foot in the Arena and likely never will. My husband put a big plasma
in our den that automatically defaults to Maverick games. I schedule my
life around those games from October until their last playoff game. I love
Basketball. I worked my way through college at North Texas as the
Basketball coach's secretary. I love Basketball, and the Mavericks in
Last week, I saw the CBS 11 news where Ross Perot, Jr. is suing Mark
Cuban for mismanagement of the Mavericks.
Supposedly, the team is LOSING MONEY (imagine that)!
I know that you have a little too much class to "gloat". I wish I
Now, the million dollar ballers may be forced into unemployment if
their BILLIONAIRE owners get into a Clash of the Titans.
All the development and revenue promised from the construction of
AA Center Arena and Victory Park may well be in the balance
(tongue planted completely in cheek).
90% of all government-funded sports arenas/stadia are in the same boat.
Seattle --where the team was sold and moved out leaving the city
with a facility that can't be used for anything else, unless
Joel Osteen opens up another church there like he did in
Houston's Compaq Center.
Were we scammed or just being PUNK'D? In our worst case
scenarios, we could not have even dared to make this stuff up!
I do agree with Jr. that the Mavericks are a business. They were a
business when he and Hicks ripped off Dallas taxpayers by shelling out $4
million to get his deal done. After the election, Jr. & Hicks got over
$100 million from American Airlines for naming rights, and they did not share
that bounty with Dallas taxpayers. Pretty good return on their stake.
Because the Mavericks and Stars were a business in 1998, Dallas Taxpayers should
not have had to furnish them a place to do their business. Customers of
hotel owners and car rental agencies should not have had to pay an exorbitant
increase in taxes to furnish a place for Jr. & Hicks to do their business.
We warned that the sales tax would kill our convention business. It did,
The West End Merchants Assn. ignored our warnings that the Arena would suck the
life out of the West End and would kill their business. It did.
We warned that Jr.'s plans for development around the Arena (Victory) was too
dense and would not be sustainable. It is.
As I told the WSJ
in 1997, Jr. is the ultimate welfare baby. His daddy made his billions
from government contracts. Jr. used daddy's money to influence weak and/or
crooked politicians with his big ticket deals, many of which went bust and left
cities holding empty bags.
Mark Cuban made his billions himself. He has been where he needed to be
when he needed to be there.
So, who should you trust to make the better business decisions? A daddy's
boy who leveraged his daddy's clout to make his own shaky empire? Or, a
man who created a new product that made him millions and others wanted to buy
from him for a billion?
Sports teams are not like other businesses. Con Jerk and the other
pro-sales tax crowd said that was why taxpayers had to subsidize sports teams.
Jr. spent $2 million of his own money to sell that idea to Dallas voters.
Jr. didn't knew diddly about Basketball and readily admitted as much. He
didn't care about Mavericks fans. He didn't care about anything except
using the Arena for a land grab in the hottest real estate market in Dallas.
I sincerely hope Mark Cuban wins millions from Jr. in this frivolous lawsuit.
With Ross Perot, Jr., nothing is ever as advertised. His motives for doing
anything are always self-serving.
In 1997, the It's a Bad Deal!! campaign asked why Hicks and Perot, Jr. were then
smiling. Despite successfully bamboozling Dallas voters and selling the
Arena naming rights for $100 million, the 1998 sweet deal Con Jerk and City
Manager John Ware delivered them, both Hicks and Jr. have failed miserably to
capitalize on it. Neither Hicks or Jr. are smiling now.
We Bad Dealers have waited a long time to say "told you so", but it was
inevitable that we would have our chance to to remind you that we said "It's a