Photo courtesy of Shoot2Sell for Douglas Elliman Texas

Have you dreamed of dining with Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith? You can make that dream come true — to the tune of $2.2 million.

But that dinner comes with a massive dessert: Smith’s mansion in Far North Dallas.

Smith just listed the 10,806-square-foot home for $2.2 million, a price tag that pays tribute to his No. 22 jersey number. And the buyer of the home will get the chance to sit down to dinner with Smith.

The mansion, at 15001 Winnwood Rd., features five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, four half-bathrooms, two offices, two living rooms, and a four-car garage. Built in 1995, the home sits on a nearly 1-acre site.

“One of my favorite aspects of the home is that it’s perfect for entertaining. With a large dining room table that fits 22 people, a media room, and a large game room, this home is ready for the new owners to create their own memories with both friends and loved ones,” Smith says.

The master bedroom offers a steam room, jacuzzi, multi-jet shower system, his and hers toilets, and three big closets.

Arthur Greenstein of Douglas Elliman Texas has the listing.

Smith played 15 seasons in the NFL as a running back. He spent 13 seasons with the Cowboys and two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. The three-time Super Bowl champ entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, six years after his retirement.

Today, he’s a real estate, construction, and tech entrepreneur. The 52-year-old Smith and his wife, Pat, have five children.

The home, located in Far North Dallas, is listed at $2.2 million, a nod to Smith's No. 22 jersey number.

Photo courtesy of Shoot2Sell for Douglas Elliman Texas
The home, located in Far North Dallas, is listed at $2.2 million, a nod to Smith's No. 22 jersey number.

Dallas Cowboys team up with Texas university for new MBA program

Manage like Jerry

The University of North Texas and the Dallas Cowboys have teamed up to launch an online MBA program in sports entertainment management.

The 36-credit-hour program, set to start in the upcoming fall semester, is divided into six subjects geared toward sports entertainment management:

  • Sports in the global marketplace
  • Corporate partnerships
  • Analytics
  • Event operations
  • Talent management
  • Consulting

In addition, the MBA program will offer traditional courses in subjects like finance, accounting, marketing, and strategic management. The program also will include three onsite bootcamps at the Cowboys’ headquarters at The Star in Frisco.

“We’ve been fortunate to be involved in a number of different businesses, both directly and indirectly involved in the sport entertainment industry. Through key partnerships, such as our relationship with the University of North Texas, we have found ways to grow the reach of the Dallas Cowboys across a variety of these industries,” Jerry Jones Jr., chief sales and marketing officer for the Cowboys, says in a February 6 release.

The Denton university already offers an MBA in sport, entertainment, and event management, and a bachelor’s degree program in sport management. The new offering “is built specifically for professionals looking to take their next step and move up the ladder in their respective industries,” the university says.

Professionals with at least three years of work experience as industry executives, coaches, or pro athletes can enter the program without taking the GMAT.

“The Dallas Cowboys are standing at the top of the sports business world,” Bob Heere, UNT director of sports management, says in the release. “It’s one thing for business students, especially those interested in sports and entertainment, to have access to a professional team, but our students are learning best practices from the individuals responsible for moving the needle forward in the Cowboys organization.”

“There’s a reason they are the most valuable franchise in the world,” Heere adds. “Their people are driving brand growth year over year, and now they will be helping teach our students how to do the same.”

At least 10 full-time employees of the Cowboys are UNT alumni, and several team staffers are guest speakers or adjunct faculty members at the university.

The new MBA program starts in August 2020. The deadline to apply for admission is June 30, 2020.

Photo courtesy of Dallas Cowboys

Jerry Jones now owns second most valuable sports empire in the world, says Forbes

Financial field of dreams

The Philadelphia Eagles lassoed the Dallas Cowboys on December 22, putting a playoff appearance — and a championship title — farther out of reach for the Cowboys and further jeopardizing the job of head coach Jason Garrett.

Of course, owner Jerry Jones expressed disappointment about the 17-9 loss to Philly. But he could hardly be disappointed about a title he did win recently. On December 18, four days before Dallas’ dismal performance in Philadelphia, Forbes magazine crowned Jones the head of the world’s second most valuable sports conglomerate.

Forbes pegs the value of Jones’ sports kingdom at $6.9 billion. To put that into context, the size of the economy of the European nation of Monaco is a little over $6 billion. As of December 23, Forbes estimated Jones’ net worth at $8.5 billion.

The Cowboys franchise — the world’s most valuable sports team — accounts for $5.5 billion of Jones’ empire, according to Forbes. When Forbes christened the Cowboys the world’s most valuable sports franchise in July 2019, it estimated the team was worth $5 billion.

“Jones has capitalized on the insatiable appetite for all things Cowboys,” Forbes declared last summer.

Jones bought the ’Boys in 1989 for a paltry $140 million.

“Even though he was wealthy by any measure at the time, Jones put his entire fortune into the Cowboys with little margin for error. … The Cowboys have returned the favor, putting billions into Jones’s pocket,” the Investopedia investment website noted in June 2019. “On a landscape where many sports team owners make their fortunes elsewhere and then treat their team as something of a toy, Jones is the rare owner who generates enormous cash flow from the team itself.”

Elsewhere in the sports arena, Jones owns more than one-third of the Legends hospitality and merchandising company, Forbes points out. In addition, Jones reaps sports-related revenue from The Star in Frisco, a 91-acre, mixed-use development whose occupants include the Cowboys’ headquarters and practice facility, restaurants, stores, and a hotel. Furthermore, Jones is majority owner of Complexity Gaming, an esports organization.

The sports industry isn’t Jones’ only source of wealth. He’s a longtime player in the oil and gas business. In 2018, he acquired a majority stake in Frisco-based oil and gas company Comstock Resources Inc. So far, Jones has invested $1.1 billion in Comstock.

By the way, another Texas billionaire leads what Forbes tags as the world’s most valuable sports enterprise, worth an estimated $8.4 billion. Stan Kroenke, who lives on an expansive ranch in West Texas, owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, NBA’s Colorado Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids, Premiere League’s Arsenal soccer club, and other sports holdings.

Photo courtesy of Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys' Jerry Jones scores top spot among wealthiest NFL owners

Financial touchdown

The Dallas Cowboys might be having a so-so season, but owner Jerry Jones belongs to an elite team. Aside from being the fifth wealthiest resident of Texas, he’s tied for third richest among billionaire owners of NFL franchises, a new ranking shows.

The list, published November 10 by CNBC, puts Jones and Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, in the No. 3 spot. Each man’s net worth is estimated at $8.5 billion, CNBC says.

“On a landscape where many sports team owners make their fortunes elsewhere and then treat their team as something of a toy, Jones is the rare owner who generates enormous cash flow from the team itself,” Investopedia points out.

CNBC notes that Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989 for $140 million. In the 30 years since, the team has scored three Super Bowl victories, and its value has soared to $5.5 billion. That makes the Cowboys the most valuable team in the NFL.

“Ever since he purchased the team in 1989, Jones has forced his way into the spotlight whenever possible, making the Cowboys as much a brand as a football team,” TheStreet.com observes.

Jones grabbed headlines in early 2019 for his purchase of a $250 million superyacht that’s as long as a football field and named for his wife.

Jones isn’t the only Texan in the NFL billionaires club.

Stan Kroenke, who owns a ranch west of Wichita Falls, sits at No. 2 on the list. His net worth is estimated at $9.7 billion, CNBC says. His other sports holdings include the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

This year, Kroenke bumped Jones from his No. 4 perch in Forbes’ ranking of the richest Texans, knocking the Cowboys owner down to No. 5.

Rounding out the top 10 among NFL billionaires is Janice McNair, owner of the Houston Texans. Her net worth is estimated at $4 billion. McNair took control of the team following the death of her husband, Bob, in 2018. McNair paid $700 million for the Texans franchise, which is now worth $3.1 billion, according to CNBC.

So, who is the richest NFL owner of all? Scoring the No. 1 spot is David Tepper, owner of the Carolina Panthers, who is worth $12 billion.

Also on the team: Stephen Ross, Miami Dolphins owner (No. 5); Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner (No. 6); Arthur Blank, Atlanta Falcons owner (No. 7); Terry Pegula, Buffalo Bills owner (No. 8); and Stephen Bisciotti, Baltimore Ravens owner (No. 9).

Texas football powerhouse breaks record as world’s most valuable sports team

How 'bout them Cowboys

It appears America’s Team also is the world’s team, at least from a monetary standpoint. A new ranking from Forbes magazine, released July 22, places the Dallas Cowboys at No. 1 among the most valuable sports teams on the planet.

The NFL team that Jerry Jones bought 30 years ago for a paltry $140 million holds the title, for the fourth consecutive year, of the world’s most valuable sports franchise. The current estimated value of the ’Boys: $5 billion. No other sports team has ever reached that milestone. The No. 2-ranked New York Yankees are worth a mere $4.6 billion.

“Jones has capitalized on the insatiable appetite for all things Cowboys,” Forbes declares.

While on-the-field success has fallen short of the team’s goals, its financial success has scored more than a few touchdowns.

Forbes notes that Jones & Co. has generated an estimated $340 million in sponsorship and premium-seat revenue at AT&T Stadium, which opened in 2009. That’s twice as much as any other team, the magazine says.

On top of that, nine of the 50 most-watched sports TV broadcasts in 2018 were regular-season games involving the Cowboys, according to Forbes.

Forbes reports the team’s value rose 4 percent from $4.8 billion in 2018. The franchise’s operating income totaled $365 million in 2017, or $1 million a day. The magazine says that’s a record amount of income for any professional sports team.

Back when Jones purchased the Cowboys in 1989, the team was worth a measly $60 million.

Donald Trump — now U.S. President, but then a New York real estate developer — once boasted that he could have bought the Cowboys for $50 million. But he passed on the deal.

“I feel sorry for the poor guy who is going to buy the Dallas Cowboys,” Trump told The New York Times in 1984. “It’s a no-win situation for him, because if he wins, well, so what, they’ve won through the years, and if he loses, which seems likely because they’re having troubles, he’ll be known to the world as a loser.”

The cash-cow Cowboys aren’t the only Dallas team on this year’s Forbes list.

The NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, owned by Mark Cuban, appear at No. 43 in the global ranking. Forbes pegs the team’s value at $2.25 billion, up 18 percent from 2018. Cuban’s team slam-dunked an operating income of $99 million in 2017.

Five places ahead of the Mavericks are the NBA’s Houston Rockets, tied at No. 38. Forbes estimates the value of the franchise at $2.3 billion, up 5 percent from 2018. Tilman Fertitta’s team netted an operating income of $103 million in 2017.

The NFL’s Houston Texans, meanwhile, are locked in a tie at No. 22. For 2019, the estimated value of the Texans is $2.8 billion — unchanged from 2018. The team, owned by Janice McNair, notched an operating income of $161 million in 2017, Forbes says.

No other Texas sports teams made this year’s Forbes list.

Rounding out the top five behind the Cowboys and Yankees are the Real Madrid soccer team (No. 3, $4.24 billion); Barcelona soccer team (No. 4, $4.02 billion); and NBA's New York Knicks (No. 5, $4 billion).

Forbes bases its valuations on each team's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization, known in business circles as EBITDA. This is a key measurement of a team’s financial performance.

Photo by Victoria Beauray Sagady

Sports Illustrated punts around possibility of Austin scoring an NFL team

On our turf?

Austin’s first big-league sports team — Major League Soccer’s Austin FC — kicks off its premier season in 2021. But, once again, the potential for another major-league sports team, an NFL franchise, is being kicked around.

In a new piece titled “Which Cities Would Deserve the Newest NFL Expansion Team?”, SI.com, the online platform of Sports Illustrated, floats the long-alluded-to idea of bringing an NFL team to Austin, one of the largest U.S. cities without a major-league football franchise. Austin was among several cities mentioned by SI.com as prospective sites for NFL teams. Others were Montreal; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; Oklahoma City; and a few out-of-the-arena-of-possibility candidates, like Anchorage, Alaska.

In making his case for an NFL team in Austin, writer Albert Breer calls the “San Antonio/Austin metroplex” (metroplex?!) the “best unoccupied market” in the U.S. for NFL expansion. Though he acknowledges San Antonio and Austin aren’t viewed as a combined market, he emphasizes they "are just a few Buc-ee’s stops away from each other" while highlighting the growth happening in shared suburbs like New Braunfels and San Marcos.

“With that [population growth] has come a tech boom and economic explosion in the region, smack in the middle of the most football-crazy state in America,” Breer writes. “And while Austin brings the cash and growth, San Antonio and its prominent Spanish-speaking community can serve as a gateway for the league into Mexico.”

Breer notes that Austin fits the mold of a football-fanatical place (hello, Longhorns) with the “population, interest, and wealth to support a team.” In addition, he says, Austin offers the “boomtown business potential” of two U.S. cities that secured expansion teams in 1995 — Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida.

Of course, a key consideration for any NFL team is the money scored through TV rights. On its own, Breer writes, San Antonio ranks as a bigger TV market than four places with NFL franchises — Kansas City, Milwaukee (Green Bay), Cincinnati, and Las Vegas. Combine San Antonio’s TV market with Austin’s, and you eclipse the size of TV markets in the NFL cities of Miami and Denver, he notes. Considering Austin’s meteoric population growth, Breer surmises that the blended San Antonio and Austin TV market will only grow larger.

Breer’s suggested name for the team: the Austin Coyotes. That’s a nod to the 1999 football movie Varsity Blues, which was shot mostly in the Central Texas towns of Coupland, Elgin, and Georgetown. The film centers on a high school football team named the Coyotes in the fictional Texas town of West Canaan.

Breer recognizes the resistance that an Austin-San Antonio team likely would meet from the owners of the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, both of which have big fan bases in Austin and San Antonio. And let’s not forget that a new stadium would need to be built; the price tag for a project like that easily could top $1 billion.

Now, we’ve heard talk before of NFL teams potentially landing in the Austin-San Antonio area — namely the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints. The Raiders are moving to Vegas, the Saints are staying put, and Austin and San Antonio still lack an NFL team.

Over the years, a number of prognosticators have fielded Austin, San Antonio or Austin/San Antonio as possible players in an NFL expansion, but no formal, sustained efforts have been organized to make that happen. At this point, the NFL has not green-lighted expansion beyond the current lineup of 32 teams.

Back in 2015, a study from American City Business Journals awarded Austin a top score of 100 in terms of the capacity to support an NFL team, as well as an NBA, NHL, and Major League Soccer team. The capacity score for Major League Baseball was 56.

San Antonio didn’t fare quite as well in the 2015 study. It garnered a Major League Soccer score of 100, an NFL score of 96, an NHL score of 92, and a Major League Baseball score of 44. San Antonio already has an NBA team, the Spurs.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

2 Hollywood celebrities tried some of Austin’s best sushi this week, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. 2 Hollywood celebrities dined at one of Austin’s best restaurants this week. While most Austinites cozied up at home this week, these famous spouses ate at an award-winning restaurant before a screening of their new film.

2. Austin's flagship Kendra Scott store transforms into mini-Museum of Ice Cream for Valentine's Day. Here's one sweet collaboration you won't want to miss — and it launches this weekend!

3. Texas scores top ranking among best states for dating, says new report. This Valentine’s Day is for the unattached, and it turns out Texas is a pretty great place to be single.

4. This Tesla rental service got me from Austin to Houston, despite my best efforts. A Tesla is a smooth ride, and the UFODrive self-service process ensures a smooth trip — if you pay attention.

5. Here are the top 5 things to do in Austin this weekend. Festive (fictional) funerals, demon barbers, live podcasts, and more reasons to venture out as the weather warms up this weekend.

Documentary Turn Every Page deep-dives into historic publishing partnership

Movie Review

There have been many famous partnerships in the world, from musical ones like Hall & Oates to business ones like Bill Gates and Paul Allen. But one of the more underrated partnerships is that between authors and editors, a relationship that can be mysterious for those not well versed in the process.

The new documentary Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb, takes deep dive into the ineffable bond between Caro, author of The Power Broker and four (and counting) biographies of Lyndon B. Johnson, and Gottlieb, his longtime editor at publishing company Knopf. Caro is notorious for taking his time with his books, releasing only one about every 10 years since 1974.

The film, directed by filmmaker (and daughter of Robert) Lizzie Gottlieb, features a variety of “talking head” interviews from people as diverse as Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker editor David Remnick, and President Bill Clinton, but cedes the majority of its time to hearing from the two men themselves. Both have lived extraordinary lives, but – despite their strong connection – in very different ways.

It would be fair to call Caro “obsessive,” as his career has focused on hefty non-fiction tomes devoted to just two men. The Power Broker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning, 1,300+ page book about urban planner Robert Moses, goes into great detail about how Moses shaped the landscape of New York City, and not always for the better. He has also published four volumes of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, all detailing Johnson’s life before he was president. The yet-to-be-published fifth volume is highly anticipated, to say the least.

In addition to the books of Caro, Gottlieb has edited books by Joseph Heller (famously providing the title number for Catch-22), John Cheever, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton, Bill Clinton, and many others. Astonishingly, he has also had time to write eight of his own books, serve as editor of The New Yorker, program both the New York City Ballet and Miami City Ballet, and more.

Lizzie Gottlieb gives each man plenty of space to tell their own story, with perhaps a slight bias toward her father. Caro is 87 and Gottlieb is 91, yet neither shows any significant mental decline. In fact, their ability to recall the many important moments of their lives and continue to ruminate at a high level is intimidating, and a testament to their intellectualism.

Among the many amazing stories that made the cut of the film are how Gottlieb had to get Caro to cut 350,000 words – or around 700 pages – from The Power Broker just for it to be small enough to be bound, and another about how Caro, in his extensive research about LBJ, discovered just how Johnson literally stole a primary election in his first run for the Senate.

The mark of any good documentary is its ability to engage viewers who may not be intimately familiar with its central subjects. While it’s the professional lives of Caro and Gottlieb that are most notable, the film includes just enough information about their personal lives to make them into full human beings, unlocking what for many have been mysterious figures.

Turn Every Page may be most interesting to those who have read and loved Caro’s books over the past five decades, but there’s enough there to open the film wide for the uninitiated. The lives of Caro and Gottlieb are large, and the documentary provides a great glimpse into how they became that way.


Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb is now playing in Austin at AFS Cinema.

Photo by Martha Kaplan / courtesy of Wild Surmise Productions, LLC and Sony Pictures Classics

The young author and editor in Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb.

Austin arcade plans a trailer park murder, and it's your job to solve the mystery

Is this a game to you?

We would say there’s been a murder at the arcade, but it hasn’t happened yet. Pinballz, an arcade, bar, restaurant, and overall gathering place for Austin nerds, is planning a crime for one guest to commit at its Lake Creek location on February 9, and many others will be implicated. Guests will gather in character for a sit-down Southern meal, learn about the crime, tease out the clues, and eventually apprehend one of their own in “Trailer Park Tragedy,” a murder mystery dinner game.

Dinner is a form of theater in itself, bringing together a cast of southern classics: barbecue brisket and ribs, charro beans, corn bread, potato salad, house salad, and Texas toast. This trailer park is vegetarian friendly, with black bean burgers available to swap out. A recent Halloween event featured “feetloaf” and spider sliders.

“Last Valentine's Day we did a really fun murder at a wedding,” says food and beverage manager Mitch Alloway. “And we kind of wanted to go a different direction with Valentine's Day [this year] … We thought this would be more fun and spunky and goofy. We decided to go trailer park status with a ‘PBR-sponsored event,’ basically. It's going to be barbecue; it’s going to be some fun cocktails … and it'll be a fun time.”

A downloadable game book of the same name and similar details appears in game company Night of Mystery’s catalog, but Pinballz is taking the game to the next level, allowing up to 60 guests and ensuring that everyone has a unique character; not so easy at a friend’s house, but no big deal for the Pinballz staff member who will be hosting the game.

Although it’s a little different than the role-playing games patrons may be used to during the bar’s weekly Dungeons and Dragons sessions — since there is a prescribed series of events and a place to land at the end of the game — this event also gives visitors a chance to get into character and even costume.

“We get a good 80 percent diehard fan base that come in and they deck out, they dress up; They really get into their characters,” says Alloway. “And then there's usually that 15-20 percent that … it's their first time coming in or they're just not sure how to really feel the vibe.”

Characters from the original game sheet include a smooth-talking motorcycle buff, a few harried mothers (including a hairstylist and a grifter), and a security guard who never made it through the police academy but still wants to brag about his position of power. The game includes a disclaimer that offending players is high on its list of priorities.

Regardless of crime solving or method acting prowess, this kind of event exists to get people out of their shells and social circles. With a goal to work on, it’s a rare opportunity in a growing city to connect with others on a night out with none of the herculean sense of initiative it otherwise takes. Alloway guesses that 12-16 people come to every murder mystery, having met as strangers and progressed into friendships through enjoying the event together.

Pinballz, in addition to flooding the senses in the way only an arcade can, is a believer in this kind of night out and puts special effort into planning more throughout the year. There are murder mysteries about once a quarter, and starting at this event, each location will be staggering its mysteries. After the Lake Creek trailer park mystery, Pinballz Kingdom in Buda is hosting a Mardi Gras-themed mystery (February 23), and the original in North Austin is planning an '80s prom theme for April.

“We don't like to drench our calendars with these, because it does take time to plan, coordinate, organize — and we want to make sure that it's not something [that happens] every single week and then it takes away the creative aspect that our team members get involved [in],” says Alloway.

Aside from regularly scheduled murders and D&D adventures (spiced up with dice rolls to find out what $8 drink a patron will receive), the bars are also embarking on more comedy nights, and have started a popular live wrestling series. The chain also organizes whiskey tastings and tournaments for widely-played video games like Street Fighter and Super Smash Brothers.

“We are a very eclectic group of nerds,” says Alloway. “I'm a nerd for food and beverage, and events. We have some nerds that are for drama. We have some people that are nerds for Pokemon. We're basically a massive mob of nerds that have decided how we want to create this venue of like-minded people … where we can kind of take our passions and bring it into one weird unique setting.”

Pinballz will host “Trailer Park Tragedy” at its Lake Creek location (13729 Research Boulevard) on February 9 at 7 pm. Tickets ($35) for the 18-and-up event are available at pinballz.com.