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Dallas mayor leaving the door open for a second professional sports team

Eric Johnson says if they can attract another team, they will.

DALLAS — If Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson was looking for attention when he announced he’s forming a committee to explore all options to attract a second NFL team to play in Dallas, or any professional team for that matter, he got it.

And now that the one NFL team that does call North Texas home is back in training camp, the Dallas Mayor discussed his effort on Inside Texas Politics.

“I was basically letting everyone know that I would be open to having a football team that played in the opposite conference from the Cowboys playing in the city of Dallas as opposed to one of our suburbs,” Mayor Johnson told us. “I’m open to any professional sports team that wants to come to our city and play downtown or play in one of the many spaces in our city that can maybe accommodate professional sports.”

A new report says the Dallas Cowboys are worth $7.64 billion, easily the most valuable franchise in all of American sports. So, it’s not difficult to see why a city would want an NFL team.

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Mayor Johnson stresses, though, he’s been a huge, life-long fan of the Cowboys. And he also told us the city will continue to be proud to be the home of the NBA’s Mavericks and NHL’s Stars.

But if the city can attract more professional teams, Mayor Johnson says they will.

The Mayor also discussed some new public safety initiatives he recently announced, including blight remediation, school partnerships and what’s known on focused deterrence, the goal of which is to change the behavior of high-risk offenders.

The plan also includes focusing on hot spots, where there is repeat violent crime and challenging the liquor license of any business that continuously creates public safety problems.

Mayor Johnson says Dallas is one of the few large cities that has seen its violent crime drop over the last year. And he says the city’s partnership with business owners in entertainment districts such as Deep Ellum will continue to be strong because of these new initiatives, not in spite of them.

“This is not about being onerous or burdensome to anyone who’s obeying the law,” said the Mayor. “But this is about acknowledging the reality of things, which is there are some problem establishments, who, once we put them on notice that we need them to take some corrective action and do some things, if they’re not willing to do those things, or they’re in violation of the law, we’re going to use every tool that’s in our toolbelt to make sure that our residents are safe.

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