ARLINGTON (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys have been to more Super Bowls than any team, yet they’ve never hosted one. They hope that changes Tuesday when NFL owners vote on whether the 2011 game will be played in Arlington, Indianapolis or Glendale, Ariz.
Formally known as the North Texas bid, the plan was submitted to league officials last month. All that’s left is the personal plea — and who better for the Cowboys to send in for some final-minute heroics than Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach?
Staubach is the leader of the local bid committee, which he proudly says he expects to become the local host committee by Tuesday night.
“I really believe we can enhance the best way a Super Bowl can be hosted,” Staubach said. “I’m 2-2 in Super Bowls. I want to be 3-2. We want to make sure people can look at (2011) as the gold standard.”
Staubach will have 15 minutes to plead his case to league owners.
He’ll talk up the new $1 billion, 100,000-seat stadium that opens in 2009 and the support of all the communities pitching in to make the plan work, from Dallas to Fort Worth and the cities in between. He’ll also likely remind everyone that “America’s Team” has been to a record eight Super Bowls and was the first team to win five.
Then he’ll share his own story, of how he listened to two Super Bowls while in the military, watched the next from the sideline as the Cowboys lost on a last-second field goal, then was the MVP of the following year’s game, in January 1972, leading Dallas to its first title. Staubach won another Super Bowl in January 1978. He also lost two classics to Pittsburgh, a fact he’ll point out to Dan Rooney, the owner of the Steelers then and now.
“I’ve had a Super Bowl history that I’m going to try to bring out into my remarks because it’s been a part of my life, a very instrumental part of my life,” Staubach said, adding that his success in the business world can also be traced to his football fame.
“I have a lot at stake to do this right,” Staubach continued. “I want them to know I want to give back to what football and what the Super Bowl has done for me. This is a chance for me to be the host and make sure it’s the best Super Bowl they’ve had.”
Staubach described himself as “kind of the coach” of the local effort, offering expertise and clout when possible while deferring to others for much of the grunt work. Auto racing mogul Roger Penske had a similar position for Detroit’s 2006 Super Bowl, and Staubach sought Penske’s advice before taking on this challenge.
“I’m really proud of the bid we’ve actually put together,” Staubach said. “Again, you get nervous because you put a lot of heart and effort into it. Like going to the Super Bowl, I’ve experienced some wins and I know it’s no fun when you lose.”
The Dallas-to-Fort Worth aspect of this bid is legitimate. Hotels and other facilities would be used in both big cities, plus more in stadium site Arlington and Irving, home to team headquarters and their current stadium.
Finances aren’t likely to be an obstacle. Told that Indianapolis was going for a $20 million budget, Staubach said that was “right in the range” of the Arlington bid, while noting there are plenty of corporations based in the area likely to be interested in helping the cause.
“We’re not worried about it,” he said.
The economic impact of such an event is measured in hundreds of millions. The pride of doing it right is even more of a lure, which is why Staubach hopes Arlington can be a frequent host like Miami and New Orleans.
“There’s not a city we’ve talked to that doesn’t want to have the Super Bowl back,” he said.
Of course, that takes getting a first one.