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MLS: Dallas Burn stadium project collapses
February 27th, 2002 12AM



On Tuesday, MLS celebrated the ground-breaking on the Los Angeles GalaxyGs new venue in Carson, Calif. On Wednesday, the league revealed bad news from the stadium-building front. The city council of McKinney, Texas voted unanimously to pcease all negotiations on the projectS that would have provided the Dallas Burn a 22,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium. The Hunt Sports Group had been negotiating with the city of McKinney for six months on behalf of MLS. Earlier this month MLS Commissioner Don Garber predicted that the league was close to successfully completing negotiations on splitting up the $51 million stadium costs. "We're on the 10-yard line, and we just need to take it in for the touchdown," Garber had told the Dallas Morning News. On Wednesday, Lamar Hunt, said: "We, and the American soccer community, were clearly blindsided by this development and shocked at the inexplicable negative turn of events regarding the soccer stadium. It is quite disappointing to have expended this much time on good-faith negotiations which, according to the City's chief negotiator, were very close to agreement only four days ago." The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the city council chose to dedicate funds it had previously earmarked for the Burn stadium to youth soccer facilities. "I think the city council looked at the feasibility study and decided when you talk at pure numbers, bringing people, heads and beds, that youth tournament people stay longer in their [hotel] rooms, more nights, as opposed to a Burn game," developer David Craig, who owns the McKinney land, told the Star-Telegram. "I'm still going to set aside land at Stacy from Central to 121 for what I hope will be a site that the county will take to the voters to vote on. I think if it's taken to the voters, the voters will vote to pass it." Garber said, "We are extremely surprised and disappointed by the action taken by the City of McKinney. We were, and are, prepared to move forward with a stadium and youth soccer complex in McKinney and hope that we still have the opportunity to do so."

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