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Mark Cuban Says Dallas Mavericks Have Less Than 50% Chance Of Staying In Current Arena

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at November 12, 2021

The Dallas Mavericks have called the American Airlines Center home since 2001. The franchise moved a few miles north to the city-owned arena when it opened, leaving behind the aging Reunion Arena on the west side of downtown. 

This year, the AAC turned 20 years old. It is still a fully operational venue, hosting not just the Mavericks but the NHL’s Dallas Stars and concerts, among other events. But it might not be the Mavericks’ home much longer.

Mavericks Governor Mark Cuban has hinted about a possible relocation of his NBA franchise for years. Now, he’s put a number on it.

“I’d say the likelihood of us staying at the AAC right now is less than 50%,” Cuban told The Dallas Morning News.

The Mavericks current, 30-year lease expires on July 28, 2031. That’s still 10 years away. Yet, as Cuban says, construction needs ramp up the necessity of any relocation timetable. 

“It’s going to take five or six years to build anything,” Cuban said. “So, we’re not that far off from making a decision.”

As far back as 2016, if not further, Cuban was envisioning what a new arena may look like. Back then, he spoke about building a multi-story facility for the Mavericks to play in. 

“My dream—and this is like the long, long, long, long, long, long shot—is to build an arena that’s 20 stories up in the air where every seat has a view of downtown [Dallas], whether that’s north, south, east or west, which would be very cool,” Cuban said during one of his media stair-stepper sessions, as reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Whether that vision comes to fruition is anyone’s guess. However, since purchasing a majority stake in the Mavericks in 2000, Cuban has built a formidable real estate portfolio of properties in Dallas. He owns land in the Dallas neighborhoods of the Cedars, Deep Ellum, Design District and Preston Hollow. 

The Mavericks offices and $70 million practice facility, which Cuban is currently pouring more money into for upgrades and renovation, are in the Design District, across Interstate 35 from the AAC. The Mavs Gaming Hub, housing the NBA 2K League team, is in Deep Ellum. 

Cuban sought and received approval from the Dallas City Council in 2017 to build structures higher than 85 feet in a rezoned subdistrict that includes the Mavericks current practice facility and offices. That may lay the foundation for any future arena in the area.

The reasoning behind Cuban’s continued desire to relocate the Mavericks essentially boils down to one issue: parking. That’s sure to make countless urbanists roll their eyes, but Cuban insists that the continued growth of dense residential and commercial development around the American Airlines Center—a major success story in sprawling Dallas—is bad for the fan experience. 

The arena is easily accessible by both bus and rail. Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Victory Station is a short walk from the AAC and services both DART’s light rail trains and the Trinity Railway Express, connecting Dallas and Fort Worth. 

It will be a decade—at least—before the Mavericks can officially relocate from the AAC, but the writing appears to already be on the wall. After floating the idea for years, it’s becoming clearer that Cuban wants out. 

“I think it’s time,” he said. “You know, the AAC is beautiful and it’ll last forever. There’s just more things I want to do.”

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