• December 21, 2014

Will Cowboys keep training camp in Oxnard?

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Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 4:30 am

According to Forbes magazine, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones took in $500 million in revenue last season, and his franchise is worth $2.1 billion — more than any other team in any other sport in the world.

The Cowboys are in their third and final year of a contract which binds them to Oxnard, Calif. for approximately four weeks of training camp.

So it’s the hotels, restaurants, bars and other businesses of Oxnard which reap the rewards of thousands of Cowboy fans spending cash while in town watching Romo & Co. run through training practices.

Next year, shouldn’t Jones pick a city in Texas to reap the financial rewards which come along with hosting an NFL training camp?

Shouldn’t Jones pay back, at least a little, some citizens of Texas for their unwavering support of his team?

Hey, what about here in Killeen? Use Leo Buckley Stadium as the main field with plenty of surrounding fields to help the Cowboys’ month-long process of tweaking their roster from around 95 down to 53.

“Killeen is not large enough to support that kind of invasion,” said John Crutchfield, 10-year president of Killeen’s Chamber of Commerce. “To provide all the food support and hotel rooms would be very, very challenging.”

ESPN-Central Texas radio director David Smoak hosted his show from Oxnard last week and returned to Texas on Monday.

“The problem with holding training camp in Killeen is the turf at Leo Buckley,” Smoak said. “The players wouldn’t be interested in it. When the Cowboys used to train in San Antonio, they drew great crowds but the players complained about working out on the turf.”

But what about somewhere else in Texas? Shouldn’t some city in Texas reap these financial rewards?

“Well, the reason the Cowboys have always given for going to California is the climate,” Crutchfield said. “The other question is this: How much support can your area provide? I can assure you that no one can get inside of Jerry Jones’ mind. But they were training in Texas years ago and drew great crowds.

“If Jones were to announce, ‘We’re looking to move our training camp,’ there would be plenty of cities that would bid.”

Besides San Antonio, the Cowboys have trained in Austin, Wichita Falls and Thousand Oaks, Calif.

“The cooler temperature in California is the argument that Jerry Jones always has made for leaving the state,” Smoak said. “Another reason I think he goes to California is to help promote the brand. Interestingly enough, I didn’t notice as large a crowd this year as in years past. I think there’s also the possibility that Jerry simply likes to get away.

“Outside of financial issues, you have to look at winning and losing. Does it matter where they train? I really don’t know what’s best. The Cowboys trained in Austin in the early 90s — and won multiple Super Bowls.”

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