New Stadium a Non-Profit Magnet?

by Joy Donovan on September 7, 2009

Even though it’s really not at all my problem, I’m worried about some of the non-profits.

Several of them are holding major fundraisers at JerryWorld, I mean, Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Some are banking on the stadium to be a big enough draw that no speaker will be necessary, and that has me wringing my hands for them.

Without really trying very hard, I’ve visited JerryWorld, I mean, Cowboys Stadium three times already. I’ve seen the giant big screen in the sky, shelled out for the high-priced stadium food, test-driven the bathrooms. (The bathrooms, by the way, are just not up to snuff. You can have the biggest TV screen known to mankind, but did they really install those old-fashioned, push-here faucets? No high-tech hands-free type? What MAN decided this? I digress.)

Labor Day, a holiday that should be devoted to swimming one last time and eating too many burgers, marked the day in 2009 that eight high school football teams got the chance to play on Jerry’s new turf. For $15, the merely curious, the true-blue fans and the bored could have spent all day there, wandering from floor to floor while Trojans and Panthers tore up the gridiron. The City of Arlington had its day, too, this summer when those waiting to see what their tax dollars built could get a glimpse inside.

Then there’s the college football opportunities. My beloved Sooners already spent an unfortunate evening there, and Texas A&M will play the Arkansas Razorbacks Oct. 3. And let’s not forget the groupies who will be there to check out U2 Oct. 12.

So if non-profit organizations were counting on the curiosity factor pulling people into their fall fund-raising luncheons, that just worries me. I want the causes to do well, but if you forego a speaker because the new stadium is your magnet, I’m a little anxious about that outcome. But if you were just looking for a new place to try instead of the normal hotel ballroom, then maybe it’ll work out fine.

In the meantime, I’m thinking maybe some major new marketing is in order…or maybe give attendees the chance to use the Cowboy cheerleaders’ bathroom. Let’s see if they’ve got better sinks.

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