Reunion Arena Faces Demolition

The Dallas City Council is considering a land-swap deal with a local company that could lead to the demise of the city’s 19,000-capacity Reunion Arena.

The 25-year-old facility’s fate has been up in the air since the opening of American Airlines Center in 2001. The newer arena has first right of refusal for events, which hasn’t left much for Reunion, according to The Dallas Morning News.

At this point, several city leaders have reportedly suggested that it’s a question of when — not whether — Reunion will be demolished. The former jewel of downtown Dallas has become a financial drain on the city, running up an annual debt of about $1.3 million in recent years, the News said.

The land-swap agreement the council is considering with billionaire oilman Ray Hunt would turn over the rights to the arena in exchange for a parking area near the Dallas Convention Center.

A recent proposal would have city officials lease the arena from Hunt for $1 per year until it is torn down in 2008. The city would also partner with Dallas City Limits mogul Billy Bob Barnett to create an entertainment complex at the site in the future, the paper said.

The proposed complex would include an outdoor festival area for up to 27,000 people along with an indoor stage for live music.

Gwen Stefani and Black Eyed Peas are scheduled to perform at Reunion Arena November 11th followed by a run of shows for Disney on Ice.