Reunion Casino?

by , Sep 7, 2006 | 11:16 pm

The wheels are turning, Jerry. The city of Dallas is trying to figure out what to do with Reunion Arena — and next month the economic development committee will make recommendations. One strong possibilty: turning the house that Jim Spanarkle built into a casino. Cool. Awesome. I’d say that turning it into just a poker room would also be fine — but I don’t think those who are horrified by the idea of a full-blown casino would see the difference, nor the possibility for the amazing big events that we could hold.

Thanks, Mulry, for the link!

Of course all this hinges on legalizing casino gambling in some capacity in Texas. At least two of the four gubernatorial candidates are fully behind the idea — Kinky Friedman, and Carole Keeton Strayhorn (who understands Texas’ financial issues plenty well). But that’s not enough … so this is as good a time as any to remind you to make your contributions to the Texas Poker PAC (of which, full disclosure, in case you forgot, I am on its board).

Click below to see the comments left on The Dallas Morning News website about the article … and you’ll get a better sense of the fight ahead.


What should be done with Reunion Arena?

Here’s what other people are saying:
September 7, 2006 01:45 p.m.

Use it for education and the arts. DO NOT — USE IT FOR GAMBLING.

September 7, 2006 09:27 a.m.

Use Reunion for the proposed homeless facility or for our public schools. With a little creativity we can come up with great ideas for its use that support families in Dallas. Do not bring casino gambling to our city! The social cost is too high. We shouldn’t sell the soul of the city for revenue.

September 7, 2006 01:45 a.m.

There has been talk of putting a law school downtown — why not put it there? Or it could be a Wal-Mart Supercenter, as long as the building is nicer than usual, and surrounded by lots of trees.

September 6, 2006 09:17 p.m.

I’m all for a casino!

September 6, 2006 12:42 a.m.

Make it a casino. No point in losing any more Texas dollars to border casinos in Oklahoma or Louisiana, and we already have other forms of gambling such as the lottery, bingo, racetracks, etc. We need to stop being hypocritical and just regulate it well.

September 6, 2006 12:36 a.m.


September 6, 2006 11:21 a.m.

Legalize casino gambling and turn it into a Casino!! The gambling facilities located just across our northern and eastern borders rake in millions from North Texans every month. That revenue could be put to good use right here at home. Opponents will tell you that casinos will bring big problems, just like they did with the Lottery and during wet/dry elections. Guess what? None of their predictions came true. Godless heathens haven’t overrun Dallas.

September 6, 2006 10:54 a.m.

A casino sounds like a wonderful idea, as long as security and parking logistics are carefully addressed and there is plenty of room out front for picketing, screaming Baptists.

September 6, 2006 10:27 a.m.

The idea of a casino is a good idea.It would generate jobs for local residents plus the taxes from it could also help the economy.Alot of people would come.Why should Louisiana and Oklahoma make all that good tax money.

September 6, 2006 10:04 a.m.

It should not be turned into a casino. That’s for sure.

September 6, 2006 09:46 a.m.

tear it down and turn it into a nice park with walking trail and statues commemorating the history of dallas. turning it into a church would be silly. there are too many of them

September 6, 2006 08:55 a.m.

Since the Reunion is not doing the City any good, than I say make it a casino.

September 6, 2006 08:31 a.m.

Reunion should be sold as quickly as possible. If the proceeds from the sale are not sufficient to retire the debt associated with it, the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars, who engineered the development of the American Airlines Center, should be required to make up the difference. The Dallas taxpayers should not be required to shoulder the burden that was imposed by the greedy professional sports teams.

September 6, 2006 08:09 a.m.

Given that there was that Reunion colony originally, why not have it be a satellite location for the arts school instead?

September 6, 2006 07:58 a.m.

The tale of Reunion Arena was written when the City of Dallas paid for the construction of AA Arena while still owing money on Reunion Arena. Poor planning begets poor results.

September 6, 2006 07:34 a.m.

I like the idea of turning it into a casino. I think it could generate revenue for Dallas, and bring some much needed life to the downtown area. I know too many people here in N. TX that often go to other states to spend their money, TX is losing money.

September 6, 2006 02:00 a.m.

Put in a Wal-Mart Supercenter

September 6, 2006 01:50 a.m.

BOOM!!!!! I.E kingdome

September 5, 2006 10:53 p.m.

Reunion Arena should be consigned to and become a part of the Convention Center Complex. It could be called “Dallas Convention Center Arena.” Combined with the convention center hotels which have yet to materialize it would provide Dallas a unique facility with which to draw more varied and larger conventions.

September 5, 2006 09:58 p.m.

Make Ray Hunt buy it back at current land value.

September 5, 2006 09:21 p.m.


September 5, 2006 09:08 p.m.

Casino. Pump some blood into downtown.

September 5, 2006 09:01 p.m.

It would be a shame to destroy a perfectly sound structure. I would look to Houston as a model: The Astrodome is going to become a hotel. The Compaq Center is now Lakewood Church with Joel Osteen and fills up every Sunday. Perfectly good structures with a second lease on life. Both conversions will/were done without any public funding and not controversial in anyway (unlike a casino).

September 5, 2006 08:53 p.m.

I think the city should use the old Reunion Arena to relocate the police property room that was recently reported to be leaking, falling down, and in such bad need of repair. But that makes too much sense for the city of Dallas!

September 5, 2006 06:31 p.m.

Razed and the site put on the market. Get it back on the tax rolls. Private developers are far, far better able to run feasibility analyses than those clods at the city. Same for Fair Park. Just historically designate the neo-classic buildings that are worth keeping and sell the plant for an intense redevelopment to courtyard walking neighborhood residential, retail, office and institutional use with heavy park restrictions. Voila.

September 5, 2006 06:26 p.m.

convert to homeless shelter

September 5, 2006 06:25 p.m.

Having lived in California and Texas, a casino would be amazing for the economy and employment.

September 5, 2006 06:24 p.m.

turn it into a Las Vegas style casino, it would generate revenue, which, could possibly, lower property taxes

September 5, 2006 06:21 p.m.

Blow it up! Offer the property to a developer who will create an entertainment/medium priced hotel venue.

September 5, 2006 06:21 p.m.

KEEP IT! it could be used for high school sports games and graduations! TRADITION!

September 5, 2006 06:20 p.m.

Bring the money that is going to OKlahoma back to Dallas!

September 5, 2006 06:18 p.m.

As Joel Osteen did in Houston, Reunion should be leased (with an option to buy) to some congregation of Christians who seek to expand their form of religion. Start by advertising and leaving info on the cars of people who have welded little metal fish to the back of the vehicle.

September 5, 2006 05:44 p.m.

Save it, let it hold concerts and other events. Dallas is missing out on concerts being held at Nokia and Starplex/Smirnoff is too hot 90% of the time.

September 5, 2006 05:31 p.m.

Tear it down and build a parking lot

September 5, 2006 05:00 p.m.

O.K. the city wants to spend tax money to build a city run homeless shelter. Wait a minute doesnt the city already have a large facility which could be converted into a very comfortable day-house/homeless shwelter without spending more of the taxpayers money? Call it “Reunion House” .

September 5, 2006 04:54 p.m.

Turn into the world’s biggest swimming pool

September 5, 2006 04:52 p.m.

It should be sold. The City of Dallas is the only agency on Earth that could find a way to mess up operating a casino. Business should be left to businesses not governments.

September 5, 2006 04:49 p.m.

A gambling casino is a great idea. It will generate the kind of revenue that Dallas is looking for.

September 5, 2006 04:47 p.m.

A Hotel Casino would be a great idea. Why should the Revenue go to Oklahoma and Shreveport when it could go to Dallas. After all, most of their customers are from the DFW and surrounding areas.

September 5, 2006 04:44 p.m.

turn it into a residential complex. it has access to trains and parking, located downtown. developers pay huge sums for real estate on or near light rail.

September 5, 2006 04:33 p.m.

The city should demolish it and either sell the land to a developer to build something of use or use the land for a park or another public use value.

September 5, 2006 04:32 p.m.

Why just let it sit there collecting dust (and debt). Convert it to some form of usable space. Certainly some conventions and concerts could fit the bill there especially with the Stars and Mavs taking up AAC half the year. If that doesn’t float then plow it under and use the space for shops, restaurants, small park, amphitheatre, etc. It’s a large space near downtown. Someone could put it to good use, for a price of course.

September 5, 2006 04:27 p.m.

Turn Reunion Arena into a casino. Don’t you see how many Texans take their money and gamble in Louisiana and Oklahoma?

September 5, 2006 04:19 p.m.

I think it should used for smaller conventions and concerts that cannot afford of fill up AAC. It is a great arena. I think the DISD or Dallas County Schools and Colleges should take it over for High School and College Games. I would hate to see it torn down. AND please no GAMBLING.

September 5, 2006 04:16 p.m.

I like the idea of a casino coming in or some type of entertainment would be nice.

September 5, 2006 04:15 p.m.

The city should convert it to an DISD facility for all sprots events and discontinue activties at sprague and other facilities used by DISD for events or convert it to a Hotel.

September 5, 2006 04:14 p.m.

Since it’s not old enough to be a landmark, I say tear it down, and then redevelop the property. If it’s sitting there empty, it’s not worth keeping.

September 5, 2006 04:12 p.m.

mini central park more similar to millenium park in chicago

September 5, 2006 04:09 p.m.

Reunion Arena should be made into a casino, with a state of the art hotel to match. Dallas would attract all kind of convention business with that!!

September 5, 2006 04:03 p.m.

Turn it into a casino. Why should these other states make money off their casinos from those of us here in north texas. The money should come back to us texans not to Louisiana and Oklahoma

September 5, 2006 04:03 p.m.

I don’t think I would put a casino downtown. The traffic is already a nightmare. The ball in the sky is a landmark for the city of Dallas and should stay. I would tear down the arena and build office space all the lawyers who crave a highrise with a view.

September 5, 2006 04:02 p.m.

Convert to a large downtown shopping mall with gas stations, restuarants, amusements, etc. This will be needed by the many new residents expected in new AA arena neighborhood.

September 5, 2006 04:01 p.m.

I recommend a casino. All the Texas money is going to Oklahoma and Louisiana – mine included! Providing the money from the casino for the state is used for education only – not put in a general fund that is used for God knows what!!!! Of course we would never know if it was used properly or not. Our state should post a statement of earnings from it and what has been spent on education.

September 5, 2006 04:01 p.m.

We should pursue doing what Houston did and sell the old arena to a megachurch. Pro wresting arena? Host the Big 12 and NCAA track championships? Anything but gambling.

September 5, 2006 04:00 p.m.

It should be used for graduation ceremonies, monster truck rallies, success seminars, and Promisekeepers.

September 5, 2006 04:00 p.m.

Turn it into a major league casino–a convention, hotel and downtown draw.

September 5, 2006 03:59 p.m.

The city would do well to sell to Hunt. Contrary to popular opinion, bringing casino gambling into Dallas will only multiply current problems, not resolve them. Hunt will likely prove to be much more resourceful and adept at finding someone who will bring events to Reunion than the city is.

September 5, 2006 03:58 p.m.

Casino – losing too much money to Okla and Lou

September 5, 2006 03:57 p.m.

Make the area into a Casino. That way all of Texas money isnt going north and east of the state.

September 5, 2006 03:55 p.m.

Tear it down and put in a park. Whomever had the idea of making it a casino is nuts. The last thing Dallas needs is a casino.

September 5, 2006 03:55 p.m.

Pleeeeeeeeeease no gambling. We have enough problems.

September 5, 2006 03:54 p.m.

torn down but under no circumstances turned into a casino

September 5, 2006 03:53 p.m.

Turning reunion into a gaming facility make perfect sense and will relieve those of us with increasing property tax bills! I enjoy gambling from time to time but would love to keep my money in Dallas vs. Las Vegas or Louisiana not to mention how it would help the tourist business!

September 5, 2006 03:52 p.m.

They should tear down the AAC and move the Stars and Mavs back to Reunion. It was a lot more fun to sit in the upper level at Reunion than the AAC. We were all in it together as opposed to the class mentality at the new arena.

September 5, 2006 03:52 p.m.

Why not have it serve the community as a emergency shelter, community center, subsudized ‘market’ hall something to benefit the citizens. Gambling is not a benefit…

September 5, 2006 03:50 p.m.

It should be converted into the city’s primary concert venue. Smirnoff is the facility that the city should be considering ridding themselves of. Reunion is climate-controlled and dark, instead of facing directly into the west sun at 8 p.m.

September 5, 2006 03:49 p.m.

The Reunion can be used to expand Parkland Hospital, provide shelter for the homeless or victims of natural disaters, extend city/county offices, provide a “true” central location for colleges/continuing education, or turn it into a deluxe office complex which will attract companies to the Dallas area.

September 5, 2006 03:48 p.m.

They should tear it down and build a parking lot.

September 5, 2006 03:48 p.m.

Gambling Casino, yea, I would like to see that. Close to the West End, Convention Center & Downtown, it would be a great shot in the arm for all those locations. Stop the traffic going to Oklahoma & Keep the tax $$$ here in Dallas. Let’s face it, people are going to gamble, driving to Oklahoma or Shreveport would make no sense if we had 1st class facilities here in Dallas

September 5, 2006 03:47 p.m.

Convert Reunion into a Multi-Purpose Sports Arena where local youth and adult teams can play indoor soccer, basketball, batting cages, bowling, video games, movie theatre, restaurants, and selling sporting equipment.

September 5, 2006 03:46 p.m.

What a shame that a wonderful arena like Reunion has been left to rot. It should have been downsized to a smaller venue to keep events from using Smirnoff (horrible) or Nokia (remote and expensive). I like converting it into a casino AND hotel combo. This would get the convention center its onsite hotel and give downtown conventioneers a place to go since the West End is dead.

September 5, 2006 03:46 p.m.


September 5, 2006 03:46 p.m.


September 5, 2006 03:45 p.m.

Casino idea is fantastic!

September 5, 2006 03:43 p.m.

Tear it down and build a park. Since the Dallas city council wants to build fancy overpriced bridges instead of the promised parks along the Trinity River, they need to give us a new park somewhere else.

September 5, 2006 03:43 p.m.

I think it would be a great downtown convention center, especially with the Reunion Tower being adjacent to it. Also, perhaps it could be made into a university campus.

September 5, 2006 03:43 p.m.

Why can’t it become part of the convention center and replace the old cc arena? If not that, sell it to a Church, someone that could use it…not a casino. Why didn’t the DISD buy it and use it for their graduations, basketball games, etc.?

September 5, 2006 03:39 p.m.

The opposite of whatever Laura Miller thinks is best.

September 5, 2006 03:37 p.m.


September 5, 2006 03:37 p.m.

turn it to a high school basketball facility and fine arts center for all the middle schools/high schools in Dallas

September 5, 2006 03:37 p.m.

The site needs to be sold and turned into something that creates revenue for the city. This will in turn help with the revival of the downtown area.

September 5, 2006 03:37 p.m.

A Casino would be a perfect use for the building.

September 5, 2006 03:34 p.m.

Casino.. Just like the okies..

September 5, 2006 03:34 p.m.

Anything but a casino

One Comment to “Reunion Casino?”

  1. DanM

    ***Use it for education and the arts. DO NOT — USE IT FOR GAMBLING.***

    OK, I just had to comment on one of these comments … the one above. Excuse me, ma’am, can you say uh-duh? Assuming that Reunion would not make a great High School Art Museum, don’t you realize that gambling in Texas would and could be used exactly for that — education?