Dwaine Caraway Knows What Killed Fair Park: 'The Ugliest Roof in America'

Categories: City Hall

Thumbnail image for fairparkcoliseum.jpg
If only the roof weren't so ugly, Fair Park would thrive, according to Dwaine Caraway, at least.
Why is Fair Park so deserted? It's a question that has baffled city officials forever, but so far no one has come up with a plan to draw people to the 277 acre fairgrounds in months that don't start with "O."

It's a puzzle no longer, because council member Dwaine Caraway, in a lengthy tangent during this morning's City Council meeting, revealed the reason: The roof of the Fair Park Coliseum.

Caraway said he there just this past weekend for the Juneteenth rodeo, and people inside had to fan themselves to keep cool. "There's no reason for people to be fannin'," he said. The air conditioning inside works fine, he said. During the State Fair, you have to put a jacket on it's so cold. No, the problem is the roof. "I don't know why we can't get the roof painted. It is the ugliest roof of United States of America."

He continued:

"I've asked for it since the '90s. I've just asked you to do what you did in the automobile building. Just get the wire from Lowe's or Home Depot, you stretch the wire from one end to the other end, you go to Cloth World and you get some cloth and you string it across. You string it across, and it doesn't cost $10,000 to do this and you can hide the roof, the ugly roof."

The roof is so ugly, in fact, that it drives potential visitors -- and their money -- away from Fair Park and away from Dallas.

"It's just a touch-up that we have to do so that when conventions come to town, then they might want to do a barbecue in the coliseum. It has that type of ambiance, but when planners come to town and [see the coliseum they go elsewhere]. ... That's like a person with bad credit. It goes all around the country. The coliseum is off the list."

Paul Dyer, director of the city's park department, acknowledged that it is "not a pretty roof," but said it would take hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix. Covering the inside with drapes would be more affordable, somewhere in the tens of thousands of dollars, but that's money the cash-strapped department has earmarked for pressing issues at park facilities, like plumbing and structural issues.

Councilwoman Carolyn Davis picked up the thread. "I'm tired of this roof conversation coming up in my district." Why, she asked Dyer and City Manager Mary Suhm, has it not been addressed before?

Dyer and Suhm reiterated the tight budget and mentioned the $85,000 spent on structural repairs on the roof several years ago, but that didn't quite cut it.

"Work with Mr. Dyer to find some way to fix this problem," Davis told Suhm. To which Suhm started to object, then replied with a terse "OK."

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7 comments
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sheilla.greenburn
sheilla.greenburn

They should try roof coatings Perth and see if it will look better. It worked for my roof before so I suggest that they try it or find other alternatives to fix that roof.

Metrocat07
Metrocat07

What an embarasment to Dallas the city council is. It really has become comical.

Metrocat07
Metrocat07

Mr. Caraway, are you that stupid or do you believe everyone else is that stupid?

New Roof
New Roof

First  rule in property ownership. Location, Location Location. But yea, I'm sure the roof is what is killing Fair Park, that and idiots like Carraway that actually think that is what the problem is.

Trigger Mortis
Trigger Mortis

You can get tickets directly through our website at http://www.acderby.com, or you can get them at the door after 3pm the day of the bout. What some folks do is go have a beer at Meridian Room or Amsterdam Bar, or a slice of pizza at Pizza Lounge and take the 5 minute walk over from there to the Coliseum to avoid having to pay parking fees.  There's a bicycle group that even rides their bikes up to the Coliseum.  They even ride their bikes to the after party at Lee Harvey's.  They've never had any trouble. There are security guards and cops all over the fair grounds, so it's relatively safe.  It's not Uptown, but it's not nearly as scary as people make it out to be, especially on bout night.  The place is hopping with people - not bums or panhandlers...real live derby fans!  If I were you, I'd be more afraid of the skaters (or Dwaine Caraway) than bums or panhandlers.

Bonny Townsend
Bonny Townsend

I've heard there was roller derby in Dallas, but I didn't know where they played!  That is great that they are in Fair Park!  I would love to come see a bout sometime.  How do I get tickets? And would I be safe then coming to a bout with me a few of my girlfriends?

Trigger Mortis
Trigger Mortis

Fair Park Coliseum is home of the Assassination City Roller Derby bouts.  This is our second year there.  It's nice and cool inside - people only fan themselves when the action gets heated.  The roof has never been a concern for us.  We've never had any crime issues within the Fair Park walls in the time we've been here.  You guys say you haven't been to Fair Park in forever?  Why not come to our next bout on July 21, watch some derby, drink some beer, and we can raise that ugly roof together!  Tickets at ACDerby.com

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