The High-Tech Texan Blog

Friday, June 27, 2008

AT&T Calling Dallas New Home

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." So wrote Charles Dickens but AT&T honcho Randall Stephenson has authored the updated version of "A Tale of Two Cities."

The San Antonio-based telecom giant will no longer carry that city's name on press release datelines nor house its top executives. Its corporate headquarters are moving north on I-35 to Dallas in a transition that will begin in a few weeks and be complete by year's end.

It's interesting to read and watch the news coming out of each city regarding this big change. As imagined, San Antonio seems to have been knocked a huge punch to the gut both economically and in esteem. It's nice to have worldwide corporations based in your town. AT&T has been a generous community partner since Southwestern Bell moved there in 1992. The Spurs play in AT&T Center.

That leaves San Antonio with only a few major company headquarters...USAA, H-E-B and Valero, to name the only ones I can quickly think of.

The last thing Dallas needs is another massive company to call the city its home. But downtown Big D is booming with tenants and AT&T will be added to the list.

According to the AT&T press release (still dated from San Antonio) one of the main reasons the company is relocating to Dallas is:

With customers and operations in all 50 U.S. states and 160 countries, air travel to and from Dallas will be more convenient, time efficient and cost effective. The DFW airport is the 3 rd largest in the U.S. and one of the top 6 in the world, offering daily nonstop service to 35 international and 133 U.S. destinations. Additionally, Dallas enjoys a second major airport; Love Field – the 50 th largest U.S. airport offers more than 160 nonstop flights daily.

Being headquartered near leading air transportation facilities is critical to global companies like AT&T as the airline industry continues to consolidate and reduce hubs and flights amid higher fuel prices and industry economic pressures.

Hmmm...IAH, Hobby. Where the hell was Houston during this relo visit? Did we not offer enough tax incentives for AT&T to scoot a bit east down I-10? Bellaire houses a giant AT&T facility on the West Loop South and many more offices around town. Office space is cheap here also plus this is where the Pappas restaurants are headquartered. That's not enough?

Mark my words as you'll read it here first...AT&T will grab (and pay for) the naming rights to the new Dallas Cowboys stadium.

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  • As much as I hate to see AT&T skipping over Houston, Dallas was a logical choice for a corp. HQ.

    Dallas is pretty much the telecom capital of this region. They have all the major regional interconnects up there and, as far as recruiting goes, a lot more telecom industry folks up there, too.

    Unfortunately, it just makes sense.

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