How America’s fastest-growing city fueled its success with professional sports and a financing scheme so clever that the state of Texas had to make it illegal.

Stephen Jones saw gold in the hay fields. It was 2013, and the Dallas Cowboys’ CEO recognized that his team had outgrown Valley Ranch, the Irving headquarters and practice facility it had called home since 1985. The locker room was cramped, the weight room outdated. There was no indoor field, which meant that on cold or rainy days, the most valuable sports franchise on earth had to trek north to conduct practice at Coppell High School. 

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