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Murchison Stadium Seat Sells for Record $920,000

July 21, 1986

IRVING, Texas (AP) _ A millionaire banker has paid $920,000 for a tiny room with soiled white carpet, a broken light fixture and a single-spigot sink.

But the room does have view: the 45-yard line in Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The box, owned by former Cowboys owner Clint Murchison Jr., was auctioned Sunday, and it took only 10 minutes for the bidding to climb from $25,000 to nearly $1 million.

H.R. ″Bum″ Bright, who bought the Cowboys in 1984 from the financially troubled Murchison, was the successful bidder.

The box, which seats 12 and is set in a ring of glass halfway up the banks of stadium seats, had been Murchison’s since the stadium opened in 1971. It adjoins Bright’s double suite, already used to entertain guests, family and friends.

Bright’s principal competitor among the 10 prospective bidders was James Thompson, a petroleum engineer who said he and his family had bought the same well-positioned seats on the Cowboys’ side of the field since the stadium opened. But they longed for the suites above them.

″We went pretty high, but not high enough,″ said Thompson, who bid $910,000 before deciding to return to his $25 seats.

Another Murchison box on the 15-yard line was bought for $320,000 by J.R. Smith Jr., an independent Dallas oilman, and Edward and Virginia Linthicum. Mrs. Linthicum was the former wife of the late Clint Murchison Sr. and has leased the suite.

Clint Murchison Jr. owned the Cowboys from 1971 until he sold the team just months before creditors closed in with claims of about $400 million. He later filed for bankruptcy.

The auction was not court ordered and was not directly connected to Murchison’s bankruptcy, said auctioneer Michael Rosen.

Although $1 million was once paid for a single suite at the stadium, that figure did not take into account that about a quarter of the amount was in real estate, said Joe Cavagnaro, stadium vice president and general manager.

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