WinStar Not Gambling With Its Bubble Structure

By Grant Stinchfield
|  Wednesday, May 6, 2009  |  Updated 8:01 AM CDT
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Cowboys' Practice Facility Collapses


WinStar Casino says it has scheduled a comprehensive safety audit of its dome-like structure in light of the collapse in Valley Ranch.

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Winstar Casino Works to Assure Gamblers Facility is Safe

The same Pennsylvania company that built the Cowboys training facility, Summit Structures,also built large sections of Winstar.
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WinStar World Casino is taking no chances with its giant, dome-like structure, which was built by the same company that designed and built the Dallas Cowboys facility that collapsed last weekend.

WinStar spokeswoman Kym Koch said the structure has sustained high winds and severe weather in the past without failure.

"WinStar World Casino's facility is not the same type of structure as the Dallas Cowboys' facility," Koch said. "The WinStar facility has different dimensions and a different profile, which makes it less vulnerable to high straight winds."

But the casino also said it has scheduled a comprehensive safety audit of the structure in light of the collapse in Valley Ranch.

Summit Structures also built a similar practice facility at Texas A&M. A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said the school has had no problems but will re-evaluate its policy on practicing in bad weather in light of the Cowboys collapse.

"Our facility was put to the test this past fall when Hurricane Ike hit the Texas Gulf Coast," Byrne said in a statement. "Our buildings withstood the high winds, and our football team was not in the facility at that time."

In a statement, Summit Structures said its thoughts and prayers are with the families of those were were injured.

The company said its executives have flown to Valley Ranch to conduct their own investigation into what happened.

"The engineering and related approvals for the facility were managed by professional engineers licensed to practice engineering in Texas, both in 2003 and again in 2008 when the building was upgraded and a new roof covering was installed on the facility," Summit Structures said. "We understand there is a great deal of concern and curiosity about what happened on Saturday, but rather than speculate, we are focused on being part of the effort to find answers and assist the team."

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