"Even if you've never been to Texas Stadium, if you follow pro football, this sparkling palace home will feel familiar. The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the NFL's most popular and most-televised teams, frequently beaming their stadium into many of the nation's living rooms.
The hole in the roof is the most striking difference with other NFL facilities. The truth of the old joke that the hole is there "so God can watch his favorite football team play" has not been confirmed, but the partial roof combines an outdoor atmosphere with an indoor environment and does a decent job of protecting fans from inclement conditions. The stadium is clean, well-maintained and plush, with few, if any, bad seats; the proximity of the stands to the field generates intimacy on game days. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, the Ring of Honor around the facade and the enormous support generated by Cowboys fans all create a bigger-than-life, Lone Star State atmosphere.
Texas Stadium crowds once were criticized because upscale fans in fur coats and three-piece suits seemed to be "too cool" to cheer, but in recent years Cowboys fans have become younger and more boisterous. Since Jerry Jones' purchase of the team in 1989, the Cowboys have gone to great lengths to accommodate this new generation, which explains why the old Cowboys Band has been replaced with blaring, up-tempo music and why Texas Stadium, long distinguished as a "dry" stadium, began selling beer and wine coolers in 1993."
As written by The Sports Staff of USA TODAY in "The Complete Four Sport Stadium Guide" for Fodor's Sports
How To Get To Texas Stadium
From DFW Airport: Depart airport through the NORTH EXIT. Move into the far right lane and bear to the right to Highway 114 East (to Dallas). Follow Highway 114 East approximately 10 miles. Exit onto Highway 183 West (Fort Worth). At this point, Highway 183 West is an access road that circles Texas Stadium. Follow the road as it curves and enter Gate 3.
From Love Field: Depart the airport and turn right (West) on Mockingbird Lane. Follow Mockingbird to Highway 183 West. (Note: Highway 183 and I-35E run parallel at this point. Highway 183 is the second freeway). Turn right at the stoplight to enter Highway 183. The highway splits at Texas Stadium, bear to the left on Highway 183 West (to Fort Worth). Move quickly into the right lane and exit at Loop 12 North. The access road curves around the stadium. Enter Gate 3.
Jason C Ong writes: The Cowboys played in the Cotton Bowl before moving into Texas Stadium in 1971. Texas Stadium is the only stadium with a hole in the roof (which is actually very annoying and pointless in my opinion). The Stadium also has a Ring of Honor of players and coaches that goes around the stadium.
November 19, 1996 - The entire end zone of the Dallas Cowboys home stadium in Dallas can be yours for $100,000, but you can buy a 6-inch star for only $24.95. The owners of the Cowboys are selling pieces of turf used at the stadium from 1981 until the end of the last season.
The irresistible pitch, according to a press release issued by the owners: "Women in white boots, short shorts and frilly cowgirl outfits kicked up their heels on it. Grown men laughed, cried, swore, played, prayed, sweated, ran, passed, slipped, fell, froze, fought and even bled on it. And legends were created on it."
Elliott Minardi writes: You mentioned that you felt the hole in Texas Stadium was pointless in your opinion. I agree, but I have a theory on why it was built that way. You see, no NFL team with a completely domed stadium has won a Super Bowl while in that certain stadium. So, maybe, they built it with that in mind, so that they have the protective dome, with a small open
portion so the Cowboys could win some championships and not fall victim to the "domed curse". Just a theory!
Mike Lowe writes: From what I recall, Texas Stadium was conceived under the pretext that football was meant to be played in an outdoor environment. As a gesture to the fans, a roof was put in place to protect them from the elements. This allows the teams to deal with whatever weather conditions exist while eliminating the wind as a factor. Also the front rows of the lower sections are elevated at approximately 10 feet at the 50 yard line, to approximately 15 feet in the end zones. With little or no wind in the stadium, preseason and September games can become unbearably warm by the second half.
October 18, 1998 Mike Lowe wrote: When I was in Irving I toured Texas Stadium and recall the tour guide saying the parking lot was used as a drivein theater during the off season. I can't seem to find any such information on any of the web sites to back up this fact. All my friends think I'm crazy when I tell them this. If you can help with any information It would be greatly appreciated.
To which Pooker@webtv.net responds: Evidently when Texas Stadium was built there was not as imaginative uses for the facility on a year round basis as there is now ..... as I recall there were 3 screens around the stadium.
And email@example.com also responds: Regarding the drive-in movie in the parking lot ...it has been gone for many years,but I do remember the screens were folded down when not in use. But there was 3 screens all around the stadium.
On April 7, 1999 Rod Nunley wrote: The hole in the roof is evidence of an unfinished design. The original plan called for a retractable roof, which was quite a radical concept in the late 1960s. However, the idea was abandoned on the basis of engineering and financial problems. But the rest of the design was implemented, resulting in Texas Stadium as we know it.
The effect of the roof is actually no different from that of many baseball parks. Many ballparks have a roof over the reserved seats, but not the bleachers. In your mind, just extend the roof all the way around, then elongate the stadium for football, and presto! Texas Stadium's design with a hole in the roof.
Renovations associated with new luxury box construction in the 1990s has eliminated the gap between the roof and the stands, through which a breeze could blow. This makes Texas Stadium hotter early in the season, but warmer toward the end.
On May 30, 1999 Ryan Paige wrote: In your user comments section on the Texas Stadium page, there is a quote from one Elliot Minardi who puts forth a theory that the hole in the roof of Texas Stadium was designed that way to avoid the "Dome Curse" (the fact that no domed team has ever won a Super Bowl). Of course, at the time Texas Stadium was conceived, there was only one Domed Stadium in the NFL (Astrodome) and that stadium had only hosted an NFL team for a very short time, hardly enough time to have people think about a "curse" of domed teams.
On April 21, 2000 Norman Sewell wrote: Texas Stadium is the best of both worlds. Players play in the elements and the fans sit in (nearly) indoor comfort. The only thing really missing is the lack of wind and grass. Wind would be helpful to the fans melting in the late summer, early autumn heat. But by November, your glad the wind gusts stay to the outside concourse areas. Seating behind the players benches is very spacious, while seats in the corners and end zones can be a tight squeeze. Especially if two grown men are sitting next to each other. The old scoreboard on the north-east end has been replaced by a Miller Light sign. (Not sure when) When the scoreboard was in use, it was hard to see because the brainiacs who designed the facility didn't figure out that the harsh, Texas sun glaring down on it would render the lights in the scoreboard almost useless to look at. (Especially when your eyes had adjusted to the shaded parts of the stadium.) At 29 years old, this stadium still looks modern with all the amenties of today's newer stadia. Plenty of luxury suites, plenty of concessions, and almost enough rest rooms, (On the south side, they converted a women's restroom into a bar). As for the drive-in movie theater... yes, I have a great overhead picture of the entire facility including it's three screens. The projection house/concession stand is now the Cowboys Pro Shop. You can still see evidence of the steel poles that held the sound speakers (on the ground) all across the parking lot on the south-east side. And the three-sided Marlboro Man sign out front served a purpose... It advertised the three different movies showing at Texas Stadium.
On October 12, 2001 Patrick Magill, AIA wrote: FYI - The Architects for this facility currently is Magill Architects, Inc. ( formerly Morey & Magill, Inc. and W.A. Morey Associates). Mr. Morey was the original architect/planner. Magill Architects has continued that effort with the Dallas Cowboys and City of Irving to add, in 1985, a new level of skyboxes of 118 suites and in 1993 added another level which included 69 luxury suites and relocation of Press Box with an additional 21 suites added in 1996.
Texas Stadium officially introduced Luxury Suites to the main stream of stadium design with 176 suites as part of the original design. The retractable roof concept was achievable and was designed but did not proceed due to wishes of the team owner. Financing was also unique as a prelude to what is today called PSL's. It was totally financed using this method.
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
December 30, 2001 - One of the most recognizable venues in all of the National Football League, Texas Stadium is home to the Dallas Cowboys, and has been the site of some of the most memorable games in NFL history. Indeed, the history and aura of this franchise permeates from everywhere, and it is the mystique of entering the hallowed halls of "America's Team" which makes this experience unique and memorable.
|Texas Stadium Ranking by USRT|
|Fan Support|| 5|
|Concourses/Fan Comfort|| 3|
|Bonus: Tailgate Scene|| 1|
|Bonus: Cowboy Cheerleaders|| 2|
|Bonus: Distinctive Roof|| 1|
|Total Score|| 54|
Getting to the Venue
Texas Stadium is located about 12 miles west of downtown Dallas, in the suburb of Irving, and sits on a triangular parcel bordered on each side by expressways. Access to the stadium is via expressway only, with multiple entrances and exits from all directions. Parking directly outside the stadium is reserved for disabled permit holders and premium ticket holders, and general parking ($12) is located on the other side of the expressway, with large pedestrian walkways taking you onto the stadium property.
Outside the Venue
Wellllll.... if you like looking at truck storage depots, then the parking lots at Texas Stadium are just right for you! For a gleaming and shiny city as Dallas, their stadium sits in a grey and desolate part of town. But with large parking lots and no place else to go, combined with the great traditions of Cowboys football, one would think that this place would rank high in the league in terms of tailgating and pre game parties. WRONG! Until two years ago, the City of Irving had ordinances banning open flames, open containers, etc., thus quashing anyone's picnic plans. Though these prohibitions have since been lifted, Cowboys fans are just now getting into the joy and spirit of the pregame picnic and parties. We were really disappointed at the scene here.
The anticipation builds as you make your way to the stadium, kind a grey and black monolith with Cowboy blue accents and small "Texas Stadium" archways at each entrance. Murals of the great Cowboys legends - Landry, Staubach, Aikman, and Irvin among others adorn each side of the building. That anticipation was tempered, however, as fans were subject to extensive searches prior to being allowed entry. These searches included a pat down, opening all bags, removing items from pockets, and a hand wand metal detector comb over. Needless to say, this meant long delays getting inside. The times we live in.......
The stadium is two levels, each served by its own concourse. Multiple escalator towers whisk you up and down, and although concourses are fairly spacious on the lower level, the upper level is much narrower. Add the lines to the concessions and the restrooms, and navigating the building becomes a cumbersome chore. Access to the suite levels is via private elevators, which also take you to the Stadium Club restaurant.
The Seating Bowl
One of the most cherished and recognizable, the seating bowl is partially covered by a huge and distinctive roof, leaving the seating areas covered and only the playing surface exposed to the elements. One would think that they could have just gone ahead and domed the entire building, but quite frankly, this sort of open/domed configuration is what gives Texas Stadium its unique flavor. Furthermore, ask a Texan and a Cowboys fan if they wished the stadium were domed, their reply would be "of course not. The roof has to be open so that God can keep an eye on His team".
The bowl is configured in two levels, with blue and silver colored seats throughout, and in a unique twist, each seat comes with its own built in seat cushion and storage pouch underneath... pretty cool! Between the lower and upper levels are two levels of suites, and yet another two levels high above the upper level. There are four scoreboards here, one hanging in each corner. Two of them are jumbotron video boards, while the other two are dot matrix boards showing game information. A scrolling out of town scoreboard runs in one end zone, and there are a few stationary ad panels tucked into open spots around the seating bowl.
With over 380 suites spanning four levels, the Cowboys enjoy a huge advantage over other teams around the league, in that they do not have to share these revenue dollars with the visiting teams. In one end zone is a Stadium Club restaurant, offering a buffet and table seating with a view of the field. Single game admissions can be bought to the Club for $10, plus, of course, the cost of the buffet and refreshments.
Ballpark dreck with chicken, chicken and more chicken, along with sausage on a stick. Seriously, the chicken burger seems to be the concession staple here at Texas Stadium. The Miller Lite Red Zones are beer gardens located in several corners of the concourses. "The Corral" is a food and entertainment area located outside gate 8 of the stadium, and is open before and after the game. This tented area offers food, drink, live musical entertainment, and is adjacent to the team's Pro Shop, offering Cowboys souvenirs and merchandise.
The Cowboys won five Super Bowl championships, and their flags hang proudly along the rim of the roof entrance high above the playing field. Of course, two of those flags are ones we Bills fans want to forget about, as the Cowboys thrashed the Bills in Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII. In addition, 11 names are displayed proudly on the Cowboys "Ring of Honor" which one can see along the far sideline. For a team with all their accomplishments, these names come from Cowboys teams of the 60 and 70s, for the most part.
Touchdowns, Extra Points, Fumbles
Fumble to the late arriving Dallas fan. We left our seats for a concession run mid way through the second quarter, and looking outside we could see an ocean of people still making their way to the park, cars snaking along the expressway ramps, and of course, those huge lines at the security checkpoints.
Touchdown we are not big fans of cheerleaders, but the Cowboys cheerleaders really stand out as the best anywhere. The outfits, the music and the routines are all well presented. The 32 member konga line done to a rockettes medley to open the game was outstanding!
Extra Point The karma of the Ultimate Sports Road Trip struck again, as a Cowboys team that should have been running for the bus derailed the high flying 49ers by a 27-21 score and it wasn't that close. This marks the 13th consecutive time that we walked out the building with happy home team fans. And no... Terrell Owens did not get a chance to spike the ball on the center logo!
Touchdown to the Cowboys who operate a free shuttle ride from the outer reaches of the parking lots to the pedestrian bridge. A good way to cut the walking distance by more than half.
Extra Point Our search for hallowed grounds continued as we visited the Fair Park neighborhood of Dallas to visit the first home of the Dallas Cowboys, the historic Cotton Bowl. Of course, THE GAME was set for New Years Day between Arkansas and Oklahoma, but our schedule did not permit us to make the game.
Not a gleaming, shiny venue with all the bells and whistles and creature comforts... not a cool downtown setting... in fact anything but. Texas Stadium, however, is an institution, and that is in a state where football is king. We expected a 70s style stadium with its dated look and feel, but, despite a losing season, we were appreciative of the electricity and excitement of these Cowboys fans who have a sense of their place in history and their scheme of things in pro football (at least for those who got in by kickoff!). There is some rumbling for a new stadium. We ask WHY? This stadium is still functional, still draws respectable crowds, and the premium seat revenue can buy a whole field of oil wells. Not the best, not the worst, but somewhere in the middle of the pack.
COWBOYS FANS GET RETURN ON BONDS
January 8, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Dallas, Texas - Fans may have said farewell to Texas Stadium, but for those who helped
finance the famous icon, the closing of the stadium brought another milestone.
That's when the bonds fans bought to finance the stadium's construction reached their maturity
Ð 41 years to the day after they first went on sale.
"I got them right away," Eugene Campbell of Dallas said of the two stadium bonds he bought
Bond holders will get about $300 for each bond - meaning they profit about $50 after more than
40 years. Campbell said that's not much of a return, but he'll be happy to collect anyway.
"They served their purpose and I'll get my money," he said.
Thousands of Dallas Cowboys faithful, some of them begrudgingly, bought the bonds in the late
1960s and early 1970s. The instruments secured fans the right to buy season tickets, funded a new
stadium for the Cowboys and brought a professional football team to Irving without the use of
The bond sales raised about $31 million. The stadium cost about $35 million. When the team
vacates, the city will retain the land and the stadium. The fact that tax monies weren't used on
either is something that still delights city officials who helped bring the team to Irving in the first place.
"It's been a good run," said Robert Power, who was Irving's mayor when the team announced
their move to the city in the late 1960s. "I'm pleased with what we did."
Campbell said he'd be interested to know what funds the city will use to pay back bondholders.
Irving's Web site directs Texas Stadium bond holders to contact the Bank of New York Mellon.
The team, however, didn't issue bonds. It issued personal seat licenses, but those were only
good as long as the Cowboys played in Texas Stadium. Personal seat license holders got the first
opportunity to buy licenses at the new stadium, but cannot redeem the options they bought for
"You do not get any money back from purchasing the seat license," said Rich Dalrymple, the
Cowboys' public relations director.
While the bond system was considered an innovative financing method at the time, the expense
of current stadiums makes such a set-up cost prohibitive. The new Cowboys stadium in Arlington,
for instance, is expected to cost $1.1 billion. Arlington has issued about $300 million worth of bonds backed by sales tax revenues. The Cowboys will pay the rest.
The bonds, like the team and Texas Stadium, were woven into the social fabric of North Texas.
Bonds became prized possessions regardless of where the seats were or how the Cowboys did on
the field. They were so valuable that they even sparked battles among couples headed for divorce
Campbell said he held on to his season tickets until about four years ago. He said he's glad he
bought the bonds, even though he wasn't initially pleased with the plan. (Dallas Morning News)
SPONSOR MAY BE FOUND FOR TEXAS STADIUM IMPLOSION
November 5, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Irving, Texas - Texas Stadium may get one more opportunity to generate revenue before being
turned to dust. Reports say a food company wants to sponsor the implosion of the venue next year
as part of a nationwide marketing campaign.
An agreement with the undisclosed company could be brought to the City Council by
December. The council recently agreed to pay Weir Bros. $5.8 million to demolish the stadium,
where the Cowboys played from 1971 to 2008. The team is in the middle of its inaugural football
season at Cowboys Stadium, a $1.15 billion replacement venue in Arlington.
Representatives from the council, Irving City Hall, the convention and visitors bureau, chamber
of commerce and Weir Bros. will be involved in planning the event. A firm date hasn't been
selected, though officials said the most likely time frame is mid- to late February. Officials are still
working through other details such as staging areas, viewing areas and parking.
Irving officials had discussed auctioning off the rights to push the plunger and giving the
money to local charities. For decades, the stadium was an indirect source of fundraisers. Many
groups made money working concession stands on game days. Others would be given tickets for
suites that they would auction off to the public in fundraisers.
City officials said they still want to benefit local groups. They said that if the national company
holds a contest for the implosion, its sponsorship fees would be given to local charities.
Producers from a number of television and cable channels and programs have approached the
city with an interest in filming the now-shuttered stadium and its destruction.
Irving wants to turn the Texas Stadium site, bounded by four major thoroughfares, into a new
development project. Until a viable project comes forward, the city is leasing the land to the Texas Department of Transportation as a construction project staging area.
KRAFT FOODS TO SPONSOR STADIUM IMPLOSION
January 7, 2010
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Irving, Texas - Kraft Foods is hoping for pull off a cheesy event this spring when it sponsors the implosion of Texas Stadium. Kraft will pay Irving a $75,000 sponsorship fee prior to the demolition for charities selected by the city. The company will also provide $75,000 worth of Kraft products for local charities of its choice. Next week, Kraft will launch a national essay contest for children as part of its promotional campaign, said Maura Gast, executive director of the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau. The winner will get to trigger the detonation at the public demolition.
"Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is thrilled to have received the Irving City Council's approval and we are looking forward to celebrating the historical significance and explosion of Texas Stadium. We will be sharing our full plans in the coming days," Joanne Freed of Hunter Public Relations said in a written statement on behalf of the company.
Because asbestos is still being removed from the stadium, officials have not set a date for the demolition, said Laurie Kunke, Irving's director of communications.
However, the sponsorship agreement stipulates that the implosion must occur between March 14 and April 18 or the contract will terminate and Irving must refund the sponsorship fee.
The city plans to invite everyone ever associated with the stadium to the spectacle. That includes players, politicians and even decades worth of sportswriters.
The sponsor had been veiled in secrecy because Kraft didn't want its competitors to know its likely advertising theme for next year.
The implosion, which will cost the city $5.8 million, will be captured by webcams set up around the stadium where the Cowboys played from 1971 to 2008.
Irving is expected to gain about $1 million worth of public exposure through the food company's national advertising campaign.
When the structure is reduced to rubble, the city intends to redevelop the site as a mixed-use development along the DART line.
January 14, 2010
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Texas Stadium will bite the dust shortly after dawn on April 11. The implosion will be sponsored by Kraft Foods and will be part of a larger event planned by the city. Details are still being worked out.
March 18, 2010
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
The Dallas Cowboys are offering parking tickets to watch the implosion of Texas Stadium for
$25 a pop. The parking space is the only place the public can watch the event. All proceeds will be given to local charities. Officials estimate that the lot will hold about 5,000 cars. Once it's full, hopeful spectators will be out of luck. Officials are still working out details on when they're going to open the lot, but it will probably be hours before the big event. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is sponsoring the implosion as part of its "Cheddar Explosion" marketing campaign. Casey Rogers, an 11-year-old Terrell boy who founded a charity to help Dallas's homeless, won an essay contest the company sponsored. His prize is to push the button to trigger the implosion.