Inside The NFL's Most Expensive Stadium
By Dikenta Dike of Forbes.com
October 28, 2009
Jerry Jones' $1.2 billion home for the Dallas Cowboys offers a fan experience like no other.
Upon approach from I-30 to the north--the Tom Landry Freeway--in Arlington, Texas, it appears as though a massive spacecraft from a world beyond our own has landed and nestled itself neatly into the suburban sprawl.
Actually, it's a veritable colossus very much of planet Earth, built by a man who has most of its means at his disposal. It's the brand-new Cowboys Stadium, the dream of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones No. 196 on Forbes' list of richest Americans), who spent $1.2 billion on the project. Construction began in 2006, and Jones is now able to see the new stadium as yet another aspect of his growing legacy as a "husband" to America's Team.
"I wanted this stadium, aesthetically, on it's exterior as well as interior, I wanted it to represent technology, represent media, represent the future," Jones says.
It could be said, however, that the stadium represents the here and the now, considering that the NFL is the biggest revenue generator among the world's pro sports leagues (and the Cowboys are the most valuable franchise). Designed by HKS Architects, Cowboys Stadium is 3 million square feet--the NFL's largest indoor venue. It seats 80,000 spectators but can comfortably accommodate 100,000 thanks to fan-friendly, standing-room-only spaces among the 10 levels of the facility. The domed, retractable roof is the world's largest at 660,800 square feet, yet takes a mere 12 minutes to open or close. The roof is supported by two steel arched trusses that run beyond the expanse of the Stadium and rise 292 feet above field level at their apex.
In addition to the retractable roof, the Stadium boasts the world's largest retractable end-zone doors, each consisting of five glass panels--129 feet high by 180 feet wide--that open or close in 18 minutes. According to Jones, 60% of game-day spectators will enter the stadium through these enormous openings.
"We really wanted to have an airy stadium. You could play an NFL football game, have the required measurement of candlelight as they call it ... and never turn a light on," says Jones.
The grandiosity extends to every small detail. There are 2,900 TV screens throughout the facility, making it virtually impossible to miss a play on the field no matter where else in the stadium someone happens to be. And, with Legends Hospitality Management (a partnership between the Cowboys, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, Goldman Sachs and Dallas firm CIC Partners), the concessions are a cut above those typically associated with stadium eats, available at 800 point-of-sale locations within the building.
"There's no one that I respect any more than I do the Yankees organization and, of course, George Steinbrenner and his family," says Jones of the joint venture. Legends currently serves only the Yankees and Cowboys stadiums, but the goal is to branch out to other clubs in other sports.
But the most mind-boggling feature of the Cowboys Stadium is the video board--created by Mitsubishi--that hangs over the center of the field. This massive display spans 60 yards, from 20-yard line to 20-yard line, displaying 25,000 square feet of video. The two sideline-facing monitors are each 160 feet wide by 72 feet tall. The two end zone-facing monitors are 50 feet wide and 28 feet tall. It is the largest screen-structure in the world, and all of it hangs 90 feet directly above the players on the gridiron. (The problem, however, is that punters' strikes at steep angles can send the ball right into either end-zone screen. When that occurs, the down is replayed.)
Jones' inspiration for the monster-sized screen was a Celine Dion concert he attended in Las Vegas. "I didn't know if I had looked at her all the time or if I'd looked at her image behind her," Jones recalls of the screen used for her performance. "All I knew is it was a heck of a show and I wanted that to be part of the Dallas Cowboys."
Average reserve ticket price for Cowboys Stadium is $90, and club seats cost $340. Standing-room admission is set at $29. Not a bad price, considering how easy it'll be to see all the action on the video board.
Cowboys Unveil Stadium Plans
Jones keeps an old tradition, expands into grander dimensions
December 12, 2006
By JEFF MOSIER / The Dallas Morning News
When the Dallas Cowboys move from Texas Stadium, they'll leave behind 35 years of history, but the signature hole in the roof will go with them.
Their new stadium, scheduled to open in 2009, will include two quarter-mile-long steel arches and a retractable roof that mimics the famed feature. As the Cowboys faithful would say, God would still be able to look down on America's Team and watch the games on Sunday afternoon – even in Arlington.
"We want this stadium to have our traditional hole in the roof," Mr. Jones said, noting that it's just as much a symbol of the team as the Cowboys star.
But that hole is one of the few design elements making the trip from Irving to Arlington, as fans will learn tonight when team officials formally unveil the design at a gala in Arlington.
The new $1 billion stadium, the largest and most expensive in the NFL, will be the Cowboys' home, but it will be built with a bigger world in mind.
It will feature more than twice the square footage of Texas Stadium and cost nearly 30 times more. The stadium will also seat 80,000 fans on an average day and accommodate up to 100,000 for special events, such as the Super Bowl.
The new stadium, which has yet to be named, also will feature the world's largest movable glass walls, field-level suites and open-air end zones.
Team owner Jerry Jones and Bryan Trubey of HKS Architects said during an interview Friday that the team's new home was designed as a great building – not just a football stadium – and as a world-class sports and entertainment venue.
The stadium could host a World Cup soccer match or Olympics opening ceremony just as easily as an NFC East rivalry game.
"We made sure there really isn't any event it can't handle," Mr. Trubey said.
This new, grand stadium is something Mr. Jones said he has wanted ever since he bought the Cowboys in 1989 for $150 million. Although he said that at the time, he couldn't have imagined the advances in technology, such as the 60-yard-long video screen in the new stadium, or that the price tag for a stadium would soar this high.
Long time in the making
The work on the stadium also started much earlier than most outside of the Cowboys organization realized. Mr. Jones said Friday that he has been working with Mr. Trubey for nearly eight years on plans for a new stadium – even though Arlington voters approved the public financing only two years ago. The city's share of the cost is capped at $325 million – an amount that was originally expected to be half the stadium's cost.
Mr. Jones and his family closely studied the new NFL stadiums – more than 15 have opened in the last decade – but they didn't feel hamstrung by just football or even just U.S. sports venues.
The Jones family visited London's Wembley Stadium three times and studied Bloomberg Tower in New York City, the airport in Nice, France, and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
"We didn't want it to just be a fine stadium," said Charlotte Jones Anderson, Mr. Jones's daughter and an executive with the team. "We wanted it to be a great piece of architecture that would reflect character and reflect the strength of sport, but at the same time, the living, the moving, the changing environment that happens when you put sports and entertainment in a venue."
Mr. Jones said he was looking to build a stadium that would inspire awe, illustrating his point with a story about his first visit to New York City.
The first order of business was a taxi ride to the Bronx.
"I had the cab take me out, and I put my hand on Yankee Stadium. That's all I want – just to touch it," he said.
That's the type of wonder a world-class stadium could inspire and what Mr. Jones has been seeking.
And that's what led the Joneses to agree on a modern design for the stadium.
Just down the street is the Texas Rangers' traditional, red brick Ameriquest Field, which was also designed by HKS and architect David M. Schwarz. The nearby Wal-Mart Supercenter took its architectural cues from the Rangers; the Cowboys did not.
The new stadium will be glass on the exterior with a glazing that will give the perception that the glass changes color, including shades of silver and blue from the Cowboys' helmet, from the top to the bottom. It was described as luminescent, elegant and strong: a limestone base "rising out of the earth" with great horizontal expanses of glass on top.
Jerry Jones Jr., team vice president and son of the owner, said the team benefited from the building boom in the NFL and seeing what other teams have done.
"As much as we compete on the field, we don't compete off the field," he said. "Everybody is very open-minded about sharing."
Mr. Trubey said he avoided the standard "racetracks," as the circular, bland stadium concourses are often called. Instead, the areas will be dotted with team gift shops and clubs.
The team also included field-level suites, which were first introduced by the Seattle Seahawks as the "red zone suites."
Stephen Jones, another son and team vice president, said many NFL executives regretted not building big enough. The new stadium's end zones will take care of that. Each will feature the glass doors, which are expected to stay open during most games.
That creates 210,000-square-foot plazas that can accommodate standing-room-only fans or could be used for temporary seating. Each end zone also has a three-level party deck inspired by Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla.
"There's really no end to the party," Mr. Trubey said about the plazas, which extend beyond the stadium walls.
While the Cowboys aren't playing, Mr. Jones said he wants to see his new stadium attract top-level bowl games and other college match-ups. There has been talk about whether the New Year's Day Cotton Bowl game or the Texas-Oklahoma game during the State Fair of Texas would eventually move to Arlington, but no public commitments have been made.
He said the magnitude of the stadium will give teams big enough paydays that it's worth giving up a home game.
"When a kid is in Louisiana or playing at a school in Minnesota, we want them to be hollering, 'We've got to go play in that stadium,' " Mr. Jones said.
Even in the off-season, the stadium is expected to be a draw. The team plans a football Hall of Fame that will be open 350 days a year and feature a pair of Norman Rockwell works as well as an extensive collection of football memorabilia.
The stadium – which also will offer tours year-round – could even become a destination for schoolchildren on field trips, said Gene Jones, Mr. Jones's wife.
Mr. Jones said this effort in Arlington goes beyond building a new stadium. It's intended to be a monument to one of the world's great sports franchises and had to be done right.
"This is a part of the franchise, the legacy of the Dallas Cowboys," he said. "We don't think we own the Dallas Cowboys. The fans do."
Irving Starry about Stadium
City says entertainment district at site could pump up economy
Thursday, June 23, 2005
By ERIC AASEN / The Dallas Morning News
IRVING – The Texas Stadium site could be transformed into a vibrant
destination that includes a convention center, hotel, apartments, shops
and even waterfront and park space, according to a proposal released
Some of the scenarios, such as demolishing the stadium except for its
roof and the landmark hole, are whimsical. Other options resemble
Dallas' Mockingbird Station or a riverwalk.
City Council members discussed development options for the stadium site
and nearby land but didn't issue recommendations. They'll study the
matter this summer.
Whatever is built, city officials imagine a high-density place for people to live, work, visit and play. The project could be a chance for Irving to pump up its economy.
Council members say they're excited about the possibilities.
"Losing the Cowboys might have just been the best thing to happen to
this city," council member Beth Van Duyne said. The Dallas Cowboys are
expected to leave for an Arlington stadium in 2009.
Next on the agenda: City officials and consultants will shop the plans
to investors and developers to gauge reaction.
It appears the city will continue to work with two other landowners near
the stadium. The three entities – including the University of Dallas and
Southwest Premier Properties – jointly hired consultants and began the
The area is ripe for development, Irving officials say, as hundreds of
millions of dollars in light-rail and highway improvements are planned
for near the stadium site.
City officials could do the following, based on the options presented by planners RTKL Associates:
•Create an urban environment that would include retail, restaurant, entertainment, hotel, business and residential areas. Venues could include an indoor water park hotel or a casino hotel.
•Develop a mixed-use district that would emphasize residential, business
and community retail uses. The district could be linked to the Trinity
River and the Campion Trails system.
•Build an urban village similar to Dallas' Uptown that includes residential and commercial developments and features neighborhood pocket parks.
•Renovate the city-owned stadium to host recreation and entertainment events at venues including amphitheaters and parks.
•Keep the roof, and the hole, but remove the stadium's interior. The new
structure could be home to businesses and offices and pay homage to the
stadium and team that helped put the city on the map.
•Demolish the stadium, which could cost about $10 million, according to
a Magill Architects study that was also released Wednesday.
The projects would require hundreds of millions of dollars in
investments, said David Leininger, the city's chief financial officer.
The scenarios come as city officials are taking a closer look at a
convention center that could be built on Texas Stadium land. Council
members could hire consultants later this year to study the matter.
Regardless, council members want to capitalize on the land's proximity
to the Trinity River and major highways, including state highways 114
and 183 and Loop 12. Interstate 35E is nearby. Hundreds of thousands of
motorists drive past the stadium each day. In addition, a Dallas Area
Rapid Transit rail line is to run near the area in about five years.
At about 450 acres, the developable land is comparable to the area of
downtown Dallas, Irving officials said.
Losing the Cowboys will hurt the city in the short-term, but developing
the land is a significant opportunity for Irving to improve its tax
base, Mayor Herbert Gears said.
The land has potential, partly because it's the gateway to the city, he
"We'd be silly to just sit on our hands and pout that we're losing the
Cowboys," he said.
The development will spur growth on land near the stadium, most of which
is vacant, and generate interest in Irving and excitement in the
community, says Bob Galecke, University of Dallas' senior vice president
for finance and administration. He also said the development could raise
the profile of the college, which is in Irving.
The project means the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau could help
market the area, bringing new visitors and businesses to the city, said
Maura Allen Gast, the bureau's executive director. The land's access to
the river is particularly appealing, she says.
"There are so many opportunities," she said. "There's a wealth of
opportunity. It's limitless."
COWBOYS STADIUM REFINANCING MAY COST $28 MILLION
September 18, 2008
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Arlington, Texas - Refinancing $164 million in Cowboys stadium bonds to a fixed rate is
expected to cost Arlington an additional $23 million to $28 million.
The biggest expenses include millions for new bond insurance and fees paid to terminate the
existing financing agreement. The city has been trying to refinance the bonds since July.
The bonds have a variable interest rate, which has risen drastically the past few months
because of uncertainty in the credit market and a downgrade of the bond insurer's rating. The
interest rates, which had ranged from 3 to 4 percent since 2005, spiked to 9 percent this summer,
causing city leaders and the City Council to consider other options. Monthly interest-only
payments, for example, rose from $500,000 to more than $1 million.
The city chose variable-rate financing back in 2005 because financial advisers estimated that it
would save $20 million in interest over the life of the debt. The financing had saved the city about $2 million in interest over the past three years, but those savings are dwindling as interest rates remain high.
Deputy City Manager Trey Yelverton said Arlington expects to get a 5.31 percent interest rate,
but only after paying millions for bond insurance through Berkshire Hathaway, one of the last
Triple-A-rated bond insurance companies.
Getting out of the existing bond financing will not be cheap. The city now expects to pay $7
million, or possibly more, in termination fees. In July, city staff estimated that it would cost $3.1 million to get out of the agreement. The city plans to pay the termination fee with sales taxes and other revenue it has already collected to pay down the stadium bonds, Yelverton said. (Fort Worth Star Telegram)
COWBOYS REFINANCE DEBT
December 11, 2008
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Arlington, Texas - The Dallas Cowboys have refinanced about $435 million worth of debt for
their new $1.1 billion stadium despite the troubled bond market, team owner Jerry Jones said.
The old debt had a variable rate, which has been a problem as the credit crisis caused some
bond rates to fluctuate wildly this year. Jones said the new fixed interest rate is below 5 percent.
Bond issuances of that size have been uncommon recently as corporations and state and local
governments have found it harder to sell bonds.
"It's quite a compliment to us because there just haven't been any of those kinds of sizable
financings done," Jones said. "This is one of the few of this magnitude that has gotten done."
He said this is essentially replacing the structure of the original debt for the stadium. Additional details about the transaction were not immediately available.
The announcement came two days after Arlington revealed that it was able to refinance $104.3
million worth of stadium bonds, which were at a varying synthetic fixed rate. The rates for those
newly refinanced bonds ranged from 4.5 percent to 5.73 percent. The city has about $60 million
more that it intends to refinance when the market improves.
The total cost of the city's share of the stadium bond debt, including interest, is expected to be $502.9 million. That's about $44 million more than the city initially expected. The new projection is also $26.5 million more than the city would have paid had it sold all the bonds at a true fixed rate in the beginning instead of selling some at a synthetic fixed rate.
The total interest rate for all the bonds was now calculated at 5.33 percent, about a full
percentage point more than initially projected.
Arlington officials had been trying to refinance that debt since July. The rest of the city's
stadium bonds were already set at a fixed rate. (Dallas Morning News)
COWBOYS PLAN THREE STADIUM FIELDS
December 24, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures
Arlington, Texas - The Dallas Cowboys haven't booked a soccer game at their new stadium, but
they're already planning to buy a removable field for the other "football."
The annual Cotton Bowl game will also have its own field with permanent markings separate
from the field the Cowboys will use. The new stadium in Arlington will be the only one in the NFL
with three separate fields for different sporting events, the turf manufacturer announced.
"This is the only stadium in the NFL that has the option to have as many different kinds of
fields as they want and can change out for every event," said Reed J. Seaton, CEO of Hellas
The Cowboys have purchased two separate football fields and notified Hellas, installer and
manufacturer, that they intend to buy a soccer field too. The football fields will roll up into 41 separate 6,000-pound wheels for storage. Each strip of synthetic turf is 15 feet by 172 feet.
This is similar to systems in place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, although that stadium has
just one field.
From the beginning, the Cowboys have said they intended for this $1.1 billion stadium to be a
multipurpose venue. It already has a Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game, college football bowl game
and a NCAA men's Final Four basketball tournament scheduled. An application has also been
submitted to host the NCAA lacrosse Final Four, and the Cowboys have mentioned that they're
interested in hosting World Cup soccer.
Seaton said that swapping out the fields - which takes a little more than 24 hours - allows the
Cowboys to customize the surfaces for different sports. The soccer field would probably have less
cushioning and shorter synthetic grass blades.
On the football fields, the standard markings, such as the Cotton Bowl logo, Cowboys star and
boundary lines, won't be painted after the turf is manufactured. The logos and markings will be
created by coloring the individual strands of polyethylene yarn that make up the fields.
Seaton said he also believes that removing the field when it's not needed could extend its life.
Stadiums that host concerts, tractor pulls and other events usually place plywood or other materials on top of the field to protect the turf.
Bruce Hardy, Texas Stadium's manager, said the turf at his venue has been resilient, even
when thousands of music fans or tons of trucks weigh down the plywood covering the field.
"It doesn't even hurt it," Hardy said. "We've had Billy Graham for four nights, and we've had
rock concerts here. In that case, we put a fireproof tarp over it."
Still, Hardy said he guesses that the new field will be 25 percent to 50 percent better. Both stadiums use Sportfield's RealGrass turf, but the turf in Arlington will be a newer version with 50 percent more fiber ends that mimic grass blades and longer fibers. It will also have more give, like real grass and earth, and also be more uniform throughout the field, Seaton said. (Dallas Morning News)
At Cowboys Stadium, a Familiar Face Switches Hats
December 29, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures
The new Dallas Cowboys stadium is a house that Jack Hill has built, and now he's going to manage it.
The construction manager took on the title of stadium manager in the fall. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hired Hill in 2005 to oversee the construction of the $1.2 billion facility and now expects the 53-year-old to manage the maintenance and bookings.
The Star-Telegram talked recently with Hill, who also worked on Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and the American Airlines Center, about the challenges he will face in his new job.
Describe your new position.
I have been named the stadium general manager, which is great because I'm very familiar with the building and have been for the last four years. I know all the nooks and crannies of the building. I'll be working very closely with Bruce Hardy, who is the stadium manager currently at Texas Stadium, and he and I have a great relationship and we value all the experience that he's had running a stadium. It will be a collaborative effort. We will be responsible for the fan experience that's out here. The way the fans are treated. Everything from parking to security to how the suites and the place are cleaned up, the different types of acts that come out here, how they set up and take down, and close coordination of the different events that we're going to have here at the stadium.
What will be some of the challenges you face in maintaining a 2.6 million-square-foot building?
We have visited a lot of other stadiums about this, and one thing that they always tell you is, you can't have a large enough cleaning budget. So just keeping the place clean is going to be a challenge in and of itself. Of course, we have an ongoing maintenance program. We want to make sure that we have capital expenditures put back so that as items routinely wear out or need to be replaced, we've got the budget there to keep the stadium upgraded in tiptop shape.
What types of events will you have at the stadium?
We're looking at a lot of different types of events. One thing that's nice about the stadium is, you can open it up and have an open-air experience or you can close it and condition the space. So that allows us a wide variety of events, such as basketball, and we're looking at soccer. We have a series of concerts that we're looking at coming in this summer and obviously football. Right now our plan is to continue with the high school football. We've looked at lacrosse and . . . what we call dirt events. We think there will be a wide variety of types of events that are here at the stadium.
With six months until the opening of the facility, what will be going on to prepare the stadium?
Between now and June, when the first event is planned, you have that transition. There are actually a couple of things. The contractor is in the middle of finishing the building and so he is finishing certain portions. We'll start to occupy spaces in the building after the first of the year. But the transition from Texas Stadium to here will be a challenge in and of itself. You've got the equipment that is coming out of Texas Stadium. You've got all the staff that is coming from Texas Stadium and they need to become familiar with a new building. You have all of the food service, the concierge, the ushers, all the people that you would typically see at Texas Stadium, only bigger now, more of those folks.
And so we need to go through our job fairs. We need to go through our orientations and we need to get people trained on getting around the new building so the fan experience is a good experience.
What did it mean to you, as someone who grew up in Fort Worth and lives in Grand Prairie, to be managing the new stadium?
I have been fortunate enough to be involved with some great facilities in the Metroplex, so when they asked me to take on this challenge, I was flattered. I was excited about it. Personally, it's a great building. It's a great staff of folks. I look forward to working with each and every one of them. It's a great opportunity to be involved with a great organization and run a great building. Source: Star Telegram
DEVELOPMENT NEAR ARLINGTON STADIUMS MAY RESUME
January 8, 2009
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Arlington, Texas - When it was first announced in 2006, Glorypark was thought to be a sure
thing. It featured lots of shopping, restaurants, and bars. But this past spring, it was put on hold - indefinitely.
Now, Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck says the project is being revived with a new focus, and
quite possibly a new name.
Last May, the owner of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, Tom Hicks, said the nation's
financial crisis forced him to delay the $500 million Glorypark, indefinitely.
When first proposed the development was to include one million square feet of retail, but not
Cluck says Hicks is talking with a new developer about the project. The development is slated
to be built between the Ballpark in Arlington and the Cowboys Stadium.
Cluck says the area will now feature entertainment, movies, bowling, bars and restaurants. "A
lot of fun stuff," said Cluck. "And to me, that fits better in that location."
Mayor Cluck says he believes two hotels are still planned for the development, but that the
proposed Westin Hotel will not open in time for the 2011 Super Bowl, as originally hoped. (KTVT)
February 19, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
After about a year of negotiations, the Dallas Cowboys have agreed to pay for the level of
public safety staffing that Arlington believes is necessary at games and other events at the new
football stadium, city officials said. Under the agreement, the Cowboys will pay for at least 34
fire and rescue personnel, 260 police personnel and a number of city-employed traffic
management personnel to help with security and traffic during events at the 80,000-seat
stadium. The $1.1 billion venue is expected to open in June. (Dallas Morning News)
STADIUM MAY BE WORTH $90 MILLION IN REVENUE TO COWBOYS
June 4, 2009
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Arlington, Texas - The Dallas Morning News estimates that a new stadium will be worth $90
million in new revenue to the Cowboys in its first year.
"Such a jump, propelled largely by premium-priced club seats and suites, would probably make
the Cowboys the top revenue producer in the NFL at more than $360 million and, possibly, the
most profitable franchise, too, surpassing the Washington Redskins in both categories," the
On hearing about the newspaper's analysis, owner Jerry Jones said, "You're conservative, if
anything. But that's what you should be."
The newspaper noted that the impact could be less in future years depending upon the pace of
economic recovery and as the novelty of a new venue wears off.
The News said its analysis is based on four assumptions:
* The Cowboys will be able to attract an average of close to 80,000 for the eight
regular-season home games this year, more than the base capacity of 73,000.
* The Cowboys' split of league-shared revenue will not decline appreciably. In general,
professional sports are feeling the economic downturn, but the NFL is the premier
league in the nation, and experts expect it to fare better than others.
* There won't be a significant number of defaults among ticket holders who financed their
seat license purchases from the team.
* Even in a poor economy, Jones will be able to approach the same rate of gains made by
fellow owners Robert Kraft and Jeffrey Lurie after they opened new stadiums earlier this
decade. Revenue jumped 39 percent ($53 million) for Kraft's New England Patriots in
2002, and 48 percent ($64 million) for Lurie's Philadelphia Eagles in 2003, according to
an analysis of data compiled by Forbes.
The newspaper credits the 15,000 club seats that didn't exist at Texas Stadium and the 300
suites, which can hold an additional 12,000 or so fans as the primary revenue generator in the new stadium. Together, these premium areas make up more than a third of the base capacity at the new
stadium and account for more than two-thirds of the team's estimated revenue gains. Suite capacity
at Texas Stadium was about 7,500.
At $340 a game, the club seats potentially can generate up to $50 million a year in new ticket
revenue, the newspaper said.
Because of revenue sharing, Jones' new club seats should translate into an extra $300,000 a
year for each of the other 31 owners in the NFL.
Players also benefit from the new revenue because of the league's labor agreement that gives
them a large share.
A reported 270 suites at the new stadium have been leased at prices of $100,000 to $500,000 a
year on leases of up to 20 years.
"When Jones added a ring of suites to Texas Stadium in 1993, he sold some for $2 million
apiece," the newspaper said. "The top-of-the-line suites at the new stadium will generate at least
five times that amount over a 20-year lease."
There are 46,000 other reserved seats, with ticket prices ranging from $59 to $125 a game. On
average, these prices increased less than 7 percent from last season at Texas Stadium.
In addition to tickets, gains in food, beverage and merchandise areas could be especially steep
if the team averages 80,000 fans, which would be about 25 percent above last year.
August 13, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
The Dallas Cowboys say they are 95 percent sold out for the team's first season
in its new 100,000-seat stadium.
NFL WON'T REQUIRE CHANGES FOR COWBOYS' SCOREBOARD
September 3, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Arlington, Texas - The NFL has decided not to require changes to the position of the
scoreboard at the Cowboy's new stadium and officials have been instructed to rule that any ball
that hits the structure will result in a replay of the down.
The do-over rule will be in place for the rest of this season and through the playoffs. The issue
could be re-visited in the future.
"We will continue to address the particular circumstances in Dallas, giving full consideration to
the competitive, safety and fan experience issues involved," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
said in a statement. "The Cowboys have been fully cooperative as we have addressed this subject,
and we will continue to work closely with the club on a longer term resolution."
Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher, who is the co-chair of Competition Committee, said he believed
the board needed to be moved even though it rests five feet above the minimum set by the league.
The one concession the league made was to allow the replay assistant to call for a review if the
on-field officials did not see the ball hit the board. Normally the replay assistant can only stop play in the final two minutes of each half for a review. If a coach believes the ball hit the board, then he
would be able to use a replay challenge even if the replay assistant does not stop play.
If the down is replayed, the game clock will be reset to the time remaining when the snap
occurred and all penalties will be disregarded, except personal fouls, which will be administered
prior to the snap.
SPENDING ON COWBOYS' STADIUM CONTINUES
December 10, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Arlington, Texas - The Cowboys may have opened their stadium to the public, but spending
and construction continues on the venue with $140 million in expenses accumulating since opening day.
The amount is in addition to the $1.09 billion spent since 2004 to get the stadium ready for its first NFL game. Still, officials say the venue will come in within the $1.2 billion original cost estimate.
A new city report on the project recounts a dispute over the height of the video board after a punter hit it during the first pre-season home game in August, but the NFL determined that it is in compliance with league rules. The team has spent more than $500,000 on the system since June, according to the report.
The city has almost met its cap in contributions, spending $324.4 million of the $325 million in public support approved by voters in 2004, according to the report. That does not include repayments on the bonds the city issued for the project.
Texas Sports Personality of 2009: Cowboys Stadium in Arlington
Friday, December 25, 2009
By BARRY HORN / The Dallas Morning News
Let's skip the niceties and get down to business. This choice is a little different. Our "Sports Personality of the Year" isn't an athlete, owner, fervent fan or watchdog as has been the case in years past. It's not a he or a she. It doesn't inhale or exhale. And it's still a baby.
But man-o-man has this baby changed the sports landscape of North Texas and the country. Someday it may have a similar impact on the entire wide world of sports. So without further ado and with no apologies, let us proclaim Cowboys Stadium our 2009 Texas Sports Personality of the Year.
Before it even opened for business with a George Strait concert June 6 and hosted its first sporting event, a soccer doubleheader that attracted a Texas-record 82,252 paying customers on a sweltering July day, the indoor-outdoor home of the Dallas Cowboys had locked up a Super Bowl, an NBA All-Star Game and an NCAA men's basketball Final Four.
Our area never had never before sniffed hosting a Super Bowl. It has been almost a quarter of a century since the NBA and NCAA showcase events came to the late Reunion Arena in honor of Texas' 1986 sesquicentennial. You can be sure that all three events will be back. Sooner rather than later. Soccer's World Cup? The stadium is part of the discussion. Would you really bet against the stadium catapulting the Cotton Bowl game into the Bowl Championship Series? Big-time boxing? If you accept that phrase is not an oxymoron, it is on the way.
And in the six-plus months its massive doors have been open for business, Cowboys Stadium has done nothing to detract from its 3-million square foot majesty.
Ordinarily, this would be as good a place as any to introduce a quote from the honoree. But $1.2 billion buys only so much. So we'll do the next best thing. We'll throw in some words from Jerry Jones, the Cowboys owner, president and general manager, and father of the stadium he built in Arlington.
To say that Jones was giddy when informed of the stadium's selection would be an understatement. He was effusive, which is like giddy on steroids. Which is a nice coincidence considering his is a stadium on steroids.
Sitting in his Valley Ranch office last month, Jones sipped iced tea and pondered an obvious question. Isn't the stadium sometimes referred to as "JerryWorld" or the "JonesMahal" simply a reflection of his personality?
"That's not for me to say," he answered quickly and diplomatically at the start of an hour-long discussion. He maintained he felt "awkward" talking about the similarities between himself and his building. "It is like paying yourself a compliment," he said.
But the notion kept popping up.
"Is the stadium complicated? Am I complicated? Is it visible? Am I visible?" he asked and answered. "I'm certainly not a wallflower. I always believe that visibility is a plus, even negative visibility is a plus."
"This stadium is showy," he conceded, getting warmed up. "It's flamboyant. It's ballsy."
"People say, 'Jerry, it's gaudy,' " he said with a laugh. "Well, if you take the gaudy out of me, there's not too much left."
And finally the inevitable:
"Would you be wrong to say that the stadium is like me?" he concluded. "No, you would not."
Like nothing else
OK, let's get the pimples out of the way. A preseason punted football hit the giant overhead video board, and Jones blew it when he pooh-poohed the significance of having a permanent American flag flying over the giant symbol of American corporate ingenuity, vision and budget-breaking opulence.
That's about it on the negative side of the ledger.
Maybe NBC went a little overboard during the regular-season home opener when it compared Cowboys Stadium to the Pyramids, Parthenon, Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal and Roman Colosseum. And maybe Al Michaels offered a touch of textbook hyperbole when he declared, "What the Roman Colosseum was to the first century is what Cowboys Stadium is to the 21st century."
But no one can argue that Cowboys Stadium isn't one of a kind.
And here's something to keep in mind. It should remain unique for years. No person, place or conglomerate is planning to build anything like it. Nothing like it is on the horizon.
New York? It has three brand-new stadiums, including Meadowlands Stadium opening in April, and not one has a dome that makes weather a nonfactor. A Final Four at Yankee Stadium? An NBA All-Star game at Citi Field? Jones, by the way, says it would have cost an extra $600 million to build a replica of Cowboys Stadium in the New York area.
Chicago? That city spent $597 million on refurbishing its football stadium, Soldier Field, during the infant years of the new millennium.
Los Angeles? "It doesn't have the confluence where you would have to include public participation to prime the pump," Jones said. "They would need a primary tenant whose ownership could justify spending that kind of money."
Philadelphia is awash with new but conventional stadiums. Houston, Phoenix and Indianapolis have their new, retractable-roof stadiums, from which Jones may have borrowed an idea or 10, but they can't match Cowboys Stadium for glitz, glamour and marble finish.
And, by the way, the economy still stinks.
"By the time economics could be back in place to attack such a venture, inflation will make a similar project twice as costly," Jones said. "The door has shut behind us."
Just the beginning
Jones hopes his stadium eventually will host 200 events a year. That includes eight Cowboys regular-season games, a couple of preseason games, four or five annual college football games including the Cotton Bowl, and college basketball. Then there is soccer, boxing, the signature national sports events and big-time movie premieres.
"We can show movies differently than people have ever seen in theaters," he said. "When a movie has a jet coming at you on our video screen, I can assure you it will look like a very real jet coming at you."
Ah, the video screen. That crystal-clear, 159-by-79 foot technological marvel that runs almost from 20-yard line to 20-yard line. It has earned a healthy reputation of its own.
"We don't even have an inkling of what we can do with that board," Jones said. "But I can assure you that at the end of the day it will be far more than a giant TV."
And if need be, he said, the stadium can be downsized to compete with American Airlines Center for events.
He also has discovered another niche. The stadium has been averaging between 2,000 and 3,000 people a day taking tours. Jones expects it to average as many as 1.5 million visitors a year on non-event days.
"We're charging $15," he said. "And people are spending $40 to $50 on things like hats, caps and t-shirts."
But won't that people and revenue stream end?
Nope, said Jones. He believes the stadium can rank as Dallas-Fort Worth's leading tourist attraction. He sees it "having more visibility than any other building in the country other than maybe the White House."
In Washington, D.C.?
Yes, that White House, Jones reiterated.
That is ballsy.
The home of the Cowboys could be bigger than the house that has been home to the presidents of the United States?
"I'm telling you this place is special," Jones said.
Well, maybe not special enough to supplant the White House, but special enough and Texas-big enough to be our "Texas Sports Personality of the Year."
COWBOYS SEEK COURT HELP TO ENFORCE SUITE LEASES
February 11, 2010
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Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Cowboys have gone to court to force 10 luxury suite holders to honor
their 20-year leases. The leaseholders put down deposits of $15,000 to $210,000, but stopped paying.
Under the terms of the agreement, if a payment is missed, the entire balance becomes due. In the case of the current lawsuits, $82.3 million is at stake.
Just over half that is owed by the Dallas Center for Cosmetic Surgery, whose principal, Dr. James H. Addison, leased six suites in the stadium at $2.1 million a year for a grand total of $42 million.
Team spokesman Brett Daniels described the lawsuits as a last resort.
"We understand the economy and everything," he said. The companies "have not been responsive to any of our communications."
Cowboys Stadium has about 320 suites, some of which the team sold on a game-by-game basis during the inaugural season. The Cowboys would prefer long-term deals on all the suites, Daniels said.
The companies sued are Waxahachie-based CBRE Inc., Reel Entertainment Group of Dallas, Halek Energy of Southlake, BWC Properties of Dallas, Clearview Systems of Fort Worth, Just Da Boyz of The Colony, Architel Holdings LP of Dallas, Sports Nutz of Texas and Copper Oaks Properties. The leases for Sports Nutz and Copper Oaks were signed by Dick Rees of Grand Prairie.
If the Cowboys can rent the suites in question down the road, that new money is expected to be credited back to what the original leaseholders owed in their contracts.
The team argues in the suits that it lost money from the leases, concession revenue from fans who would have attended the games and the ability to market the suites to paying customers. The suits also seek attorneys' fees.
"The Cowboys are attempting to lessen the losses caused by these breaches of contract by releasing the suites," said Levi McCathern, attorney for the stadium, who filed the suits in Tarrant County district court. "Unfortunately, that will not undo the losses already sustained."
STADIUM-SIZED CROWD KEEPS TICKET PRICES DOWN
February 18, 2010
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Dallas, Texas - With a final attendance topping more than 108,000, the largest audience for any
basketball game, ticket prices on the resale market for the NBA All-Star game were affordable for the average fan. The game was held at the Cowboys' new stadium.
The average resale price for the basketball game was $186 on StubHub. In the previous five years, the averages ranged from $508 in Denver to $2,546 in Las Vegas. The huge numbers of upper deck seats and standing-room-only tickets, which have a $30 face value, are believed to have down the average.
Those in the ticket industry said such a price drop was predictable since the supply is unlike anything they've seen previously.
The last five All-Star Games, each held in conventional basketball arenas, had attendances ranging from 15,694 to 18,652. The number of tickets available for the 2010 game was more than double the NBA's current All-Star attendance record of 44,735.
COWBOYS PLAN VENUE CHANGES FOR NEXT YEAR
March 11, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Arlington, Texas - The Dallas Cowboys are planning upgrades and adjustments to their new
stadium before the 2010 season.
Stephen Jones, a Cowboys executive vice president, said much of the focus this year, aside
from preparing for the Super Bowl, will be tweaking the stadium operations and making everything run more smoothly.
"As we move forward here in the second year, [the fans] are not going to notice as many changes," he said.
One of the biggest changes to Cowboys Stadium this year is what won't open.
The planned Cowboys Hall of Fame and Museum was initially expected to open this year, but that time frame has been scrapped. Team officials said they are still planning the attraction, but there is no start or completion date.
"We definitely have the Hall of Fame in our plans, but we are still trying to figure out the best way to take full advantage of this," said Brett Daniels, a Cowboys spokesman.
He said it wouldn't be completed in time for Super Bowl XLV in February 2011.
One common complaint last year among fans was the lack of a traditional scoreboard. The center-hung video board was mostly filled with video, and game information such as the remaining time and team timeouts could be found on the much smaller ribbon boards along the seating decks.
Jones said LED screens with that scoreboard data have been added in each end zone for fans.
Fans with AT&T smart phones should find it easier to connect to social networking sites or e-mail photos to friends while at the stadium. The telecom firm is installing Wi-Fi access points in the stadium's seating area.
March 18, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
The video board at the Cowboy's new stadium will remain at its current height. NFL owners decided at a meeting not to consider a change. The 160-foot-long HD board, which is 90 feet above the playing field, became an issue after Tennessee Titans punter A.J. Trapasso hit it with a punt during the first preseason game. But no punter came close to it thereafter.
COWBOYS' STADIUM COST CLIMBS TO $1.15 BILLION
April 8, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Arlington, Texas - As the final bills come in for construction of the Cowboy's new stadium in
Arlington, the price is now pegged at $1.15 billion. Team officials expect the final price to stay near $1.2 billion.
The final figure increased as the Cowboys added more signs, furniture, ribbon boards and fixtures to the stadium throughout much of last year. The team also retrofitted its massive center-hung scoreboard to allow it to be lowered for certain events, such as basketball games and boxing matches.
The cost of a new Cowboys stadium in Arlington was estimated at $650 million in summer 2004 but escalated throughout planning and construction. The city's contribution was capped at $325 million, and Jones was responsible for the rest, which was paid with commercial loans, league funding and proceeds from a ticket and parking tax.
The official cost of Cowboy Stadium has been stuck at $1.15 billion since last May. That made it the NFL's most expensive although it will be surpassed by the $1.7 billion New Meadowlands Stadium, which opens this year as the home of the New York Giants and Jets.
SUITE HOLDER FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST COWBOYS
April 29, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Arlington, Texas - A luxury suite customer has filed a lawsuit against the Dallas Cowboys
saying team salespeople used "false" information in order to lease a suite.
Architel Holdings and its founder, Alexander Muse, leased a suite but never used it, and
refused to make a $240,000 first-year lease payment because of what they call deceptive sales practices.
Muse and Architel, an information technology outsourcing company, made the allegations in a countersuit filed in state district court in Tarrant County.
"My clients' experience makes clear that Cowboys sales personnel will say just about anything to make a buck," said Bill Garrison, a Dallas attorney representing Muse and Architel.
Muse and his company are defendants in a lawsuit the Dallas Cowboys filed this year, and is one of more than a dozen such actions filed to recover money from individuals and companies who stopped making lease payments on suites in the $1.2 billion arena.
The stadium ended up leasing the Architel-Muse suite for the 2009 football season, according to the countersuit, but is still seeking payment on the 20-year lease.
Levi McCathern, the attorney representing the stadium, called the counterclaim a case of buyer's remorse.
According to the suit, Muse and a business associate, Scott Ryan, toured the site in July 2008 with a stadium representative, who steered them to Field Suite 26. The filing quoted the leasing agent as repeatedly saying it was the last available suite in the stadium.
The men did not sign a lease that day. They told the agent they couldn't afford it on their own but would let her know if others joined them in the arrangement, the suit says. At that time, the agent said she could help them find other investors, because there were several people in the same position.
The stadium representative later showed up at their office and "declared that it was imperative" that they sign, the suit says.
The agent, "promised that, worst case, Muse and Ryan would be 'only out the deposit of $24,000,'" the suit says.
Some time later, the men found two other investors and signed the lease. At no time did the sales staff "funnel" others to them as promised, the suit says.
But after Muse and Ryan introduced the additional investors, the sales staff went behind their backs to get the new pair to sign a separate deal, the suit says. As a result, Muse and Ryan never took possession of the suite and demanded a refund.
ARLINGTON STADIUM TAX PERFORMS BETTER THAN EXPECTED
July 15, 2010
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Arlington, Texas - Taxes approved by voters to help fund a new stadium for the Cowboys in
Arlington are generating more revenue than expected, according to the Dallas Morning News. The newspaper said the amount of tax revenue is far better than originally predicted for 2010.
Arlington owes $20.4 million in bond payments this year but is on track to generate more than $27 million from taxes dedicated to that debt.
If the city's conservative projections hold true, the bonds could be paid off years early, much like the ones were for Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
An economist who has researched Cowboys Stadium previously and a finance professor with expertise in municipal bonds looked at the city's numbers and told the Morning News there appears to be little danger that Arlington couldn't meet its obligations. They also said there's a good chance the city could pay the bonds off years early.
Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck told the newspaper that the bond performance has been particularly impressive considering the overall economy. During the previous economic downturn, Arlington's sales tax revenue plummeted, but not this time.
The city's deal to spend $325 million to help pay for the $1.2 billion stadium was made a few years before the nation slid into what's described as the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Cluck told the Morning News his biggest scare came in 2008 when the council was forced to refinance some bonds that didn't have a traditional fixed rate. That cost Arlington millions more to sort out.
The city's portion of debt is paid with proceeds from a half-cent sales tax increase, 2 percent hotel-motel tax hike and 5 percent increase in car rental tax.
The bulk of the money comes from sales taxes, which are notoriously volatile. Many North Texas cities reported serious declines in their sales tax revenue in the past couple of years. Compared with other large cities, Arlington has had smaller drops in sales taxes for some months and even reported increases for other months, the newspaper said.
A second group of bonds - nearly $147 million - issued to help finance a portion of the Cowboys' debt is also faring well, maybe even better than the city's share, the newspaper said.
Those bonds would be paid by the Cowboys if the ticket and parking taxes, which the city has referred to as user taxes, were inadequate to make debt payments. But for the stadium's first year open, those taxes raised about $15.2 million compared with the $9.3 million originally projected.
This year, the city's stadium taxes are expected to generate one-third more than what is needed to pay the debt service. Arlington's official assumptions are that the revenue won't change much during the next few decades.
The current amount of money generated by those taxes is sufficient to make the annual bond payments, even when those escalate to nearly $26 million, the newspaper said. The payments fluctuate throughout the years and even drop as low as $3.2 million in 2029 and 2030.
December 2, 2010
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The Dallas Cowboys have found a way to make a few extra bucks during the Super Bowl, the Dallas Morning News reported. The team has raised the price for group tours from Jan. 24 to Feb. 10. The usual $20 cost per person will go up to $35. There's also a $500 nonrefundable deposit per group. The upside is that tours will continue during that period before and after the Feb. 6 game. Much of the stadium will be off limits in the lead-up to the Super Bowl as the NFL prepares for the game, including adding seats to the end zone decks. Cowboys spokesman Brett Daniels told the newspaper the team doesn't expect the tours to be a huge moneymaker after the money is split with the league and expenses are paid.
SUPER BOWL TICKETS TO BE SOLD FOR OUTDOOR PLAZA
January 13, 2011
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Arlington, Tex. - The Dallas Morning News says the NFL and Dallas Cowboys plan to sell
tickets for a newly created plaza adjacent to the east Game Day Fan Plaza. Ticket holders would be allowed to watch the Super Bowl on outdoor video screens at least a football field's length away from the action.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy told the newspaper that officials are still working on how tickets would be available and what they would cost for the new fan plaza, which is a Super Bowl first. Game tickets have a face value of between $600 and $1,200 although they go for several times that amount on the secondary market.
The NFL is also still deciding how to distribute the tickets, but McCarthy said they would mainly be made available to fans in North Texas. McCarthy said no determination had been made about whether these tickets would count toward the official attendance at Super Bowl XLV.
Cowboys owners Jerry Jones has often mentioned his desire to break the Super Bowl record of 103,985 set in 1980 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The capacity of Cowboys Stadium for the Super Bowl is expected to be in the mid-90,000 range although that is still a moving target.
January 27, 2011
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The retractable roof at $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium will be closed for the Super Bowl. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the decision was made well in advance of the Feb. 6 game so the league could have a “singular focus” on logistics.
1,250 SUPER BOWL FANS RELOCATED OR DELAYED
February 10, 2011
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Dallas, Texas - The NFL will pay triple refunds to fans whose seats were closed because of
safety reasons before Sunday's Super Bowl game. A total of 1,250 fans were relocated, forced to watch the game on monitors or were delayed, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Refunds of $2,400 each will be paid to more than 400 fans who paid $800 for their tickets, the newspaper said. They will also get free tickets to Super Bowl XLVI next year in Indianapolis.
The NFL took responsibility for the problem, saying safety issues concerning the temporary seating led to the decision.
Arlington fire and police officials told the Morning News they were not to blame for the confusion.
"We've been involved with the seating issue from the get-go," said Arlington Assistant Fire Chief Alan Kassen. "Our goal has always been to get the fans in as safely as possible, and although it took us longer to get the seats installed than we planned, the Arlington Fire Department did everything possible to ensure the safety of the fans."
The league acknowledged it knew of potential problems a week before the game, but didn't alert fans to complications. They didn't alert fans because they felt they had "a very good shot" at getting the problems fixed and because they didn't know who exactly might be affected, the newspaper reported.
"We made a judgment that it was the right course of action to bring the fans in, rather than to discourage them or create a sense that they wouldn't have the information necessary," said Eric Grubman, the NFL's executive vice president of business ventures. About 1,250 ticket holders were relocated or forced to watch Sunday's game on television monitors because the final installation of railings - as well as the tightening of stairs and risers - was not completed in six sections of temporary seats, officials said.
"They didn't have guardrails, and you don't have stairs without guardrails," said Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson.
Another 2,000 fans were delayed in getting to their seats because of the installation problems.
League officials would not go into detail with the newspaper about the cause of the installation snafu.
Scott Suprina of New-York based Seating Solutions told WFAA-TV that his company lost four days' worth of access to the stadium because of snow, ice and cold weather.
"There were many things that went wrong," he said. "I accept some responsibility." But he said he did not abandon the job well before the Super Bowl began, despite earlier reports from Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and a company hired to help.
The Morning News said NFL and Cowboys officials initially asked Manhattan Construction to bring in a crew of 25 workers early Saturday to help Seating Solutions with the installation of handrails in several sections of temporary seating.
John Dixon, Manhattan's executive vice president, had said that Seating Solutions gave up on the work at midnight before the game. But reached by WFAA-TV, Manhattan said it was mistaken to have said Seating Solutions didn't work on Sunday.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement that "manpower and timing issues" were the reasons behind the incomplete installations, and he apologized to fans who were affected.
"We deeply regret their Super Bowl experience was impacted by this error, and we share that responsibility with the NFL," said Jones.
Workers scrambled to finish the work Sunday as fans streamed into Cowboys Stadium, but Crowson said it was clear by 2 p.m. that the work would not be completed.
"I had a direct conversation with the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys organization," he said. "There was no pushback at all."
At least two law firms have publicly announced they are signing up clients who encountered trouble with Super Bowl XLV tickets.
Los Angeles-based Eagan Avenatti represents some of the 400 fans whose seats were not completed. Lead lawyer Michael Avenatti, who was at Sunday's game and approached by disgruntled fans there, told the Morning News his firm is also seeking Dallas Cowboys Founders Club season ticket holders who were placed in temporary seating sections, didn't have views of the video board and were unaware they wouldn't have seats "comparable" to where they normally sit.
"They basically put these people in the corner of a parking garage," Avenatti said, describing
the view from those temporary seats.
CONCERNS RAISED EARLY ABOUT SUPER BOWL SEATING
February 17, 2011
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Arlington, Texas - The Fort Worth Star Telegram said Arlington city officials are defending the
permitting and inspection process that led to more than a thousand temporary seats being unavailable on Super Bowl Sunday.
The city released hundreds of e-mails and building inspection documents to the media that detailed the city's role in certifying the safety of the temporary bleachers constructed in the end zone plazas and the concourse.
Officials also said they "threw everything we could at" the project to help the contractor, Seating Solutions, and the Dallas Cowboys finish the temporary seats in time for the game.
"We don't build seats," deputy city manager Trey Yelverton said during a news conference. "It's not a stadium job to actually do the job. We are in the role of supervising and inspecting the work that is being done. We can't get out there and build the seats ourselves."
Fire and city building officials were clearly concerned for weeks that the seats wouldn't be done in time, the newspaper said.
In an e-mail sent to Jack Hill, Cowboys Stadium general manager, three days before Sunday's game, Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson said:
"I'm very concerned that there is not currently a certified Engineering report confirming the structural stability of the 'as built' seating/stands," the e-mail reads.
"I'm also concerned about the effective completion of this project. There have been multiple meetings with your contractor where agreed-upon goals and timelines were established and, subsequently, not met nor completed to standard," Crowson wrote.
TOURISM FUNDS SOUGHT TO PROMOTE COWBOYS' STADIUM
March 10, 2011
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Arlington, Texas - Arlington officials urged Texas lawmakers to expand a state trust fund for
major sporting events to help lure a premier country music show or a national political convention to Cowboys Stadium, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Jay Burress, president of the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the newspaper the fund helped in the economic package that brought Super Bowl XLV to North Texas.
Although critics have questioned whether state money should aid such efforts, the Senate Economic Development Committee passed a bill that expands use of the fund. It now goes to the full Senate for action.
The trust fund uses tax money to help communities host special events. In effect, the state projects how much in extra taxes would be generated and gives that to local jurisdictions in advance to pay for some of the event's costs.
The state allocated $31.2 million to the Arlington area based on increased sales, car rental and alcoholic beverage taxes surrounding this year's Super Bowl.
Current law allows communities to tap the fund for big sporting events, such as the World Series and Super Bowl, the Olympics and Formula One auto racing.
Backers wanting to expand it said organizers of the Academy of Country Music Awards are talking with Arlington officials about moving the event to Cowboys Stadium in 2012.
The national Democratic and Republican conventions also would qualify. The earliest that could happen is 2016.
April 7, 2011
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Two class action lawsuits filed on behalf of ticket holders who were either denied seats or assigned ones with obstructed views at Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium should be consolidated, a federal judge ruled. The Fort Worth Star Telegram said up to 3,200 fans were affected by the temporary-seat shortage at Cowboys Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. The plaintiffs said that a specific dollar amount has not been requested but that ticket holders are seeking better compensation than what has been offered.
TEXAS LEGISLATURE MAY AID EVENTS AT TEXAS STADIUM
April 21, 2011
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Arlington, Texas - Arlington's chances of hosting marquee events such as the Academy of
Country Music Awards and major political conventions at Cowboys Stadium got a boost when the Texas House gave final approval to legislation allowing it to tap the Major Events Trust Fund, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported. It has already received Senate approval.
The Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game and NCAA Final Four are already eligible under the fund. Arlington officials have touted how the fund allowed the city and North Texas to successfully host the NBA All-Star Game in 2010 and Super Bowl XLV this year at Cowboys Stadium, bringing millions of dollars of economic impact to the region.
The newspaper said the fund is designed to lure events typically held in other states. The Academy of Country Music Awards show has been held in Las Vegas, but Arlington officials said organizers are looking to relocate it to the much larger Cowboys Stadium.
The fund works by having the comptroller set aside millions of dollars in projected sales, liquor, rental car and hotel occupancy taxes generated from visitors. The money is then used to defray costs for hosting the event, such as public safety, planning and infrastructure. If the event is expected to generate at least $15 million in local and state tax receipts, the event can receive up- front funding to attract it.
December 1, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
A federal judge has rejected the NFL's request that she throw out a lawsuit filed by ticket holders displaced during a seating problem at the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium, the Dallas Morning News reported. The lawsuit was filed after 1,250 temporary seats were declared unsafe just hours before the February game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. It says 475 ticket holders were forced to watch from standing-room locations while others were relocated, causing them to miss part of the game. In a 10-page order, the judge ruled the plaintiffs' breach-of-contract claim against the National Football League can proceed. She ruled that if the plaintiffs win, they can get compensation far beyond the amount offered by the NFL.