Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium
Cowboys Stadium
Cowboys Stadium logo.svg
Cowboys stadium.JPG
Cowboys Stadium – July 2009
Location 1 Legends Way
Arlington, Texas 76011[1]
United States
Coordinates 32°44′52″N 97°5′34″W / 32.74778°N 97.09278°W / 32.74778; -97.09278Coordinates: 32°44′52″N 97°5′34″W / 32.74778°N 97.09278°W / 32.74778; -97.09278
Broke ground September 20, 2005
Opened May 27, 2009[2]
Owner City of Arlington[3]
Operator Dallas Cowboys
Surface Matrix artificial turf[4]
Construction cost $ 1.3 billion[5]
($1.33 billion in 2011 dollars[6])
Architect HKS, Inc.[7]
Structural engineer Walter P Moore Engineers and Consultants
General Contractor Manhattan Construction Company
Capacity Football: 80,000 (expandable to 111,000 with standing room)[8]
Record attendance

Football: 105,121
September 21, 2009
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
Basketball: 108,713
February 14, 2010
2010 NBA All-Star Game

Boxing: 50,994
March 13, 2010
Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey
Dallas Cowboys (NFL) (2009 – present)
Cotton Bowl Classic (NCAA) (2009 – present)
Big 12 Championship Game (NCAA) (2009–2010)
UIL Texas State Football Finals (2010 – present)
Super Bowl XLV (2011)

Cowboys Stadium, is a domed stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington, Texas. It serves as the home of the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys. It replaced the partially covered Texas Stadium, which opened in 1971, and served as the Cowboys' home through the 2008 season. It was completed on May 27, 2009. The stadium seats 80,000, making it the third largest stadium in the NFL by seating capacity. The maximum capacity of the stadium, including standing room, is 110,000. The Party Pass (open areas) sections are behind seats in each end zone and on a series of six elevated platforms connected by stairways.[8][9]

The stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world, has the world's largest column-free interior and the 2nd largest high definition video screen which hangs from 20 yard line to 20 yard line.[10] The facility can also be used for a variety of other activities outside of its main purpose (professional football) such as concerts, basketball games, boxing matches, college football and high school football contests, soccer matches, and motocross races.


Construction and design

Cowboys Stadium was designed by the Dallas-based architectural firm HKS.[11] Besides the Cowboys, the new stadium will be used by college football teams and other organizations for other sporting and non-sporting events. The Cotton Bowl Classic was moved to the stadium beginning in 2010.[12]

Cowboys Stadium – Interior

Originally estimated to cost $650 million, the stadium's current construction cost was $1.15 billion,[13] making it one of the most expensive sports venues ever built. To aid Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones in paying the construction costs of the new stadium, Arlington voters approved the increase of the city's sales tax by 0.5 percent, the hotel occupancy tax by 2 percent, and car rental tax by 5 percent. The City of Arlington provided over $325 million (including interest) in bonds as funding,[13][14] and Jones covered any cost overruns. Also, the NFL provided the Cowboys with an additional $150 million loan, as per their policy for facilitating financing for the construction of new stadiums.[15]

A pair of nearly 300 ft (91 m)-tall arches spans the length of the stadium dome, anchored to the ground at each end. The new stadium also includes "more than 3,000 Sony LCD displays throughout the luxury suites, concourses, concession areas and more, offering fans viewing options that extend beyond the action on the field,"[16] and a center-hung video display board that is the 2nd largest high-definition television screen in the world (Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina now has the largest). Glass doors, allowing each end zone to be opened, were designed and constructed by Dallas-based Haley-Greer glass systems.

The retractable roof was designed by structural engineering firm Walter P Moore and the systems were implemented by mechanization consultants Uni-Systems. These Kinetic Architecture fundamentals will be employed in order to create quick conversions of the facility to accommodate a variety of events. When the design was officially unveiled on December 12, 2006, it showed that, from inside the stadium, the roof (membrane installed by K Post Company of Dallas)[17] will look very similar to the Texas Stadium roof, with its trademark hole. However, it can be covered by the retractable roof panel to protect against the elements.

A Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame is planned for the Hall of Fame level. The drawings also include a site for a large sculpture northeast of the stadium, close to Randol Mill Road.


  • 1994: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he wants to expand the 65,000-seat Texas Stadium by up to 40,000 seats, add retractable roof panels and install a climate-control system to make the stadium a year-round venue for sporting events, including the Super Bowl, concerts and conventions.
  • 1997–2000: The Cowboys hold preliminary talks with Arlington officials about building a stadium there. The team also publicly discusses a $260 million plan to upgrade Texas Stadium. In 2000, the Cowboys compile a list of potential stadium sites, which include Grapevine, Coppell and Arlington. The team continues negotiating with Irving to renovate Texas Stadium.
  • 2001: Jones says Arlington is a leading contender for a $500 million stadium. The primary site considered is the 2,000 acres (810 ha) Lakes of Arlington tract on Farm Road 157. Other cities in the running include Grapevine and Grand Prairie. In October, Jones discusses the new stadium with the mayors of Arlington, Irving, Grapevine and Dallas.
  • 2003: The Cowboys ask the Irving City Council to extend their lease at Texas Stadium, which expires at the end of the 2008 season, on a year-to-year basis. They narrow their search to sites in Las Colinas and Dallas, and state legislators file bills that would allow Dallas County to increase its hotel occupancy and car rental taxes to pay for a new stadium.
  • 2004: In April, the Cowboys announce plans to build a $650 million stadium at Fair Park in Dallas. The deal requires $425 million in public financing from a 3 percent hotel-occupancy tax and a 6 percent car-rental tax. The deal falls apart in June when Dallas County commissioners say they cannot justify asking voters to approve the team's request for $425 million in public funding. In July, the Cowboys and Arlington announce they are negotiating to locate the stadium near Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (then Ameriquest Field). In August, the Arlington City Council agrees unanimously to put before voters a tax increase that would fund the city's $325 million portion of the project. Voters approve the tax increase on November 2.
  • 2005: Arlington and the Cowboys choose the site south of Randol Mill Road and east of Collins Street for the new stadium. The city begins notifying residents and property owners of its plans to acquire their property. The Cowboys hire the HKS architectural firm to design the stadium. Early blueprints show 414 luxury suites and a two-panel retractable roof. The city completes its sale of $297.9 million in bonds to pay for its portion of the construction. Demolition of houses begins November 1.
  • January 2006: The Cowboys hired Oklahoma-based Manhattan Construction as the general contractor for the stadium and the city completes its land purchases, although it still faces a number of lawsuits over land acquisition. Later that month, Tarrant County work crews begin demolition of more than 150 Arlington residences and small business structures to make room for the stadium.[18]
  • March 2006: Alliance announced between Manhattan Construction and two general contractors, Rayco Construction of Grand Prairie and 3i Construction of Dallas, to manage the stadium's construction.[19]
  • April 2006: Excavation begins by Mario Sinacola and Sons Excavating. By August, they had moved over 1.4 million cubic yards of earth, shaping a 13-to-14-acre (5.3 to 5.7 ha) stadium bowl an average of 54 feet (16 m) deep.[20]
  • August 2006: Two construction cranes are raised on the site.
  • October 2006: The grass amphitheater on Randol Mill Road is leveled to make way for the extension of Baird Farm Road.
  • December 2006: The stadium's structure begins to go up and on December 12, Jerry Jones unveils the in-depth plans and designs of the stadium to the public.
  • January 2007: A construction worker is injured in a 20 ft (6 m) fall.[21]
  • February 2007: Masonry work begins.
  • March 2007: Heldenfels Enterprises awarded the contract to manufacture and erect the pre-cast/pre-stressed concrete structural components and placement of them begins in April.[22]
  • June 2007: Work on the retractable roof, designed by Uni-Systems, starts.
  • July 2007: Exterior facade and enclosure work began.
  • October 2007: First steel arch is completed.
Armed Forces Color Guard at Super Bowl XLV
  • February 2008: Second steel arch is completed.
  • June 2008: Jones commissions the world's largest 1080p HDTV,[23] to hang above field.
  • June 2008: An electrician is electrocuted while working on the stadium. Two days before, three people were injured while assembling a crane.
  • 2009: The stadium is scheduled for 'substantial completion' in June. The artificial-turf field was brought into the stadium in July. The Cowboys played their first pre-season home game on August 21 and their first regular-season home game on Sunday, September 20.
  • May 13, 2009: Jerry Jones announced the official name of the new venue as Cowboys Stadium.[24]
  • February 6, 2011: The 2010 NFL Season Super Bowl was hosted at the Cowboys Stadium, which saw the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.


  • August 20, 2009: Jody Dean, a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame and KLUV-FM (98.7) talk show host, will be Cowboys Stadium's public address announcer. Dean replaces The Ticket's George Dunham, the longtime voice of Texas Stadium.[26]
  • August 21, 2009: The Cowboys played the Tennessee Titans in their first preseason home game and first American football game ever played at Cowboys Stadium. The game was nationally televised on FOX at 7 PM CDT.[27] Dallas won the game 30–10, with one play from scrimmage blown dead when a ball punted by Titans' rookie punter A. J. Trapasso struck the main video screen after repeatedly striking it during pregame warmups.
  • September 20, 2009: The Cowboys played their first NFL regular season game in the new stadium, with former President and Texas resident George W. Bush handling the opening coin toss. The Cowboys lost to their long-time NFC East division rivals, the New York Giants, 33–31 with Eli Manning leading them on a last second field goal by Lawrence Tynes. It was televised on NBC.[28] This game attracted a record-breaking crowd of 105,121.[29]
  • September 28, 2009: The Cowboys got their first home regular season win. They beat the Carolina Panthers 21–7 with 90,588 in attendance. The game was televised on ESPN's Monday Night Football and marked a record 42nd win for the Cowboys on MNF.[30]

Naming rights

Although the stadium had yet to sell naming rights, many fans started referring to the project with various nicknames such as "Jerry's World", "JerryWorld", "Jerryworld",[24][31][32][33] or "JonesTown", the "Jerrydome", "Jones-Mahal", the "Death Star",[34] "The House that Jerry Built", "La Casa de Jerry", "The Palace in Dallas" (for which announcer Bob Costas was chastised by the Arlington Mayor[35]), "Cowboys Cathedral",[36] the "Boss Hog Bowl" in reference to Jones's continued affiliation to his Alma Mater nickname, the Razorbacks (or hogs) or "Six Flags Over Jerry" in reference to Jerry Jones and Six Flags Over Texas, which is near the new stadium, as well as lesser known others.[37]

There was also a petition by some fans to have the stadium named after longtime Cowboys' coach Tom Landry.

On May 13, 2009, Jerry Jones announced the official name as Cowboys Stadium.[24]

Video screen

Measuring 160 feet (49 m) wide and 72 feet (22 m) tall, the high-definition television screen at Cowboys Stadium is among the world's largest.

A highlight of Cowboys Stadium is its gigantic center-hung high-definition television screen, at the time largest in the world, sometimes referred to as "Jerry-Tron". The 160-by-72-foot (49 by 22 m), 175-foot (53 m) diagonal, 11,520-square-foot (1,070 m2), scoreboard surpasses the 8,736 sq ft (812 m2) screen that opened in 2009 at the renovated Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri as the world's largest.[38][39][40]

The screens were developed by Mitsubishi's Diamond Vision Systems. Each center-hung sideline display consists of 10,584,064 LEDs, consuming some 635,000 watts.[41] Because each pixel consists of four LEDs (2 red, 1 green, 1 blue), the 2,176 X 4,864 LED distribution corresponds to a 1,088 X 2,432 pixel resolution. However the image can actually be considerably sharper than the resolution suggests, because Diamond Vision's "Dynamic Pixel" technology allows the corner LEDs of four neighboring pixel clusters to function as a pixel cluster together, providing virtual pixels between each physical pixel.[42]

During the debut preseason game of Cowboys Stadium, a punt by Tennessee Titans punter A. J. Trapasso hit the 2,100 in. screen above the field. The punt deflected backwards and was ruled in-play until Titans coach Jeff Fisher informed the officials that the punt struck the scoreboard. By rule, the down was replayed. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones believes that Trapasso was trying to hit the scoreboard, saying "If you look at how you punt the football, unless you're trying to hit the scoreboard, you punt the ball to get downfield. You certainly want to get some hangtime, but you punt the ball to get downfield, and you sure don't punt the ball down the middle. You punt it off to the side."[43] Whether the screen would affect an opposing team's punting strategy has been debated. For teams with strategies centered on maximizing hang-time, physicist Christopher Moore of Longwood University has shown via computer simulation that well-kicked punts have the potential to hit the screen no matter the field position.[44] Trapasso disputed Jones' suggestion that he was intentionally trying to hit the board, and other NFL punters have suggested that the board may pose a problem for longer hang-time punts. The screen was moved up on one occasion to make room for U2's massive set during their 360° Tour, but was moved back down after the concert.

Guinness World Records was on hand at the September 28, 2009, game against the Carolina Panthers to award certificates to the Chairman of Mitsubishi Electric and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for the World's Largest High-Definition Video Display.[45]

For basketball events played in Cowboys Stadium, such as the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, the video board is actually larger than the court.

Major events

NBA All-Star Weekend

From February 14 to February 16, 2010, the stadium hosted the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. With an announced crowd of 108,713, the game became the highest-attended basketball game in history, setting a new Guinness World Record. The East squad prevailed with a 141–139 victory over the West.


Cowboys playing at Cowboys Stadium
  • On January 3, 2010 the Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in a 24 – 0 shutout to win the NFC East division title and complete the first ever back-to-back shutouts in franchise history.[46]
  • On January 9, 2010 the Cowboys hosted their first playoff game in the new stadium, again playing the Eagles. Dallas won 34–14, breaking their infamous 13-year playoff win drought.
  • On February 6, 2011 the stadium hosted Super Bowl XLV. Others bidding for the game's location were the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.[47] Hours before kickoff, over 1200 seats were blocked off in the interest of safety. Approximately 800 people were given other seats inside the Stadium, however about 400 people were unable to be seated and were given a letter from the NFL that could be exchanged for three times the face value of the ticket. Those people were also given the option to either watch on a TV in one of the stadium's lounges, where they would be unable to see the field in person, or watch on screens outside the stadium. The NFL also announced that those 400 people would receive free tickets to the next year's Super Bowl. On February 9, 2011, the first lawsuit was filed against the NFL & Jerry Jones, with more suits likely to follow.[48]

College football

Big 12 Championship Game

University of Texas marching band during the Big 12 Championship game
  • December 4, 2010: The final Big 12 Championship game is held at the stadium. The Oklahoma Sooners and Nebraska Cornhuskers rekindle their rivalry as the Sooners win 23–20.

Cotton Bowl Classic

  • January 2, 2010: In the first bowl game played at the stadium, the Ole Miss Rebels defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys by a score of 21–7 in the 74th installment of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. Attendance was 77,928 and was the third largest attendance of any preceding Cotton Bowl game. With Oklahoma State having played in the Cotton Bowl, all Big 12 South Teams have played at least one game in the Cowboys Stadium.[50]
  • January 7, 2011: In 75th installment of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic The LSU Tigers by a score of 41–24 defeated the Texas A&M Aggies with an outstanding attendance of 83,514 making it the second largest attendance in Cotton Bowl history. LSU finished with a 11–2 record Texas A&M finished 9–4 making it their 49th meeting all time.

Cowboys Classic

  • September 5, 2009: The Brigham Young University Cougars and Oklahoma Sooners played the first college football game in the new stadium, with the Cougars upsetting the Sooners, 14–13, in front of 75,437 spectators.[51]
  • September 4, 2010: TCU defeated Oregon State 30–21, before a crowd of 46,138, in a season-opening encounter between ranked teams.[52]
  • September 3, 2011: Oregon was defeated by LSU, 40–27, before a crowd of 87,711 in the third installment of the Cowboys Classic.
  • September 1, 2012: Michigan will take on Alabama in the fourth installment of the Cowboys Classic.

Southwest Classic

  • October 3, 2009: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones watched his alma-mater the Arkansas Razorbacks defeat the Texas A&M Aggies 47–19 in the first of ten games called the Southwest Classic to be played at the stadium.[53]

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Shootout

In 2009, the Big 12 Conference game between the Baylor Bears and Texas Tech Red Raiders was held at Cowboys Stadium, the first time in the series the match-up was held on a neutral site. The game was the highest attended in the series' history, with 71,964 in attendence.[54]

After the 2010 game was held at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park, Dallas during the State Fair of Texas, the series will return to Cowboys Stadium for the 2011 and 2012 games. The series' neutral site contract at Cowboys Stadium could continue until 2014.[55]


Cowboys Stadium being set up for Texas vs. North Carolina game
  • December 19, 2009: In the first college basketball game at the stadium, before a crowd of 38,052, the Texas Longhorns defeated the defending national champion North Carolina Tar Heels, 103–90.[56]

Other events

  • July 19, 2009 – Cowboys Stadium hosted two matches in the quarterfinal round of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Costa Rica defeated Guadeloupe, 5–1. Mexico shut out Haiti, 4–0.
  • August 19, 2009 – Paul McCartney concluded his Summer Live '09 Tour at the stadium. This concert was the first official stadium event after the city of Arlington declared the stadium open.
  • October 12, 2009 – U2 brought their 360° Tour to Cowboys Stadium, with Muse as their opening act. To make room for the large claw shaped stage, the video board was raised 25 feet (7.6 m) and was not used during the concert.[58]
  • February 27, 2010 – The stadium hosted their first Monster Jam event with 11 trucks. This event is now held annually, having returned in 2011 and scheduled for 2012.
  • July 17, 2010 – On July 17, 2010, two of the top professional soccer clubs in Mexico – Club America and San Luis F.C. – will compete in a friendly at Cowboys Stadium. Club America will be making its second appearance at Cowboys Stadium. In 2009, Club America played Chelsea FC in the World Football Challenge in front of 57,229 fans at Cowboys Stadium.[62]
  • December 10, 2010 – Henderson Lions defeat Chapel Hill Bulldogs 28–21 in the UIL 3A state championship, the first Texas state championship high school football game played in the stadium.
  • June 5, 2011 – Cowboys Stadium hosted the opening matches of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Costa Rica defeated Cuba 5–0 in the opener, while Mexico defeated El Salvador 5–0 in the nightcap.
  • June 30, 2011 – The final round of the 2011 US Women's Open in bowling was played at Cowboys Stadium,[63] with Leanne Hulsenberg winning.

Concessions and merchandising

On October 20, 2008, Cowboys owner Jones and then New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner announced a joint business venture called Legends Hospitality Management LLC which would operate the concessions and merchandising sales at the new Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas, and at the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, along with the stadiums of the Yankees' minor league affiliates. Former Pizza Hut President Michael Rawlings will run the company from its new headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. The company was also backed by Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs and Dallas private equity firm CIC Partners LP.[64][65][66]

Art Program at Dallas Cowboys Stadium

The Jones family commissioned 18 contemporary artists to create site-specific artworks for the stadium. The stadium features paintings, sculptures, and installations by Franz Ackerman, Doug Aitken, Ricci Albenda, Mel Bochner, Daniel Buren, Olafur Eliasson, Teresita Fernandez, Wayne Gonzales, Terry Haggerty, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Jacqueline Humphries, Jim Isermann, Annette Lawrence, Dave Muller, Gary Simmons, and Lawrence Weiner.[67]


The fees for premium parking at Dallas Cowboys games are estimated at $75 per game, based on season ticket holder parking charges.[68] The fees to park at major concerts and other sporting events will be nearly $40 per space at the new stadium.[69] A shuttle operates between the T&P Station and Cowboys Stadium for all Cowboys regular season and postseason games and selected college football games,[70] which averages approximately 900 riders per game.[70]


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External links

Downtown Dallas from the Trinity River.jpg Dallas-Fort Worth portal
Preceded by
Texas Stadium
Home of the
Dallas Cowboys

2009 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Arrowhead Stadium
Host of the
Big 12 Championship Game

2009 – 2010
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Cotton Bowl
Home of the
Cotton Bowl Classic

2010 – future
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sun Life Stadium
Host of the Super Bowl
XLV 2011
Succeeded by
Lucas Oil Stadium
Preceded by
US Airways Center
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

Succeeded by
Staples Center

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