Everything is bigger in Texas.
Owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones must have heard this saying and thought, “You know what? I’ll do you one better,” and thus the largest domed stadium in the world was born. The naming rights of the stadium have since been sold and the name of the retractable roof stadium in Arlington is AT&T Stadium, but that doesn’t take away from this architectural wonder that is the pride of Texas. Home of the Dallas Cowboys, as well as the Cotton Bowl Classic and various other events such as concert, basketball games, soccer matches and motocross, AT&T Stadium was completed on May 27, 2009. The ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony featured some Cowboy legends including Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. Jerry Jones originally envisioned the Cowboys home turf to be so much more than simply where America’s Team plays, but more of a redefinition of what a football stadium could be. He referred to it as, “A large entertainment mecca.”
The Eighth Wonder of the World
Designed by the Dallas-based architectural firm HKS, AT&T Stadium, unveiled in 2009, replaced Texas Stadium, which served as the faithful home to the Cowboys from 1971 to the end of the 2008-2009 season. Priced at an estimated whopping $1.15 billion, making it the most expensive sports venue ever built. The three million square-foot, 80,000-seat stadium covering 140 total acres has been affectionately nicknamed “Jerry’s World” due to the extensive vision Jerry Jones had for the stadium and the love he feels for it to this day. AT&T Stadium is tied with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as the fifth largest stadium in the National Football League and technically can hold upwards of 105,000 screaming fans including standing room. The pièce de résistance is the Mitsubishi video display board that at the time of installation was the largest high-definition television screen in the world only to be surpassed by another Texas stadium, the “Big Hoss” video board at Texas Motor Speedway—big surprise. This screen hangs from 20-yard line to 20-yard line for the viewing pleasure of the fans and when basketball games are played at AT&T Stadium, the screen is actually bigger than the court itself. Jerry Jones’ “large entertainment mecca” contains more than 3,000 Sony LCP displays throughout its many luxury suits, concourses and concession areas. On top of all of that, AT&T Stadium also features a 19,000 square-foot dining venue called the Stadium Club as well as Jerry’s contemporary art collection.
Not Just a Football Stadium
Private, group, guided and self-guided tours will take you all throughout AT&T Stadium and show you everything you could ever want to see inside this Arlington Marvel and along these tours you will come across a world-class contemporary fine art collection. From the beginning, Jerry Jones wanted AT&T Stadium to be more than just a home for the Dallas Cowboys but also the next great architectural icon that would appeal to not only fans of sports but to the artistically minded individual as well. Many from near and far come to Arlington to appreciate the extensive detail that went into the architecture, engineering, design, technology and art behind AT&T Stadium. The finest designers, engineers and builders were commissioned to great a “great global icon” of its very own class. AT&T Stadium has set itself apart from any other stadium through visionary leadership and contemporary innovation that has made Jerry Jones’ dream come true. Jones’ dream was an extravagant yet simple one: “To change the way fans watch football games by making every aspect of the experience more thrilling, gracious and awe-inspiring than ever before.”
Jerry Jones is the owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, as well as visionary and the one that executed on his dreams of making so much more than just a football stadium. His ultimate goal was to stay true to his love: The game of football. On Sundays, that’s what AT&T Stadium is all about. As for the rest of the other 165 hours of the week, the city of Arlington and Jerry Jones have transformed everything else about AT&T Stadium into an instant architectural landmark.
By Jerry Shumway