Home on the range

Cowboys score with new stadium
By Rona Distenfeld

America’s Team has a new home. Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, follows the credo that everything here is bigger and better.


Above: Cowboys Stadium evokes the classic image of a “sci-fi” spaceship that has gently landed in Arlington.

Below: Cowboys’ wide receiver Austin Miles catches a pass during the first week of training camp. The first home game at Cowboy Stadium is Sept. 20.

(all photos, Dallas Cowboys)

Fans of low-budget science fiction movies from the 1950s will be reminded of the iconic scene of a spaceship landing when looking at the stadium’s sleek, silver-toned glass walls that shine in the sun and glow from the inside at night. And it’s huge. Measuring 3 million square feet and covering 73 acres, it is the largest enclosed National Football League stadium in the world.
The wow factor

If it seems big from the outside, walking in will bring out the involuntary “wow.” Do you look first at the panoramic view of the field 50 feet below or at the world’s largest video screen suspended 110 feet above the stadium floor? It’s big enough to eclipse the world's largest retractable roof above it.

The roof, supported by two arches that rise 292 feet above the field, is the longest single-span roof structure in the world. It gives the $1.1 billion stadium an open feeling that’s made even bigger when the roof retracts and the doors on each end of the stadium are open. It also was designed to emulate the roof at the Cowboys’ former home, Texas Stadium.

The $40 million video board has 25,000 square feet of video display and stretches almost from one 20-yard line to the other. Each of the four sides has a Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision™ video display. The innovative technology and center-hung design give up to 100,000 fans a great view of the game from every seat. Those in the upper decks will see the players right in front of them. More video displays throughout the stadium ensure that fans won't miss a second of the game. 

The stadium also was designed by HKS to be energy efficient. Along with the retractable roof, huge doors above each end zone can be opened to allow a cross-breeze to cool the stadium on warm days.

Kick off with star power

Cowboys Stadium opened June 6 with a concert by George Strait and Reba McIntyre, but the stadium’s true purpose is a place for football. Oklahoma University plays Brigham Young University on Sept. 5, and the Cowboys play their first game in their new home on Sept. 20 against the New York Giants. The Super Bowl will be played here in 2011.

Traffic on game days and major events days will change normal routes and highway exits. A new Web site, www.dallascowboysmaps.com, will personalize a route for you based on actual traffic routing plans for game day. The City of Arlington and City of Grand Prairie are adjusting traffic signal timing to accommodate the Web site routes. Regular GPS and Internet mapping services will not have the live road closure and routing information for the day, so be sure to check this Web site before you go. The site also includes departure maps and information to help you head home or to your hotel, so make a weekend of it and enjoy all the fun Arlington has to offer.          

Rona Distenfeld is a contributor from Austin, Texas.

Sept/Oct 2009 Issue


For more information, visit www.dallascowboys.com for tickets and schedules, as well as stadium information. Tours of the new stadium are offered daily; tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children (5–12) and seniors (older than 65). Visitor information for the Arlington area is available at www.arlington.org.

To visit Arlington, first stop by your nearest AAA service office for maps, reservations, TripTiks® and TourBook® guides. List of offices

Order free information about Texas through the Reader Service, found online at http://southern.ai-dsg.com.

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