AT&T Stadium, formerly Cowboys Stadium, is a retractable roof stadium in Arlington, Texas, United States. It serves as the home of the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League and was completed on May 27, 2009. It is also the home of the Cotton Bowl Classic and the Big 12 Championship Game.
The facility, owned by Jerry Jones, can also be used for a variety of other activities such as concerts, basketball games, soccer, college and high school football contests, rodeos and motocross and Spartan races. It replaced the partially covered Texas Stadium, which served as the Cowboys’ home from 1971 through the 2008 season.
AT&T Stadium Construction and design
Originally estimated at $650 million, the stadium’s actual construction cost rose to $1.15 billion, 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%, the hotel occupancy tax by 2%, and car rental tax by 5%.
The retractable roof was designed by structural engineering firm Walter P Moore and the systems were implemented by mechanization consultants Uni-Systems. The electrification of Cowboys Stadium’s retractable roof was developed by VAHLE, Inc. These Kinetic Architecture fundamentals will be employed in order to create quick conversions of the facility to accommodate a variety of events.
The football turf field was built by Hellas Construction. They developed a special SoftTop Convertible Turf System that has 26 interchangeable panels to allow the stadium to host a variety of events from concerts, dirt bike and monster truck rallies to college football, basketball, and soccer games.
AT&T Stadium Naming
Although the stadium had yet to sell naming rights, many fans started referring to the project with various nicknames such as Jerry World, the Death Star, The Palace in Dallas, Cowboys Cathedral, Jerrassic Park and others. There was also a petition by some fans to have the stadium named after longtime Cowboys’ coach Tom Landry.
On July 25, 2013, Jerry Jones announced that the Dallas Cowboys had agreed to grant naming rights to AT&T. The name change from Cowboys Stadium to AT&T Stadium took effect immediately. The sponsorship deal was reported to be worth about $17–19 million per year. Facility Solutions Group installed the AT&T Stadium letters on the top of the stadium.
AT&T Stadium Video Board
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 HD Video Display. For basketball events played in Cowboys Stadium, such as the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, the video board is actually larger than the court. It has since been surpassed in size by the video boards at TIAA Bank Field.
During the debut preseason game of Cowboys Stadium on August 21, 2009, a punt by Tennessee Titans punter A. J. Trapasso hit the 175 feet wide 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. Jerry Jones believes that Trapasso was trying to hit the scoreboard, saying.
College Football Playoff National Championship
AT&T Stadium, then known as Cowboys Stadium, was the site of the 2009 and 2010 Big 12 Championship Games, the last two held prior to the 2010–13 Big 12 Conference realignment. On December 5, 2009, the Texas Longhorns defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 13–12 in the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game, the first to be held in the stadium with attendance announced at 76,211.
The following year, on December 4, 2010, the Oklahoma Sooners and Nebraska Cornhuskers rekindled their rivalry as the Sooners won 23–20 in the final Big 12 Championship game until the 2017 season. The stadium was scheduled to host the games through the 2013 season.
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. 2013 NCAA Tournament South Regional featuring 3 games with the winner of the third going to the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
The stadium has hosted three world championship boxing fights since its opening, as the large capacity and retractable roof make it an ideal venue for boxing events throughout the year. Two of the sports biggest stars in Manny Pacquiao and Saul Canelo Álvarez have headlined championship bouts there.
Concessions and Merchandising
On October 20, 2008, Cowboys owner Jones and 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.
Stadium art program
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.
The fees for premium parking at Dallas Cowboys games are estimated at $75 per game, based on season ticket holder parking charges. The fees to park at major concerts and other sporting events will be nearly $40 per space at the new stadium. A shuttle operates between the T&P Station and AT&T Stadium for all Cowboys regular season and postseason games and selected college football games.