Pro Sports Stadium Review: AT&T Stadium

Jerry Jones, owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, has built up a reputation as being a great showman and big spender. So, when he announced that he would construct a venue to replace Texas Stadium, in Irving, Texas in 1997, people figured it would be opulent. Jerry didn’t disappoint.

The Stadium has jokingly been called Giant Stadium West, Death Star, the Palace in Dallas, Cowboys Cathedral, Jurassic Park, and more.

Jones first held preliminary talks with city officials of Arlington, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, about constructing a new stadium there in 1997 and the talks went on into 2000 when the Cowboys started developing a list of potential sites that included Arlington.

Graphic via inquisitr

Meanwhile, the Cowboys were playing in Texas Stadium, which replaced the Cotton Bowl, as the team’s home when it was opened in 1971. While considering and negotiating for a new stadium, Jones was also discussing plans to upgrade Texas Stadium for a cost of $260 million. Jones had said as early as 1994 that he wanted to expand the seating capacity of the Cowboys’ home from 65,000 to about 95,000. He also had plans to add retractable roof panels and a climate-control system so that the venue could be used for sporting events all year round. It should be noted that the original design of the stadium featured a hole in the roof directly above the field. The retractable roof panels were meant to close the opening when weather conditions required it.

In 2001 Jones said that Arlington was the leading contender for a $500 million stadium and that a 2,000-acre site had been selected in a location known as Lakes of Arlington. Still, Jones also said that other cities were still in consideration as hosts of the new structure including Grapevine and Grand Prairie and in October of that year he was still discussing stadium projects with the mayors of Arlington, Irving, Grapevine, and Dallas.

As negotiations continued with those four cities, the Cowboys asked the Irving City Council, which had jurisdiction over Texas Stadium, to extend the lease to year-to-year status in 2003. The lease was scheduled to expire in 2008.

Meanwhile, the team announced that their search for a site for a new stadium had settled on Las Colinas and Dallas and the Texas State Legislature started considering bills that would permit Dallas County to raise hotel occupancy and car rental taxes in order to pay for the new stadium.

In April 2004 the Cowboys announced that they would build a $650 million stadium at Fair Park in Dallas. $425 million of public money financed by a 3 percent hotel-occupancy tax and 6 percent car rental tax would be used to pay for construction. However, in June the Dallas County Commissioners voted against the project and the following month the team and the city of Arlington say that they are talking about locating the stadium there near a site called Globe Life Park. In August the Arlington City Council asked for voters to accept a tax increase that would fund the City’s $325 million share of the project and the voters agreed in an election on November.

Construction finally began in 2006. The venue was completed in 2009 and the Cowboys played their first preseason home game there on August 21 and their first regular season home game on Sunday, September 20.

Representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records were present at the first game in August to certify that the high-definition video display, which is suspended from the roof and stretches between the 20-yard lines, was the largest screen in the world.

A.J. Trapasso, a punter with the Tennessee Titans hit the screen with a punt during a game in August 2009 and Cowboys punter Chris Jones hit it during a game in 2013.
Events Held in AT&T Stadium


A plethora of sports events including college and professional football games and professional basketball and soccer games have been played in AT&T Stadium.


  • The 2010 NBA All-Star Game
  • 2010 NFC Divisional Playoff Game; Cowboys 34 Philadelphia Eagles 14
  • Super Bowl XLV (February 6, 2011): Green Bay Packers 31 Pittsburgh Steelers 25
  • 2009 Big 12 Championship Game: University of Texas 13 University of Nebraska 12
  • 2010 Big 12 Championship Game: Oklahoma University 23 University of Nebraska 20
  • 2010 Cotton Bowl Classic: Mississippi University 21 Oklahoma State University 7
  • 2011 Cotton Bowl Classic: Louisiana State University 41 Texas A&M 24
  • 2012 Cotton Bowl Classic: Arkansas University 29 Kansas State University 16
  • 2013 Cotton Bowl Classic: Texas A&M University 41 Oklahoma 13
  • 2014 Cotton Bowl Classic: University of Missouri 41 Oklahoma State University 31
  • 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic: Michigan State University 42 Baylor University 41
  • 2009 Cowboys Classic: Brigham Young University 14 Oklahoma 13
  • 2010 Cowboys Classic: Texas Christian University 30 Oregon State University 21
  • 2011 Cowboys Classic: Louisiana State University 40 Oregon 27
  • 2012 Cowboys Classic: Alabama University 41 Michigan University 14
  • 2013 Cowboys Classic: LSU 37 TCU 27
  • 2014 Cowboys Classic: Florida State University 37 Oklahoma State University 31
  • 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament South Regionals
  • 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four
  • 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • 2011 World Football Challenge: Club America vs FC Barcelona
  • 2009-2015 AMA Supercross Championships
  • 2010: WBO Welterweight Boxing Championship: Manny Pacquiao defeated Joshua Clottey
  • 2010 Boxing: Manny Pacquiao defeated Antonio Margarito


Concert Performances at AT&T Stadium have included George Strait, the Jonas Brothers, Paul McCartney, U2, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and Jay-Z.

Graphic via goldstar

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