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AT&T Stadium

 

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 (NFL) 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 the city of Arlington, can also be used for a variety of other activities such as concerts, basketball games, 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.

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". It also houses a center-hung Mitsubishi video display board that was the largest high-definition television screen in the world at the time of their installation. It has since been surpassed in size by the Panasonic "Big Hoss" video board (218 feet (66 m) wide and 94.6 feet (28.8 m) tall) at Texas Motor Speedway. Glass doors, allowing each end zone to be opened, were designed and constructed by Dallas-based Haley-Greer glass systems.

Mayor Robert Cluck claimed to use eminent domain as a last resort but most of the properties refused to sell to the city, indicating that the incentive program was not adequate according to Glenn Sodd, an attorney representing some home owners in the area. Attorney Bob Cohen, who is representing some of the property owners, said the city gave many of his clients little incentive to sell. He said he represents the owners of some rental properties who were counting on that monthly revenue for their retirement and said most homeowners cannot afford to re-build or buy in that area with the incentive package.

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 $1719 million per year. Facility Solutions Group installed the "AT&T Stadium" letters on the top of the stadium. Signage includes two sets of letters 43 feet (13 m) tall stretching 385 feet (117 m). The letters are made of lightweight components and aluminum and are insulated and heated to melt ice and snow.

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 (53.34 m) 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, "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." 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. 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 retrofitted with 16 custom winches using 11,000 feet (3.35 km) of 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) domestic galvanized wire rope from Tway Lifting Products to accomplish the safe, efficient transport of the video board in time to make room for U2's massive set during their 360 Tour, and was moved back down after the concert. The video board is also the primary attachment point for up to 370,000 lb (168 metric tons) of concert and theatrical rigging.

The Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Texas A&M Aggies football rivalry, which began in 1903, was renewed in 2009 as the Southwest Classic, and was played at Cowboys Stadium from 2009 through 2011. In 2012, Texas A&M joined Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference, and the series reverted to the schools' home fields, Kyle Field in College Station, Texas for the 2012 game and Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2013. The Southwest Classic returned to AT&T Stadium in 2014 and will remain there through at least 2020.

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. 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.

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 Cowboys Stadium for all Cowboys regular season and postseason games and selected college football games, which averages approximately 900 riders per game. For special events like Super Bowl XLV parking prices can increase to as much as $990.

The stadium was only accessible via the Metro Arlington Xpress (MAX) bus system; a 0.4 mi (0.64 km) walk from the Collins and Andrews stop which connected with the Trinity Rail Express (TRE) station at CentrePort/DFW Airport. The bus system was an experimental program which commenced in April 2013 and was replaced by a ride-sharing service in December 2017.


 



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