Sunday, September 21, 2014

TEXAS-SIZED!

We both survived the ordeal of the broken leveling jacks.  We'll talk more about that later, but we had plans to do a couple of things before leaving Dallas.  We had reservations for a VIP tour of the AT&T Stadium, previously known as Cowboys Stadium, opened May 27, 2009.  AT&T Stadium is the world's largest domed structure as well as a museum, learning center, and the world's largest column-free structure.   The stadium cost approximately $1.5 billion dollars to build.  In July, 2013, the facility was officially renamed the AT&T Stadium when AT&T bought the naming rights for $18 million per year for an unknown number of years.
Aerial View of AT&T Stadium - Arlington, TX

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

AT&T Stadium - Arlington, TX

Tickets for the VIP tour allow you a one-of-a-kind experience to hear facts and trivia about one of the most recognizable stadiums in all of sports.  I'll have to admit one half of the two of us wasn't as excited about this opportunity until I got there.  It was an over-the-top experience and I would do it all over again.
View of AT&T Playing Field


Lounge and Entertainment Area

View of Domed Roof
Tours are scheduled every day, several times a day.  You can throw a football on the field, sit in one of the suites, see the locker rooms of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders as well as the players, and see Jerry Jones' personal booth (not his VIP suite) where he watches each game, and his personal elevator.
Entrance to Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Locker Room

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Locker

Entrance to Dallas Cowboys Locker Room

Inside Dallas Cowboys Locker Room - Our tour Guide

Inside Dallas Cowboys Locker Room
Jerry Jones' Personal Viewing Area During Games

Inside Jerry Jones' Personal Viewing Area During Games

Owner's Personal Elevator
You are taken from the largest pro shop in the NFL (where it is anticipated you will drop even more of your money before you leave) in to the stadium with a seating capacity of 80,000 but can be expanded to seat nearly 100,000 fans for large events - like the Super Bowl.  Ninety-four percent (94%) of the seats are held by season ticket holders.
Second Floor of Pro Shop

On 5 levels there are 300 suites (at this time 298 are sold/leased) that includes the Hall of Fame level, that is just 21 rows from the playing field.  There are 15,000 club seats surrounding the field offering additional features not found anywhere else in the stadium.  In other words, there isn't a bad seat in the house!
AT&T Stadium Seating
Inside Luxury VIP Executive Suites - AT&T Stadium


Hall Of Fame Level on Ground Floor

Cowboys Entrance on Ground Floor

View looking at Hall Of Fame Level at Stadium Level

There is a massive HD videoboard suspended 90' above the center of the field, one of the largest HD videoboards in the world.  By the way, the $40 million cost of the videoboard is more than the total cost of the old Texas Stadium in Irving,TX, when it was built in 1971.  Please don't call the video board a "Jumbotron" which is a Sony product.  Staff with the Cowboys will be quick to remind you their boards are "Diamond Vision", manufactured by Mitsubishi
Diamond Vision Video Board
View of Stadium and Diamond Vision

RV At The Stadium 50 Yard Line
We were surprised to learn about the number of different venues used in this stadium.  Not only are high profile sporting events scheduled on a regular basis but concerts and one of the biggest games for college football fans is the Cotton Bowl, which is now hosted in the AT&T Stadium.

AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic Headquarters
One of the  highlights of our almost 2 hour walking tour was talking with the very knowledgeable and personable staff.  We were impressed throughout the tour at just how immaculate the entire facility was in all areas.  Our tour guide was knowledgeable and was able to answer any questions posed by anyone in our group concerning architectural details, the structure, or history of the team.

There were huge elevators used to transport over 20 of us from floor to floor.  These elevators had been used during the construction phase of the Stadium but were perfect for transporting us.  Guess you could say it was "TEXAS-SIZED", just like the rest of the Stadium.







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