Why is Sarah smiling? Because she has Cowboys Stadium Tour tickets. One each for Derek and herself and her parents. Bryson gets to go in free. Tours of Cowboys Stadium allow fans behind-the-scenes access to several areas including the Cowboys Locker Room, Cheerleaders Locker Room, Playing Field, Private Clubs, Media Interview Room and other areas.
Cowboys Stadium is a domed stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington, Texas. It serves as the home of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys. It replaced the partially-covered Texas Stadium, which opened in 1971, and served as the Cowboys’ home through the 2008 season. It was completed on May 27, 2009. The stadium seats 80,000, making it the 3rd largest stadium in the NFL by seating capacity.
The stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world, has the world’s largest column-free interior and the largest high definition video screen which hangs from 20 yard line to 20 yard line. The facility can also be used for a variety of other activities outside of its main purpose (professional football) such as concerts, religious ceremonies, basketball games, college football and high school football contests, soccer matches, motorcross races and rodeos similar to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Cowboys Stadium was designed by the Dallas-based architectural firm HKS. Originally estimated to cost $650 million, the stadium’s current construction cost was $1.3 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 percent, the hotel occupancy tax by 2 percent, and car rental tax by 5 percent. The City of Arlington provided over $325 million (including interest) in bonds as funding, and Jones covered any cost overruns. Also, the NFL provided the Cowboys with an additional $150 million, as per their policy for giving teams a certain lump sum of money for stadium financing.
A pair of nearly 300 ft-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 and a center-hung video display board that is the largest high-definition television screen in the world. Glass doors, allowing each end zone to be opened, were designed and constructed by Dallas-based Haley-Greer glass systems.
The retractable roof was designed by structural engineering firm Walter P Moore and the systems were implemented by mechanization consultants Uni-Systems. These Kinetic Architecture fundamentals will be employed in order to create quick conversions of the facility to accommodate a variety of events. When the design was officially unveiled on December 12, 2006, it showed that, from inside the stadium, the roof will look very similar to the Texas Stadium roof, with its trademark hole. However, it can be covered by the retractable roof panel to protect against the elements.
Photos by Rickety. Text by Wikipedia.