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The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most popular sports team in the world. The star on their helmets is the simplest, yet most recognizable logo in sports. The five-time Super Bowl Champions are in the elite of winning championships in the Super Bowl era, trailing only the six-time Super Bowl Champions, Pittsburgh Steelers.
On September 20, 2009, AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium) opened for the Cowboys first regular season game versus their division rival, New York Giants. The opening ceremony had everything you would expect from the Cowboys organization. The video screen showed past memories of Cowboys games played at their former homes, the Cotton Bowl (1960-1971), and Texas Stadium (1972-2008). The Cowboys greats then were escorted on to the field by members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, with a grand finale of unveiling “The Star “at midfield of their current home.
AT&T Stadium holds 80,000 people with the potential to hold up to 105,000, with standing room only areas on the east and west side of the stadium, referred to as Party Passes ($29). The stadium in a short time has become one of the premier sporting stadiums in the world. Besides being home to the Dallas Cowboys, the stadium has hosted events such as Super Bowl XLV, the NBA All-Star game, NCAA Final Four, and the annual AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The tailgating scene for Cowboys games has improved since moving from Texas Stadium, so as you make your way to the stadium, you'll see some incredible tailgating set ups. However, if you don't tailgate or grab a bite to eat at the local restaurants, don't worry. AT&T Stadium has a few unique items along the classic stadium food, such as ultimate nachos ($9), black angus hamburgers, chicken waffle sandwiches ($20), along with jalapeño and cheese sausages ($10), Nathan's hot dogs ($5.50), pretzels ($6), refillable popcorn ($10), and peanuts ($5).
Catfish po-boy sandwich, chicken and cheese flautas, prime rib sandwich ($10), and Frito pie ($8) are some of the other unique items. The stadium also caters to a healthier choice with the vegetarian black bean burger and gluten free turkey sandwich ($8), peanut butter and jelly sandwich ($3), a fruit cup ($5), and whole dill pickles ($3).
The stadium serves Pepsi and Dr. Pepper products as you will see from the large Pepsi and Dr. Pepper signage in the upper level concourses. You will pay around $6 for a souvenir cup.
The majority of the beer signage tells you Miller is the sponsor of the Dallas Cowboys, so throughout the stadium, Miller Lite and Coors are sold at the price of $8.50. Shiner Bock, Dos Equis, and Blue Moon is sold as well but are located in the upper concourse bars. If you have club seats you will have the same variety of beers, along with mixed drinks. The stadium does serve wine in all club bars ($9), the four upper concourse bars and portable beer carts. However, the most popular adult beverage seems to be the Cowboyrita ($16 frozen margarita).
The atmosphere surrounding AT&T Stadium is alive and electric, and begins early in the morning regardless of the game time. The tailgaters begin to set up as early as five hours before kickoff, since tailgating does have designated areas, space is limited. The atmosphere is friendly no matter which team colors you are wearing.
If you aren't into the traditional tailgating, then you can still enjoy a pre-game experience, as the Cowboys provide pre-game entertainment beginning two hours before kickoff, with two stages located at the AT&T Plaza (east side) and the Miller Lite Plaza (west side) of the stadium. The entertainment features the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Dallas Cowboys Drum Line along with the Rhythm & Blues Dancers, not to mention portable bars and food trucks.
There are 10 guest entrances into AT&T Stadium, however, you should follow the gate on your ticket for which entrance you enter, as the stadium can be tricky since premier club level seating is located between the 20 yard lines and you may be denied access walking through on the main concourse. This will force you to go to the upper level and back down.
The $29 Party Pass holders will line up early to enter the stadium as they rush to claim their standing space and the best view for the day. The stadium has a wide concourse, plenty of concession stands, two large pro shops on the main concourse and two smaller shops in the upper level for Cowboys fans to add souvenirs to their collections.
The teams enter the field through the lower clubs. The Miller Lite Club is at the 50 yard-line so you will not be able to get close to the players entering onto the field, unless you have the club access. You'll also notice fans on the field during this time. These are pre-game credentials that the Cowboys offer to a lot of their suite holders and players' family members.
The game atmosphere itself depends on what is happening during the field of play, but many people feel that the stadium is so amazingly large that a home field advantage just doesn't exist, yet it isn't from a lack of trying by the Cowboy's fans. The pure massiveness of this stadium makes the incredible video screen a must for fans that are sitting in the upper sections of the stadium.
Overall, the atmosphere provides a good place to see a game. It is an amazing architectural structure with its retractable doors and roof. The fantastic artwork located throughout the stadium is an interesting touch to the stadium and brings another reason that not only Cowboys fans should visit, but any sports fan would enjoy.
Unlike its neighbor to the east, Globe Life Park, AT&T Stadium was built within a more reasonable walking distance to the Arlington artery of restaurants on Collins Street. There is no public transportation in the city of Arlington around the stadium, and you'll find Cowboys fans lined up at the parking lot entrances to stake their spot for the day's tailgating event as early as sunrise. A generous amount of foot traffic going to and from restaurants helps ensure a safe neighborhood during Cowboys games.
There is the Tailgate Tavern located on the other side of Wal-Mart, which is a good place to meet up with friend and watch games before the stadium gates open. Just across the street from the stadium, you have Fishbone Grill and Airway Burgers along with popular fast food and chain restaurants (Buffalo Wild Wings, Wendy's, Subway, etc.) along Collins Street.
Another popular area in the neighborhood is Lincoln Square, which is an area of restaurants and shops approximately ¼ mile from the stadium on the corner of Interstate 30 and Collins Street. Lincoln Square offers Catch-A -Ride if you spend $40 at Lincoln Square (buying a simple Gift Card) parking is free and provides a shuttle to and from the stadium for $5. However, due to the traffic congestion I would forget the shuttle and make the walk.
Cowboys' fans have one of the largest fan bases in America, which could be why they consider themselves "America's Team." Every Cowboys fan seems to have a reason that they "bleed Cowboy blue." For some being born and raised in Texas is reason enough, for others it might be their hometown doesn't have an NFL team and television brought the Cowboys into their homes and hearts.
Cowboys fans are knowledgeable, passionate, and they take every win or loss by their team very personally. They are loud, but Texas is a state of chivalry and they remain respectful to other teams' fans. Many Cowboys fans seemed to have traveled to Texas specifically for a Dallas Cowboys home game because it is on their bucket list, and has been a life-long dream. It is truly amazing to witness fans coming from all over the world to AT&T Stadium, just to see the star on the field, and to be in the presence of their extended Cowboys family.
AT&T Stadium is located between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth in Arlington, Texas, next to Globe Life Park (home of the Texas Rangers), and near Six Flags over Texas. The area is about 15 minutes south of the DFW International Airport. There is no public transportation to these stadiums in the city of Arlington, therefore transportation can become expensive as taxi rides roundtrip from either Dallas or Fort Worth will easily cost $100. Although taxi prices can be expensive, renting a car and parking near the stadium isn't much better. In fact, the Cowboys have the highest average parking cost in the NFL at $75 per vehicle.
There are 15 parking lots around AT&T Stadium holding about 12,000 parking stalls, with the use of the Rangers parking lots adding another 12,000 parking stalls. The other parking comes from local businesses, churches, and private homes renting out their lots, and the further away from the stadium you get, the cheaper the cost. The Wal-Mart parking lot is NOT an option, as cars will be towed. Keep in mind, since the Rangers and Cowboys share parking lots, attending a game while the Rangers are in town in September may cause not only parking problems, but traffic issues as well. So leave yourself additional travel time should the rare MLB/NFL doubleheader take place.
Various nearby hotels in the Arlington area and around DFW airport do provide free or low-cost shuttle services to AT&T Stadium, but I recommend inquiring ahead of time to know what time the shuttle picks up after the game to return you to the hotel, or you may need to find alternate transportation. There are a couple of hotels within walking distance of the stadium if you can book a room early, most likely as soon as the NFL schedule is released.
The stadium security/gate procedures follow the NFL Clear Bag Policy. It's best to familiarize yourself with these rules ahead of time to avoid unnecessary headaches. I also recommend that you enter the stadium at the gate stated on your ticket. The main concourse of the stadium is split with club seating, which may deny you walking access to the other side, forcing you to go up to the 400 level and then back down to the main concourse.
AT&T Stadium is a premier venue, the concourses and bathrooms are well kept and there is plenty of legroom in the seating sections. The 400 level of the stadium is high above the field, but the oversized video screen makes you feel like you're in the field suites.
The phrase, "you get what you pay for" may be the best way to describe the Return on Investment when attending a Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys have the 4th highest average ticket price in the NFL behind New England, San Francisco, and the New York Giants. When you add in the highest average parking in the league, attending a Cowboys game could seem over the top. However, the availability of the $29 Party Pass to get into the stadium, and other items such things as food/beverage, programs, and souvenirs being priced at the average cost at an NFL game, there are ways to enjoy going to a Cowboys games without "selling the farm."
Finally, a Cowboys fan once told me that attending a Cowboys game at Texas Stadium, was an "out of body experience." Well, you don't need to be a Cowboys fan for this place to have that affect - this stadium should truly be among the top of every sports fan's bucket list as a must-visit venue.
The high definition scoreboard that hangs above the middle of the field spans 60 yards across, stretching from one 20 yard line to the other. There is no equal in any other venue.
The Cowboys do not retire jerseys to honor their past greats, they have the Ring of Honor. Tom Landry has a statue near the ticket booth and Pro Shop.
An extra point for having the most prolific cheerleading organization in any sports. These young women are not only beautiful, but they are well-educated, hardworking, talented, and are truly great ambassadors for the NFL, visiting local hospitals, supporting charities, and traveling overseas to visit and support U.S. troops.
The Dallas Cowboys Art Collection features 27 different art works located throughout the stadium from various artists.
Stadium Tours/Rally Days - AT&T Stadium offers four tours of the stadium; VIP guided, Unguided, Audio Art Tour, and a Guided Art Tour. The stadium also opens for a limited number of days during the season for Rally Days - this offers fans the chance to take a self-guided tour, meet former Cowboys players, take pictures with the Super Bowl trophies, and enjoy appearances from the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
Visitors can enjoy an array of large glossy historic photographs that can be found throughout the stadium depicting some of greatest moments in Cowboys history.
AT&T Stadium is a one of a kind stadium. I have witnessed the expressions on the faces of fans as they walk into the stadium for the first time. The prices may be higher than other places around the NFL, but a trip to watch a Dallas Cowboys game in AT&T Stadium should be on the list of any sports fan or stadium chaser.
For years they have been known as America's Team. The Dallas Cowboys are one of the greatest franchises in the National Football League with 5 Super Bowl championships and 10 conference championships.
And as the Cowboys are one of the biggest sports teams in the world, it is only fitting that so is their stadium; Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys currently call the recently built 1.3 billion dollar Cowboys Stadium home. Cowboys Stadium opened in 2009 and has the capacity to seat 80,000 and hold 111,000 with its standing room options. Even though many people have plenty of gripes and complaints about pricing and what not with Cowboys Stadium, you really get what you pay for when you walk through the doors. The stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world and has the 2nd largest high definition TV which amazingly hangs from 30 yard line to 30 yard line.
This was my first trip to Cowboys Stadium I can say two things: I was in awestruck at the stadium and at some of the prices, but it is still well worth every penny to see this marvelous venue.
As you can see from the pictures, Cowboys Stadium looks like a giant, metal football. Its size extends beyond enormous, and it offers the community feeling of a small town or a very large theme park. All during my first trip there, the atmosphere before and after the game was very festival-like.
Being such a new facility, the grounds outside the stadium were clean and the lawns and parking lots were well-maintained. Inside, my shoes never stuck to anybody's spilled drink, any trace of litter was promptly picked up, and the courtesy of the staff was second to none. Everybodyâ??both fans and employeesâ??just seemed generally happy to be there.
For this game, we sat high up in the 400-level seats. The view gave me a great perspective of the entire field, while the giant videoboard complemented that with instant replays. Often, the replays would split into quadrants to give four different angles of the last play. Neither the view of the videoboard nor the field was obstructed by the fans sitting in front of meâ??or shall I say, below me.
Each row of seating is leveled so that even when a person sitting below you stands up, they do not completely block your viewing the game. When going to the snackbar or the restroom, the squeeze past people's knees was more favorable than most stadiums I have visited. While others did this, I (5' 11") never had to turn my hips sideways; instead, the most I had to do was scoot my slouching self up a bit to let them by.
To get to our seats, we took the winding walkway. After several parking lot beers, this did wind me a bit. After the game, we found the escalators. Finding the escalators at Cowboys Stadium means finding some of the colorful murals created when the Jones family commissioned various renowned, contemporary artists to paint. These massive blasts of red, blue, and yellow beautifully contrasted the neutral grays and blues of the building itself. They also spark creative conversation on an otherwise mundane ride down an escalator.
Before leaving the stadium, I sat in different sections on different levels just to get a bearing of where I would want to sit for my next visit. Obviously, any of the sections lower than the 400-level provided a better field view. I was disappointed to find out that you have to look up at the videoboard from some of the closer 100 and 200-level seats. What did impress me were the views from the Party Pass areas and the end zone seats. The Party Pass plazas looked to have great angles to view the whole field. The end zone seating felt much closer to the field than other end zone seats I have sat in at other stadiums.
Been here twice now and still haven't seen everything. Huge place that stands out from miles around. Was able to get access to the club and found the food there to be great. With the cheerleaders, the atmosphere is great, and fans stayed around until the game was decided. Great game staff as well. Also, plenty of standing areas which are not expensive as tickets, fans get there early to claim their space and spend the game. Great option for those without expense accounts.
On the down side, traffic can be a problem with no real transit option (I stayed at a hotel close enough to walk) and concourses get very busy before the game. No Super Bowl trophies on display during the game is my biggest complaint.
Ive been to Cowboys/AT&T Stadium twice and have been on the tours....I must say that its been the best experience I have ever had. The monster screen is awesome!!...Not a bad seat in the house!
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