A couple of notes: do not take the self-guided tour. The VIP tour is ten bucks extra but it's five times what you get on the cheapo tour which is still $17.50. Or, you can do like I did, pay for the self-guided tour then mingle in with the VIP folks. So I actually took two tours by the time I was done. But if you want any real access to the place, you have to go the VIP route.
First, here's a few shots of the outside from a previous trek I made:
To start the tour, head into the Pro Shop where after you buy your ticket they let you up a magical set of stairs and into 1.2 billion dollars of concrete wonderland. From the stair level you walk over to get your first views of the field:
Look up from the field and you see the much talked about video screen, basically a small ocean liner as a Hi Def TV.
The weight of the screen is 1.2 million pounds. Might hurt if it fell on you. Operators work inside it during the game but are not able to leave. They gain access by climbing up a ladder that is lowered from within. Someone asked if there are bathroom facilities inside. The answer was no. [Insert own joke here]
Once on the field you can see the famous star. There is a crown to the field that I tried to capture as it slopes from mid-field to the sidelines. It was very steep in old Texas Stadium but not so pronounced here.
This is a field level suite, considered the most primo suites in the house. Now, you might think they are a rip-off what with the players, coaches and media on the playing surface blocking your view. But the first two rows of seats you see up above are reserved for the suite holders. They also get some inside parking spots to boot!
This is from me standing almost underneath the video screen, thinking about how much it weighs.
Moving back to the level from where we descended, we find a giant club room which can be rented out for an undisclosed price. If you will notice, you observe a theme of football shapes throughout here and elsewhere in the building. Jerry's wife did the interior design work.
From there we went up to the highest level suites.
You also have a good view of the infamous party pass levels. These are SRO areas for the price of a $29.95 Party Pass. They overflowed on opening day, tempers flared, people were arrested - not pretty. The Cowboys have since agreed to limit the number sold but it's still something like ten to fifteen thousand.
(Note the Dr. Pepper level, we'll be there soon)
This is what you see of the field from a Party Pass level 13 paces from the edge.
We also passed by some massive ductwork. The Stadium was closed that day and it was very pleasant. The place can be cooled down the same as any house can. Average electric bill? $500,000 per month.
Here we are on the Dr. Pepper level party area. Long way to fall from here.
But you can get some munchies up here - for a price! The city of Arlington agreed to chip in $350,000,000 towards the building of the stadium which was half of the projected cost. But they very wisely stated that Jerry had to pay any overages beyond that, which came to total more than $500,000,000. Maybe that's why there's over 800 concession stands.
Now, you see all them there cup holders?? Those are removed to create extra capacity. The seats are anchored to a lateral pole and without the cup holders present they can be squeezed together to allow for another 20,000 places. All I can say is you better like the person sitting next to you and hope they're wearing deodorant.
I got a shot of the roof before leaving the upper levels. It opens and closes relatively quickly but each side must remain equal distance from the middle during the process or it would warp the sucker.
Next we go all the way back down to field level to the Miller Lite Club. And why is it so special?
Because it's through here the players enter the field, allowing fans to get an up close and personal view. Shamelessly commercial but an awesome idea!
From out of here...
...and onto the field
But where did the players come from? Time to visit the inner sanctum of the locker room!
As expected, most of the room is lined with lockers such as these:
You can try the stuff on if you want and have someone take your picture in it.
A look inside the facilities.
To get back to the field you go through concrete tunnels wide enough to allow the players' Hummers to get through.
And once back out on the field, we remember what it's all about:
Yes, we are in the Bible belt in Texas but we are of two religions here. So if someone asks you how many people have walked on water in the history of mankind, you better answer two: Jesus and Roger the Dodger. Hallelujah!
Click here for a more in-depth walkthrough. Just too many details and places to list here. Ya'll come back, now!