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Photo Essays
JUNE 6, 2010 9:29PM

Take A Tour Of Cowboys Stadium! (Photo Essay)

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When opening day came for the Cowboys' new stadium I was there. I didn't pay to get in, but I did wander around to capture it from the outside. So when I got the chance to wander around inside I took my camera and invaded the premises forthwith.

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:

Stadium 2

Stadium 1

Stadium Buttress

Stadium Buttress 2

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:

Field1

Look up from the field and you see the much talked about video screen, basically a small ocean liner as a Hi Def TV.

Field Screen

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]

Screen1

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.

Star2

Field Stripes

Fifty

Hash Marks

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!

Field Level Suite

This is from me standing almost underneath the video screen, thinking about how much it weighs.

Screen Underneath

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.

Club Room

Club Room View

From there we went up to the highest level suites.

Suite Seats

Suite View 3

Suite

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.

Party Pass Levels 2
(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.

Party Pass Level 2

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.

AC Duct

Here we are on the Dr. Pepper level party area. Long way to fall from here.

Dr Pepper Level 4

Buttress 3

Dr Pepper Level View 3

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.

Prices

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.

Cup holders

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.

Roof

Next we go all the way back down to field level to the Miller Lite Club. And why is it so special?

Miller Lite Club

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!

Miller Lite Club Player Entrance
From out of here...

Miller Lite Club Field Entrance
...and onto the field

But where did the players come from? Time to visit the inner sanctum of the locker room!

Locker Room Sign2

Locker Room Media Sign

As expected, most of the room is lined with lockers such as these:

Locker Room Lockers

You can try the stuff on if you want and have someone take your picture in it.

Locker Room Romo

Locker Room TVs

A look inside the facilities.

Locker Room Facilities 2

To get back to the field you go through concrete tunnels wide enough to allow the players' Hummers to get through.

Hallway

And once back out on the field, we remember what it's all about:

Ring Roger

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!

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Comments

Type your comment below:
Momma, do let your babies grow up to be Cowboys.
in.credible.
Thanks for the inside look HG. Appreciated up heah my friend
Nice post.

This is in Houston, right?

{[R]}
This was great, Harry. What a marvel this place is. Ten bucks for a burger, huh? I am not a cowboy fan but I do concur with the fact the Roger was one of the greatest ever. I remember Bob Hayes, too. Very fun post. I am off for the extended tour now.
wow, Harry. I'm hoping that the others are jealousing and will show up with pics! This is a masterpiece, though and has set an awfully high standard!
great job Harry, though I have to say I have no interest in going there, partly because I loathe Jerry Jones, and partly because I just hate crowds. Give me a choice of free tickets to decent seats or the game on my TV and I'll take the TV every time. I know that's anathema to die hard fans, but I certainly prefer it that way. The bride got a VIP tickets because of her work to the All Star game and she took a friend who is a big NBA fan and he had the time of his life...mostly because they were down at the team areas before the game. I just didn't want the hassle.

However! --beautiful post man.
Trig, come on down! One thing the stadium lacks is one of your awesome decks!

LL, Houston is where Dallas dumps its trash!

Spud, the Boys were mythical to me growing up. ESPN sorta kills all that nowadays.

Thanks, zuma! It was fun doing it. I was actually picturing my essay while walking through.

Thanks for the high praise, Barry. I'm with you on the crowds and such. I might go to a game if the tickets and parking are paid for but just once for the experience.
harry, you always do such a good job. the photos and back story are just right. thanks for the tour!
My G-d, what a great place! I'd almost make a trip just to see it...R
Sorry, I scrolled through admiring your gift for architectural photography.
Now I'll take a better glance at your nice new baseball stadium.
Diana, it's worth the drive up.

Sheila, come on down!

aim, I'll make sure you bring your baseball glove to the Cowboys game.

jane, the Cowboys and Yankees made a contract with the same company for their concessions, both looking to maximize profits.