Sep 22, 2009

What Costs $1.3 Billion, Holds 111,000 people and Has the World’s Biggest TV?


AP Photo/Brandon Wade



Jerry’s World

The Dallas Cowboys new stadium of course! First conceived 15 years ago, owner Jerry Jones has finally realized his vision of creating an entertainment Mecca in the city of Arlington, Texas. The stadium will also host College bowl games, major concerts, the 2011 Super Bowl and any event that requires 3 million square feet of space. Did we mention the world’s largest HDTV? Let’s take a closer look at the one of the biggest domes on Earth.



Ronald Martinez/Getty Images



– Cowboys Stadium replaces the open-air Texas Stadium, which opened in 1971, as the Cowboys’ home. It was completed on May 29, 2009 and seats 80,000, but is expandable to seat up to 111,000
– The Stadium was designed by the Dallas-based architectural firm HKS
– It is the largest domed stadium in the world and has the world’s largest column-free interior
– The Cowboys Stadium site covers 73 total acres and the overall site encompasses approximately 140 total acres
– The stadium itself is approximately 3 million square feet containing 104 million cubic feet of volume
– The 180-foot-wide by 120-foot-high operable glass doors, located at each end of the stadium, are the largest operable glass doors in the world and take 18 minutes to open or close
– At 660,800 square feet, the stadium’s roof is one of the largest domed sports structures in the world, opening 410 feet long by 256 feet wide with each panel weighing 1.68 million pounds
– Each roof panel is 215 feet long consists of 14,100 tons of structural steel and opens or closes in 12 minutes
– The stadium features a pair of nearly 300 feet (91 m) tall arches that span the length of the stadium dome, anchored to the ground at each end
– The length from one end zone retractable wall to the opposite end zone retractable wall is a staggering 900 feet
– With 180,000 square feet of free space, the stadium accommodates more SRO (standing room only) fans than any other NFL venue




Photograph by John P



Photograph by John P





– Originally estimated to cost $650 million, the stadium’s current construction cost has been pegged between $1.12 and $1.3 billion, making it one of the most expensive sports venues ever built
– The City of Arlington provided over $933 million (including interest) in bonds as funding, and Jones covered any cost overruns. The NFL also provided the Cowboys with an additional $150 million, as per their policy for giving teams a certain lump sum of money for stadium financing
– The average ticket to a Cowboys game costs $159.65, a record for the Fan Cost Index survey, which dates to 1991. The New England Patriots previously had the priciest ticket in pro sports and that cost remained the same at $117.84
– There is the $150,000 down payment required of season-ticket holders for 30 years of seats — which doesn’t include ticket prices
– Suites will range from $100,000 to $500,000 per year. That lease will include tickets to Cowboys games, but not third-party events
– According to the Cowboys, the 20-inch pizzas at the new stadium will cost $60. There will be five different types of pizza available for that price. Beer will be sold for $5
– On October 20, 2008, Cowboys owner Jones and New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner announced a joint business venture called Legends Hospitality Management LLC which would operate the concessions and merchandising sales at the new Cowboys stadium and at the new Yankee Stadium, along with the stadiums of the Yankees’ minor league affiliates
– Former Pizza Hut President Michael Rawlings will run the company from its new headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. The company was also backed by Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs and Dallas private equity firm CIC Partners LP



Photograph by John P



AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez



Ronald Martinez/Getty Images



– The stadium 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.
– It also features the largest high-definition television in the world. The 160 x 72 foot (49 m × 22 m), 11,520-square-foot (1,070 m2) scoreboard surpasses the 8,736 sq ft (812 m2) screen that opened in 2009 at the renovated Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The total cost was $40 million USD
– The screens were developed by Mitsubishi’s Diamond Vision Systems. Each center-hung sideline display consists of 10,584,064 LEDs, consuming some 635,000 watts.
– Since each pixel consists of four LEDs (2 red, 1 green, 1 blue), the 2,176 X 4,864 LED distribution corresponds to a 1,088 X 2,432 pixel resolution, the equivalent of 1080p
– However the image can actually be considerably sharper than the resolution suggests, because Diamond Vision’s “Dynamic Pixel” technology allows the corner LEDs of four neighbouring pixel clusters to function as a pixel cluster together, providing virtual pixels between each physical pixel
– The total size of all of the video displays inside the new Cowboys stadium is equal to 25,000 square feet. The total size of the ribbon video boards circling the inside of the stadium is equal to 11,000 square feet







Photograph by John P



– On March 10, 2008, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, joined by officials and coaches from Texas A&M University and the University of Arkansas (Jones’ alma mater), announced that the two schools would renew their rivalry with annual games at the stadium, beginning October 3, 2009
– The stadium will also host Super Bowl XLV in 2011, beating out bids from the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana
– It will also host the 2009 Big XII Football Championship and Cotton Bowl, the 2010 NBA All-Star Game and the 2014 men’s Final Four
– The first regular season game at the Cowboys Stadium set an NFL regular-season attendance record with a crowd of 105,121 on Sunday night (September 20, 2009)
– Prior to Sunday’s matchup the largest crowd for an NFL regular-season game was 103,467 for Arizona-San Francisco in Mexico City in 2005. The record for a game in the United States was 103,985 for the Super Bowl between Steelers and Rams at the Rose Bowl in January 1980
– The record for any NFL game is still 112,376 for a pre-season game between the Cowboys and Houston Oilers in Mexico City in 1994
– The screens are the greatest source of debate thus far because they hang only 90 feet above the field and were hit by a punt in the pre-season opener. If it happens again, the NFL has stated it will be ruled a dead ball and a do-over. If it happens often, the league will likely force the Cowboys to raise them before next season



Photograph by John P



AP Photo/Matt Slocum



Photograph by John P





Photograph by John P









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