AT&T Stadium

Capacity80 000
12,000 (Business seats)
Country United States of America
ClubsDallas Cowboys
Other names Jerry World (nickname), Cowboys Stadium (2009–2013)
Inauguration 27/05/2009
Construction time 2006–2009
Record attendance 108,713 (2010 NBA All-Star Game, 14/02/2010)
Cost $1.15 billion
Design HKS Architects
Design time 2006
Contractor Manhattan Construction (+ Rayco Construction + 3i Construction + Mario Sinacola and Sons Excavating)
Structural engineer Walter P Moore
Ownership Jerry Jones
Address 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, Texas 76011


AT&T Stadium – stadium description

How was the new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys built?

AT&T Stadium was built between 2006 and 2009, becoming the third venue in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, one of the NFL's most successful and recognisable teams. It cost $1.15bn to build, placing the facility among the most expensive stadiums in the world. The stadium was designed by HKS Architects and the main contractor was Manhattan Construction.

The facility is a unique work of architecture and engineering and is one of the largest stadiums in the NFL. The stadium was built in Arlington, one of the cities of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. A plot of land with residential development was chosen for its construction, necessitating the displacement of almost 1,200 residents.

How does the story of the construction of a new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys unfold in detail?

Who are the Dallas Cowboys?

In 1960, a new team joined the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys. Over the years, the team has become one of the most successful in the league. The Cowboys have won the Super Bowl five times (twice in the 1970s and three times in the 1990s), and their brand and distinctive logo in the form of a blue, five-pointed star have become some of the most globally recognisable branding associated with American sport (the team was even given the nickname America's Team). The franchise is also ranked among the most expensive in the world.

Where did the Dallas Cowboys previously play?

The Cowboys originally played at the Cotton Bowl stadium in downtown Dallas. In 1971, the team moved out to the suburbs, to Irving, where the new Texas Stadium was built. The facility was equipped with skyboxes and a distinctive roof and had a capacity of more than 65,000 spectators. Years later, however, the Cowboys began to think about moving to an even larger and more modern stadium.

How did plans to build a new stadium in Arlington come about?

In 1994, Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones proposed an expansion of Texas Stadium, with a capacity increase of up to 40,000 seats. In 1997, however, the Cowboys began talks with Arlington officials about the possibility of building a new stadium in the city. In 2001, Jones stated that building a stadium in Arlington was the preferred option.

In April 2004, further plans emerged when the Cowboys came out with a proposal to build a stadium at Fair Park in Dallas (where the Cotton Bowl stands). The proposal was for a construction cost of $650m, of which $425m would come from the county. The local authorities quickly rejected the proposal, indicating that it required too much public contribution.

In June 2004, it was announced that negotiations for the construction of a stadium in Arlington would resume. According to the agreed arrangements, the city was to provide a contribution of $325 million. This was half of the $650m that was expected to be sufficient for the development (with any cost increases, surpluses were to be covered by the Cowboys). The Cowboys were also to receive a $150m loan from the NFL.

In order for the city to realize its contribution, it was decided to increase the sales tax (by 0.5%), hotel tax (by 2%) and car rental tax (by 5%). On November 2, 2004, a referendum on the issue was held on the ballot, with residents voting in favor of the increase (55.2% voting in favor), giving the green light to build the stadium.

What location was chosen for the new stadium in Arlington?

The new facility was decided to be built near the Texas Rangers baseball team's stadium. However, there was a lack of open space in the area and the site for the new stadium was designated in an area with apartment buildings and more than 100 houses. The city initiated expropriation procedures, which resulted in the displacement of almost 1,200 residents. Those who quickly agreed to the conditions were offered additional bonuses. The residential buildings were demolished at the turn of 2005 and 2006.

Who designed the new Dallas Cowboys stadium?

The architectural concept for the new Dallas Cowboys stadium can be seen on a separate subpage

The stadium was designed by Dallas-based HKS Architects, which is responsible for the design of many other sports venues in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex and across the US. The lead architect for the facility was Bryan Trubey, now one of the most acclaimed sports venue designers in the US.

The innovative design of the new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys had no equivalent anywhere and also helped the HKS studio itself to gain wider recognition. The facility itself has also been awarded numerous industry awards.

When was the new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys built?

An account of the construction of the new Dallas Cowboys stadium can be seen on a separate subpage

At the beginning of 2006, the general contractor for the facility, Manhattan Construction (in cooperation with Rayco Construction and 3i Construction), was selected. The first groundworks for the new stadium started in April 2006. In December 2006, renderings of the design created by HKS Architects were presented to the general public.

The construction of the stadium was fraught with challenges, as the design included many advanced and even ground-breaking as well as record-breaking features. Despite this, the works went according to plan and it was possible, as announced, to complete the construction in 2009. However, serious incidents were not avoided, including one fatal accident (on June 14, 2008, 45-year-old electrician Timothy Mackinnon was killed by electrocution).

In the end, the cost of the project rose from the original $650 million to $1.15 billion, putting the stadium among the most expensive in the world. All debts incurred for the construction are expected to be repaid by 2034.

How was the new Dallas Cowboys stadium inaugurated?

The opening ceremony of the stadium took place on May 27, 2009. The ceremony was held on the plaza in front of the stadium, with the presence of Jerry Jones and Mayor Robert Cluck, among others, as well as many former Dallas Cowboys players. The ceremony was highlighted by fireworks and cheerleading, and the opening of the glass gates followed by a tour of the interior of the facility, which was still being finished.

On June 6, 2009, the stadium hosted its first event, a country music concert. George Strait, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton and Lee Ann Womack performed on stage and the event was attended by over 60,000 spectators.

On July 19, 2009, Cowboys Stadium hosted its first sporting event. On the same day, two quarterfinal matches were played at the venue as part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament being played in the United States: first, Costa Rica defeated Guadeloupe 5:1 and then Mexico won against Haiti 4:0.

On August 21, 2009, the venue hosted the first American football game, with the Dallas Cowboys winning in a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans 30–10. On September 5, 2009, the stadium hosted a college football playoff game, with the BYU Cougars defeating the Oklahoma Sooners 14–13.

The first NFL game took place on September 20, 2009, when the Dallas Cowboys faced the New York Giants, losing 31–33. For the game, the opportunity was taken to expand the stands with additional segments, resulting in an attendance of 105,121 spectators, breaking the NFL regular season record. Among those in attendance at the game was former President George W. Bush, who performed a coin toss before the game.

What happened to the Dallas Cowboys' existing stadium?

After the new stadium opened, the old Texas Stadium, which was located about 17 mi (27 km) northeast of the new facility, was slated for decommissioning. On April 11, 2010, a controlled implosion was carried out.

What are the characteristics of the Dallas Cowboys stadium?

The complex and technically advanced structure is contained in a relatively simple, legible form. The tone is set by two huge truss arches spanning a length of 1,290 feet (393 m), which determine the shape of the massive, elliptical dome that covers the entire building. The arches, mostly covered by the aforementioned dome, only extend outwards in the final sections, revealing a bare steel frame.

One of the most important features of the stadium is the ability to close and open the roof. The two sets of huge glass gates behind the ends of the pitch are also openable. Inside, the eye-catching feature is the huge video screen, suspended under the roof by cables. The multi-level stands can accommodate 80,000 spectators, with the capacity to increase this to over 100,000, and the venue also offers 380 exclusive boxes.

Those familiar with the Dallas Cowboys' previous venue, Texas Stadium, will certainly recognise the Ring of Honour, as well as the opening in the roof, which was copied from the old stadium (very similar truss layout and characteristic rounded corners). It is a nod to tradition, although that is where the similarities to Texas Stadium end.

It is important to emphasize that the stadium is a unique feat of architecture and engineering, which at the time of its opening was not so much a facility for its time as it was well ahead of it. The facility was designed with creativity and flair, incorporating many modern or even innovative solutions, breaking many records in the process and giving further reason to believe in the truth of the claim that 'everything is bigger in Texas'.

The design that was adopted for the project is unique and has no equivalent anywhere. The facility can be described as a true masterpiece of modern architecture and ranks among the most spectacular stadiums in the world. The stadium was tailor-made for one of the NFL's most expensive and recognisable teams and proudly performs its role as the representative football facility of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the USA.

The stadium was one of the first heralds of a new generation of extremely expensive and modern arenas in the NFL. Its enclosed, thoughtful composition set it apart from the venues of the previous era, which focused primarily on functionality, with aesthetics and attention to detail being pushed to the background.

What is the name of the Dallas Cowboys stadium?

As no title sponsor was initially found for the new stadium, it was announced on May 13, 2009 that the venue would be called Cowboys Stadium. It was not until July 25, 2013 that a deal was announced for the naming rights to the stadium. Dallas-based telecommunications giant AT&T became the sponsor, and the facility was renamed AT&T Stadium. The details of the deal were not disclosed, according to media speculation it was for a period of 20-30 years and is worth $20 million per year.

The facility has also earned a number of nicknames. The most popular is 'Jerry World', in reference to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, whose input and involvement led to the construction of the new stadium.

For the 2026 World Cup, the venue will be called Dallas Stadium due to the non-commercial name requirement.

How does AT&T Stadium look in detail?

How is AT&T Stadium located?

The stadium is close to downtown Arlington, situated between the two largest cities in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, not far from the Interstate 30 connecting those cities. The stadium is also easily accessible from the international airport, which is located approx. 12 mi (20 km) to the north.

Near AT&T Stadium are two other stadiums, the new (opened in 2020) Globe Life Field serving the Texas Rangers baseball team playing in the MLB, and the team's previous facility, Choctaw Stadium. AT&T Stadium is surrounded by a fair amount of parking, with a total of 12,000 parking spaces in the immediate vicinity of the venue and as many as 30,000 within a 1-mile radius.

Outside, behind the stadium's glass gates, two elongated plazas have been created, following the axis on which the pitch inside the facility is located (east-west, with a slight tilt).

How does AT&T Stadium look from the outside?

Along the north and south sides of the stadium, arched and slightly sloping (14° tilt angle), glass facades extend. The walls are 86 feet high and are covered by a total of more than 5,000 glass panels, the transparency of which increases as the height increases. The north side of the stadium houses the Dallas Cowboys shop (Pro Shop).

A statue of Tom Landry, the long-time (1960–1988) coach of the Dallas Cowboys, stands at the north facade. The statue was originally placed in 2001 in front of the old Texas Stadium, and was moved under the new facility in 2009.

How are the huge gates at AT&T Stadium constructed?

The walls of the building on the east and west sides (behind the end zones) are two sets of giant (120 ft high), sliding gates. Each gate consists of seven glazed panels, five of which are movable. They take 18 minutes to open or close. The three central panels have a normal-sized door at the bottom, which is used when the gates are closed.

The gates are usually opened in good weather. This aids air circulation and facilitates movement between the inside and outside of the stadium. Opening the gates and roof also reduces the perception of the stadium as an enclosed arena.

How is the roof on AT&T Stadium made?

The main structural element of the roof consists of two trussed arches that run the entire length of the stadium, terminating in four concrete bases already located outside the perimeter of the building. Each of the arches weighs 3255 tonnes and spans a length of 1290 feet. Thanks to the use of the arches, the roof is devoid of internal supports.

The entire steel structure on which the roof is supported weighs 14,100 tonnes. At its highest point, the canopy is 292 feet above the playing field (a comparison with the Statue of Liberty is used to illustrate this point, which together with its pedestal measures little more than the height of the roof, and without the pedestal would fit inside the stadium without any problems). The roof is in the shape of an elliptical dome with an opening and closing section above the pitch, and has a surface area of 660,800 square feet.

The opening in the roofing was made to resemble that of the Dallas Cowboys' previous stadium, Texas Stadium, replicating the truss layout and rounded corners. Interestingly, the canopy of the old Texas Stadium was also supposed to be retractable, but it turned out that the structure was too weak for that.

The roof on the old stadium was unique because at the time it was built, it was unlikely that only stands were roofed in the United States; stadiums were usually either fully roofed or completely uncovered. D. D. Lewis, a Cowboys linebacker, once stated: "Texas Stadium has a hole in its roof so God can watch His favorite team play". Unsurprisingly, this was the feature chosen to tie in with tradition.

How does the mechanism for closing and opening the roof at AT&T Stadium work?

On the surface of the roof, along two huge arches, there are tracks along which two movable panels are moved, allowing the facility to be fully closed. The moving parts are made of semi-transparent material. They are moved by gears and are powered by 128 motors, each with a relatively low power of 7.5 hp. As the panels move downwards, the angle of inclination increases, to a maximum of 23°. The procedure for opening or closing the roof takes 12 minutes.

What does the interior of AT&T Stadium look like?

The stadium's playing field is dug 50 feet below the ground level, which required a special drainage system to protect it from groundwater. The playing field is surrounded by multi-level, contoured stands with a nominal capacity of 80,000 spectators. Behind the end zones, a considerable amount of space is left in the stands, through which the glass gates behind can be seen. The structure of the main parts of the building is made of reinforced concrete.

The stands are equipped with dark blue folding seats, which are mounted on aluminum rails. The seats can be quickly and easily moved or dismantled so that, at the expense of reduced comfort (by moving them closer together), additional seats can be added, increasing the capacity of the venue.

Capacity can also be increased by filling the gaps in the stands behind the end zones with temporary structures. After reconfiguration, the venue can hold more than 100,000 spectators, making it the largest stadium in the NFL, as well as the largest fully-covered stadium in the world. During the first NFL game in the stadium, on September 20, 2009, an attendance of 105,121 was reached, breaking the regular season record.

Some of the edges of the stands were fitted with LED bands to display advertising and other multimedia displays. The edge between the rows of upper boxes is occupied by the Ring of Honour, which features the names of the most distinguished figures in Dallas Cowboys history. The Ring of Honour was also located in the old Texas Stadium.

With the ability to fully enclose the roof, the venue can also be used as a sports hall. On February 14, 2010, the 59th edition of the NBA All-Star Game was held here. A total of 108,713 spectators watched the game in the stadium, which set an all-time record for attendance at a basketball game, taking into account games with confirmed attendance figures.

How is the video screen at AT&T Stadium constructed?

Visitors to AT&T Stadium can't help but notice the huge video screen, suspended from steel trusses by cables. By default, it is suspended 90 feet above the pitch, higher than the NFL's required minimum. Despite this, however, there is occasionally a rare situation where the video screen is hit by a ball during a game. The video screen can be lowered down to 25 feet above the field of play, which takes about 20 minutes.

The structure consists of four screens, two main screens and two side screens. The main screens measure 160 × 72 feet and have a resolution of 1080p (HD). The two side screens measure 51 × 29 feet. The video screen was made by Mitsubishi. In 2009, it was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest high-definition video screen in the world, although it has since been overtaken by other, even larger displays.

The video screen is suspended over the center of the pitch and stretches from one 20-yard line to the other; its length, however, exceeds that of a basketball court, for example. The structure weighs 544 tonnes and cost $40 million to build.

How is AT&T Stadium equipped?

The facility has all the necessary facilities and rooms for sporting events and competitions such as changing rooms, conference room, storage areas, etc. Interestingly, commentary boxes are located in the corner. The interior of the stadium is equipped with floodlighting and sound systems, as well as air-conditioning, making the stadium the largest air-conditioned arena in the world.

The interiors have been carefully laid out and finished with attention to aesthetics, branding and details. Getting around inside the venue is aided by lifts and escalators. Of particular note is the collection of modern artworks that can be admired in the rooms and corridors of the stadium; one of the works (Sky Mirror) is also located outside, behind the eastern doors – it was set up permanently at the stadium in 2013, having previously been temporarily exhibited at a number of venues around the world.

What is the hospitality offer at AT&T Stadium?

There are 380 private boxes in the stadium, located on five different levels, starting at pitch level. The boxes are divided into seven groups, which are named: Field Level Suites, Touchdown Suites, Hall of Fame Suites, Silver Suites, Ring of Honor Suites, Star Suites and Owner Club Suites. The lodges are designed to accommodate varying numbers of guests, from 12 to 68; in total, there are 12,000 seats in all lodges.

The venue offers a full range of spaces for hire for a variety of corporate events, meetings and other special occasions. In addition to the boxes, lounges and pubs, customers can use the pitch itself, the players' changing rooms, press boxes, conference room or spaces outside the stadium. The quality of the hospitality services is taken care of by Legends.

Is it possible to take a tour of AT&T Stadium?

Guided tours of the stadium are available, during which people can visit the stands, the players' and cheerleaders' locker rooms, the conference room and other spaces, spend some time on the field, and learn a number of facts and trivia about the stadium.

Various tours are available, such as the Art Tour, where visitors can learn about the modern artworks present in the stadium, as well as the Educational Tour, VIP Guided Tour or Owner's Experience. One option offers the opportunity to have a virtual conversation with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Who owns AT&T Stadium?

The facility is owned by the city, and the Dallas Cowboys lease it, paying $2m in rent per year and an additional $0.5m on profits from the sale of naming rights.

What events are held at AT&T Stadium?

AT&T Stadium was developed primarily as a home for the Dallas Cowboys team, which plays its NFL games there. As there are relatively few NFL games during the season, the venue also aims to attract other sporting and cultural events.

On February 6, 2011, the stadium hosted the most important event of the NFL season, the Super Bowl. The league's championship game was won by the Green Bay Packers, who beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31–25. Attendance at the game was 103,219, approaching the 1980 Super Bowl record. A minor scandal erupted at the game, as a snowstorm prevented the delivery of some temporary seats and organizers were forced to deny 400 fans from watching the game from the stands.

On January 12, 2015, the stadium also hosted college football's most important game of the season, the College Football Playoff National Championship, in which the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Oregon Ducks 42–20. In addition, the stadium is the site of three annual high-profile college football games: The Cotton Bowl, the Big 12 Championship Game and The Southwest Classic.

The stadium also hosts soccer games. The venue was one of the CONCACAF Gold Cup arenas in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017, 2021 and 2023, and is scheduled to host the CONCACAF Nations League finals in 2024, as well as matches in the Copa América, which is being played in the United States. In 2026, the stadium will be one of the venues for the FIFA World Cup (it was even one of the candidates to host the final, but ultimately lost the battle with MetLife Stadium).

The stadium has hosted a number of other sporting events, including basketball (e.g. the 2010 NBA all-star game), motorcycling (AMA Supercross Championship), world title boxing fights, rodeos (The American Rodeo) and wrestling galas (WrestleMania 32 and 38).

AT&T Stadium also regularly hosts concerts by world-renowned artists. U2, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses, Coldplay, Metallica, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, One Direction and Ed Sheeran, and many more have performed at the stadium.

Are there any plans to upgrade AT&T Stadium?

Ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the stadium is set to undergo its first major upgrades, which will cost $295 million. Renovations will primarily include the private boxes and back areas. In addition, in order to widen the playing field to the size required by FIFA, the pitch is to be raised by 15 feet and the small number of seats in the lower stands will be removed.



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