Monday, September 21, 2009

The Cowboys Stadium

I hate the Cowboys and always have. I am not really a huge football fan in general, but I did watch the Giants/Cowboys game Sunday night at Dallas at their brand new facility. The new stadium is ridiculous; ridiculous in size and scope.

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One thing that caught my attention, while watching the Cowboys lose to the GMen, is that the announcers were discussing how comfortably cool it was before to roof and sides of the stadium were opened (by the way, opened to "Bad to the Bone"), then how during the game, it reached 87 degrees and "balmy". Four players had to get IV’s because of the heat in there. What?!

The other item that sparked my interest was the giant plasma screen mounted above the playing field. The screens are monstrous, and apparently very clear. There is controversy that it is mounted too low, since punters can kick a ball to touch it, like at the preseason game against the Titans.

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The Sports commentators, just before commercial breaks, were touring the TV audience through the bowels of the score board and told us all how the plasma picture is so concise, that the ticket holders were able to catch the earlier games. They are huge. As a matter of fact, the screen structure weighs 600 tons. Imagine the structure to hold that up? Yikes.

The following will be a rundown like Modern Marvels, without the voiceover, commercials, interesting facts or film footage. Here we go…

Architect: HKS in Dallas, Texas – Bryan Trubey

Name: The Cowboys Stadium
There was a push to call it Tom Landry Stadium, but owner Jerry Jones, ultimately went with an incredibly utilitarian name instead.

Cost: $1.5 Billion
Funded partly by the City of Dallas and mostly by Cowboys Franchise owner Jerry Jones.

Size: 3 million square feet
300,000 of which is designated to restaurants, retail and promotional areas.

Slideshow of the construction of The Cowboys Stadium:

..with a promise of Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi to serenade your journey!

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Not only to be used for football games, it is a venue for concerts, events and contests. Bryan Trubey, the architect, said that it was the events that the stadium was more difficult to design for, not the football games.
Jerry Jones said, “We wanted to offer a real experience that you can't have at home, but to see it with the technology that you do have at home."

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The roof is 660,800 sf, 105,000 sf of which is a retractable roof. It takes 12 minutes to open.
There are 50,000 bolts in the arch spans of the roof, and are ¼ mile long.
Exterior fa├žade has 800’-0” of glass exterior. Glass system is 86’-0” high.
Total length from end-zone retractable wall to the other is 900’-0”

The Architecture is different than the recent past stadium designs. Stadiums have tried to hit heavy on nostalgia with brick exteriors and retro dripped interiors. This one is more 50’s modern to some degree. It is cold, sprawling, and eye catching. The New York Times argues that it is not as modern or cutting edge as recent world arenas have been designed. The design was unveiled in 2006, so if you think all the way back to the good old days, you may remember that was a time of the “one up” and keeping up with the (Jerry) Joneses, and oddly, the Kardashians too. (What do they do anyway?) For America, the concept and design is….notable and good.

The Good things I have heard about it:

The space and suites are “column free”, and has the largest expanse in a room with no column obstructions.

Can seat up to 100,000 for special events; 73,000 regularly.

Doesn’t have a corporate name, yet.

The huge retractable roof was designed because, "They talk about God watching us at Texas Stadium," said Cowboys player Terence Newman after a miracle finish that ended in a Dallas victory against the Detroit Lions last season. It is retractable not to keep God and the Holy Spirit out, but to restrict the harsh weather that Dallas sometimes sees.

The Bad things I have heard about it:

The lower levels have a bad circulation pattern. The design routes the regular ticket holders around the suites of Daddy Warbucks and Richey Rich.

The sizes of the common areas are too big. The hallways are 65’-0” wide, and the food areas are “cavernous”. Perhaps too much square footage for such a stadium, like an 18,000 sf souvenir shop.

As stated before, the screen is too low over the field. New York Times Columnist Nicolai Ouroussoff says, “It’s a nice irony that for all the space, there may not be enough room at Cowboys Stadium to play a game.”

“Interesting” tidbit that I have heard about it:

David Flick’s article on had a quote, "I've seen Wal-Marts smaller than this," said Linda Terry of Longview.

Lol. That is all I have to say.

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