Even though, I now live in New York City,  I am still a Dallas Cowboys fan.  So of course, I had to visit the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.  Growing up in Dallas, I have fond memories of going to the old Texas Stadium and watching Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith.  Texas Stadium was special, it had hole in the roof so God could watch America’s Team play.  Well, at least that’s what some used to say.

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But the time came when Texas Stadium needed an upgrade.  Jerry Jones wanted to host the Superbowl and the NFL wouldn’t allow it without a domed stadium.  Ironically, the week the Cowboys did host the Superbowl it was icy and cold.  Why the NFL let the Giants host a Superbowl in their stadium, I can’t explain, luckily the snowstorm hit the day after.

Anyway, Jerry Jones jumped through some hoops and built a new stadium in Arlington, a suburb between Dallas and Fort Worth, right next to the Texas Rangers Stadium.   He really went all out.  The stadium is very impressive and a tourist attraction in its own right, even if there is not a game going on.  I was surprised that people came from all over the country for the tour.

Anisa and her niece, Marisa, before the Dallas Cowboys vs Colts game in December 2014
Anisa and her niece, Marisa, before the Dallas Cowboys vs Colts game in December 2014


My mom (who is not a football fan) agreed to take me for a tour.  VIP Guided Tours and Self-Guided Tours run daily with the exception of some blackout dates.  On some days, they do also offer a tour that focuses on the museum quality art that is inside the stadium.  The Jones family commissioned 18 contemporary artists to create artwork for the stadium.  I do recommend that you buy your tickets online in advance as the tours do sell out.  When we went, we did the VIP guided tour and we had to wait about 45 minutes because earlier tours were already sold out.  We passed the time looking around the Pro Shop.  The Pro Shop has a lot of Dallas Cowboys merchandise, but it is pretty expensive so I didn’t buy anything.  I have found some great Cowboys gear online at the NFL Shop.

Our Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium Tour

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and added in jokes when he could.   Some of the facts we learned about the stadium were really interesting.  The video board was the largest in the world at the time the stadium opened, and when they have basketball games the screen is bigger than the court.  The retractable end zone doors are the largest in the world, and the retractable roof weighs about the same as 92 Boeing 777s and can open or close in 12 minutes.  The stadium cost $1.15 billion to build, almost double the original estimate and Jerry Jones covered the overrun.

The first part of the tour we explored the main seating area, the luxury suites, and the bars that are for standing room only tickets.  Last season, my niece and I went to a game with standing room only tickets because tickets for actual seats were too expensive.  We had a great time, it was nice to feel the atmosphere of the game even if we had to watch a tv screen to get a good view of the game.

Anisa by Tony Romo's locker
Anisa by Tony Romo’s locker

After that we went down to the floor level.  We got to visit the Dallas Cowboys and the Cowboys Cheerleaders locker rooms.  I didn’t even know the cheerleaders had locker rooms!  We also saw the field level bar that the Cowboys run through to enter the field.  The Cowboys Stadium also has suites that are field level.  I thought that these were pretty clever design features.  We also saw the media room, where the postgame press conferences are held.

Anisa at the podium in the Cowboys Press Room.
Anisa at the podium in the Cowboys Press Room.

The final stop is the field and you can enjoy it as long as you like.  Some kids brought footballs and were playing around on the field.  We just took pictures in the end zone and by the star.  I thoroughly enjoyed the tour.  I really learned a lot and the access we got was better than I expected.  So for all you Dallas Cowboys fans out there and anyone interested in engineering or architecture, I encourage you to take a tour of AT&T Stadium.

My mom and I in the Dallas Cowboys end zone
My mom and I in the Dallas Cowboys end zone

Have you ever done a tour of a stadium? I would love to hear about your experience.

-Anisa

Expert Tips:

  • Buy your tickets in advance as the tours do sell out.
  • If you like, bring a football and you can play on the Cowboys field.
  • If you need more Dallas Cowboys gear, check out the NFL Shop.

 

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Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium Tour
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