AT&T Stadium Home of the Dallas Cowboys
As most people know the Dallas Cowboys NFL Football Team plays at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The better part of the day today was spent on a guided tour of the facility. We got to see almost everything! Best of all we got to spend time playing on the field itself.
The Suite Life
Our tour guide took us inside one of the suites on the seventh floor. This one was one of the ones that they hold for last minute rentals and the decor has very generic colors and is complete with a bar and extremely large refrigerator. The guide said that they reserve a number of them so that people can decide to rent them last minute. However, the majority of the suites are under contract currently for anywhere from 5 to 30 years! He also said that pricing on the suites can vary from $125,000 to several million per year. The price depended on where it was and if you planned on attending just the Cowboy games or all of the major events including concerts and monster truck shows held at the facility.
When you lease your suite you also have the option to decorate and remodel the inside of it as you see fit. One of the suites, according to the guide, is leased by someone in the oil industry. Apparently he has it remodeled to look like an oil derek complete with flowing oil. There are suites even at field level. The view of the game is blocked by the players so as a perk with these you also get the first row of 12 seats directly above your suite. In addition to the seats you also get free valet parking in the parking garage under the stadium.
The Press Box
The guide showed us the writers’ press box. There are 250 available seats for just the writers and on game day they are all full. At each seat they have a phone and a data connection. There are currently 20,000 available data connections inside the stadium, with expansion capability to 40,000 data connections. The press attend the game free, park for free and get fed for free by 5 star chefs who come in from all over the world. Press boxes in all other stadiums are at the 50 yard line. The guide said that they held the best view for paying customers and not the FREE loaders. So the placed the press box near an end zone.
With the roof being retractable and the press having papers out while they worked they needed to enclose the box to keep the papers from blowing around. They also need to overcome pressure differentials between the inside of the press box and the field. They accomplished this by having holes in the windows about the size of a silver dollar. 1 per window along with a gap between windows. The guide explained that if the holes and gaps were not there the windows could be sucked out of their frames by the pressure differences.
Underground and the Locker Rooms
Exiting the elevator at the underground level the guide cautioned everyone that we were about to enter a roadway UNDER THE STADIUM!!!!!!! He told us that there were rooms off of the main road and that cars, trucks, gators and golf carts may be entering or exiting as well as just driving the road. We had to stay well behind him so he could check each area as we passed. While walking the road to the locker rooms we were able to look into storage areas as well as see the underground suite parking. There is storage area over the parking spaces that are numbered. I finally realized that is where they kept the rolled up astro turf when it needs to be removed for other events.
The guide took us through the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders’ locker room and the Cowboys’ locker room. The offense and defense have separate rooms joined by a small hall. From here we got to see the “tunnel” where the Cowboys enter the field from. It is not a tunnel of old but rather a bar area where fans can enjoy a drink and snap a picture of the team while watching the Cowboys take the field.
Adjacent to the locker room and the tunnel is the post game press room. Our guide said it was the largest post game press room in the NFL.
The Playing Field
The final stop on the tour was the playing field itself. Walking along the edge of the field you can see into the suites that are at the field level. They come complete with bar tables and stools that allow people to sit on their patios if they wish.
On a school tour they take pictures of the class and give them to the teachers. I also believe that you can have more pictures made if you happen to be there with your child however, there is an additional fee. The teachers brought footballs, soccer balls and other things for the children to play with. After about 30 minutes of play time we had lunch and then were allowed to return to the field before having to head back to school.
A great time was had by all. It was very interesting and educational to see the behind the scenes workings. It will give us a new perspective the next time we watch a football or any pro sports game.
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