When you arrive at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport you can see it. A huge, silver dome hovering in the horizon, sometimes glowing from the sun rays reflecting off of it. It is the greatest sports arena every created and the largest indoor sports arena in the USA - The New Cowboys Stadium located in Arlington, Texas and home to my favorite football team and America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys.
Cowboys fan or not, EVERYONE needs to visit this place. It is an architectural masterpiece. Perfectly symmetrical with two arches bigger than the St. Louis Arch holding up the roof. Inside is a combination of steel and glass that just about takes your breath away when you reach the field. The most spoken word you will hear when you enter the building is WOW! Everyone seems to say that. And rightfully so. Trust me, go take a look and you will also say wow.
On my first trip there, I took the Stadium Tour on a non-game day. Something that I really recommend because on game days it is very crowded and difficult to walk around to see everything inside this massive arena. My host was an older gentleman. He referred to team owner and owner of Cowboys Stadium as Mr. Jones. I then noticed that everyone else that we interacted with along the tour, young or older, security guards, ticket takers, even the cashiers inside the gift shop, also all referred to him as Mr. Jones. There is a respect level here by employees for their boss like none other I have ever experienced. And a strong respect level of their workplace. Everyone is cleaning, seemingly non-stop to keep the place spotless.
My host asked me if I was attending the game that weekend and I said yes. He then leaned closer to me and said, "be sure to look down at your feet when you get to your seat... the floor will be shining back up at you." He then winked and continued with the tour. I thought, what an odd thing to say, but on game day, when I got to my seat, would you believe that tour guide was right! The floors in the stands are waxed! I mean really, really waxed so that they appear to glow and shine up at you. The floors are perfectly clean. No gum, stains, debris. Incredible!
Beyond the obvious football theme, Cowboys Stadium is also filled with modern art on every level. Mrs. Jones has some impressive interior design skills that she used to personally decorate the club level and suites. Every detail is covered throughout the building, from murals that decorate the escalator shafts, to the walls painted with old football plays from Mr. Jones' college playing days.
And then there are the TV's. Two 60-yard long HD screens, so bright that you constantly catch yourself looking up at them over watching the field. If you are in the end zones, there are two HD screens in what would be considered normal size for every other stadium in America. Plus there are thousands of other smaller flat screen TV's located throughout the stadium so you will never miss a minute of the game, no matter where you wander. I even spotted one in between the floors in the escalator shaft.
Ok, so I have to let you know about some of the negatives... First, on game days, you cannot walk around the main concourse to get to the other side of the stadium. If you need to get from one end zone area to another, you will have to go up to the 400 level and walk the concourse there. This is a very important thing to realize, especially if you are trying to catch a shuttle bus, like the ones we run on our Sports Traveler Weekend Packages. All the shuttle buses for most every hotel and tour group pick up outside the West Entrance. If you come down the escalator and exit toward Rangers Ballpark, you will have to walk all the way around the building to the other side. Trust me, this is a very long walk.
Also, the acoustics during the game are not great. At the top of the stadium, in the 400 level, the sound is better, but the sound gets progressively worse as you get closer to the field. It's almost like you can choose to hear the game best in the 400 level, or see the game best in the 100 level.
I recently returned to Cowboys Stadium for the season opener in September. I entered the stadium and still said WOW to myself (even though this was my 3rd time inside the place, it still impresses me). I thought of that tour guide from my first tour last year. I got to my seat and yes, even one year later, the floors still shine up at you. This stadium is still as pristine as the first day it opened.