Since more than just a few of my fellow Tylerites may be interested in making the trip to see the legendary Cowboys Stadium in all its glory, I am reviewing outside of East Texas in an effort to confirm or dispel some of the myths accompanying Jerry Jones’ new palace. I hope you find it helpful.
This past summer I found myself faced with the task of coming up with the perfect first anniversary gift for my husband. I racked my brain for days and days and finally I was struck with an idea for the perfect gift…. Cowboys tickets in the new stadium. This idea was especially good, I thought, because it met the traditional guidelines that the first anniversary gift should be paper. So, after much internal debating and back and forth and so on, I finally decided on (with much help from my football-informed friends) the October 25th duel between the Dallas Cowboys and the Atlanta Falcons.
Now, back to dispelling myths. Let’s start with parking. The tales I had heard about parking at or even near the stadium were almost enough to be a deal breaker for me. I heard rumors that parking was going for anywhere from $75 to $150 for parking a mile away! I am happy to report, that this is one rumor you can completely dismiss. It may be true that parking is this much in certain areas, but affordable parking is available – if not plentiful – just a short walk from the stadium. We were cruising in on Collins wondering which way to go. My husband pointed to a glimpse of a satellite tower far, far away, just barely visible on the horizon. There, he claimed, was the $50 parking section. If we drove there now and walked straight back to the stadium, we should be there just in time to catch the end of the halftime show. Um, no thanks. We decided to push our luck and keep going toward the stadium when all of a sudden we saw it. Parking for $35. The stadium is not only within walking distance, it is visible, and practically right there! I wish I could remember the name of the place… My memory fails me. But, I can tell you that it was a small, privately owned parking lot just down the road from the stadium, and the parking was only $35.00 If you just had to be closer, the next block up parking was going for $50. Myth dispelled.
Next, let me tell you about my impressions approaching and entering Cowboys Stadium. Walking up to the stadium was incredible. I wanted to hang out with the tailgaters more than I wanted to go inside! Now, forgive me if this is common knowledge, but I had never seen anything like it. Motorized cooler scooters, vans equipped with flat screens and surround sound, grills that attach to your trucks, people dressed up in costumes, I could go on and on. It was SO cool. Too bad we had to go inside. Once I was able to pry my eyes away from the tailgaters and all their fun setups did I take a moment to actually look at the building itself. I don’t really like using the word building for it because it is so much more. It is really a feat of architecture and engineering. Oh, and it looks like a giant spaceship with crab legs.
Finally we made it inside after seeing 1. two people trying to get in with fake tickets, and 2. a man trying to enter with a concealed weapon. Walking in to this stadium was unlike walking into any other stadium I had ever entered. It had a very ‘open air’ feel to it. Meaning, you walk in, and the opening for the field is right there. No dark corridors with entrances for sections and levels spaced periodically around the field like most arenas. We oohed and ahhed for a few minutes at the sheer size of the place, watched the Miller Lite Rhythm and Blues dancers as we made our way up to our section, and stopped on a staircase for a moment to check out the abundance of empty box suites. Why couldn’t we go in there? Oh well, we continued to make our way up to the upper reserved section where our seats were all the while commenting on how new and clean everything was.
I bought the tickets online at Stub Hub and I found the seating diagram on Stub Hub’s website to be slightly deceiving, but it was ok. As I am sure most everyone has heard, there is a huge screen in the middle of the field. HUGE screen. I’m talking 72′ x 160′ LED screen right in the middle of the field. Try keeping your eyes off of it – it’s impossible. More disappointing than the location of the seats was the accessibility to the seats. Once I got in my chair I stayed put for the entire game because I was too terrified that if I got up the slightest stumble could send me bouncing and rolling down row after row of fans, only to land sheepishly in the middle of the field, or worse (or better?) right at the feet of Miles Austin. Also, once someone decided to get up, there is a collective groan from all members of the row who now have to stand up and scoot way back to make room for their exit and return. Trust me, aisle seats are worth the extra $$$.
Let’s talk food. I saw lots of yummy things to eat here, and sampled a couple of things myself. There was actually a farmer’s market stand where there were grapes, apples, bananas, and many other types of fresh and healthy snacks for sale. I got some grapes and snacked on them throughout the game. Later, my husband got a Philly cheesesteak that was a gooey, messy, delicious delight. From what I could tell, the only beer they have here is Miller Lite, but I could be mistaken. For the food and the bathrooms there were no lines at all.
I found the game very enjoyable to watch. I am not a huge football fan, but even I couldn’t deny there was something special about witnessing this event with my own eyes. So what if I think the cheerleaders are more entertaining than the football? The Cowboys ended up beating the Falcons 37 to 21. We left just a couple of minutes early, but just like before, there were no lines, and there was a steady and constant flow of people making their way out of the stadium. As we made our way back to the car we noticed the Arlington police had blocked all traffic coming towards the stadium so exiting traffic could flow out smoothly. We were able to pull right out of our parking spot and head down the road back to I-20.
For those of you worried about long lines, dirty bathrooms, expensive parking and bad food fear not. The Cowboys Stadium has overcome, if not conquered, these annoyances which plague so many other stadiums, arenas, and large venues. Do not, however, let the size of this place fool you into thinking that you will be able to move freely in and out of your seat as the rows are extremely narrow. Despite that one drawback (well, that and only serving Miller Lite) I’d still say this is something everyone should experience at least once. Check it out for yourselves and let us know what you think.
Arlington, TX 76011