Stempak: AT&T Stadium takes the cake for sports venues
R.J. Stempak | Tuesday, November 15, 2016
The best sports venue in the world?
Two words: Jerry World.
Not clear enough? The house that Jerry built, the star of the Lone Star State, home field of America’s Team, the field where Zeke runs fast, the most expensive ticket in sports. All names of the same wonderland of sporting perfection officially known as AT&T Stadium.
Completed in 2009, AT&T Stadium is not only the greatest sports venue in the world, it is the greatest entertainment venue on the planet. Housing the world’s largest high definition television (at the time of construction, now the 24th largest in the world), Jerry World has hosted everything from Taylor Swift concerts to college football championships. The stadium even hosted one of Notre Dame’s Shamrock Series games.
The over-a-billion-dollar construction project is the best sports venue simply because that’s what it was made for. Highly adaptable, modern, grossly luxurious and very spacious, AT&T Stadium embodies everything that’s great about Texas. Everything is bigger in Texas, after all.
The structure seats 80,000, but holds world record attendance numbers for football, basketball and wrestling, all of those record events attracting over 100,000 spectators. AT&T stadium also has the record for largest boxing event, with over 50,000 attendees huddled around the ring to watch Canelo Alvarez fight Liam Smith this past September.
The perks of the stadium include Wi-Fi, a modern art collection, a specialized company to run the concessions and did I mention the massive video screen? Even if you have bad seats you have an amazing view of a beautiful video screen.
Jerry commissioned 18 artists to install various installations throughout the building, making the structure more than just a bland industrial venue. The pieces range from wall-filling murals to large paneled instillations.
One of the most popular events held at the stadium is not a sporting event at all: It is simply a tour of the stadium. This venue is so special and impressive that people pay money to tour on days when no event is taking place. What other sports venue can say the same?
It also doesn’t hurt that the resident team Dallas Cowboys are having one of the best seasons in resent franchise history. AT&T Stadium has been known to attract troves of fans supporting the visiting team during down years, but this year, the Cowboys have not had that issue. Besides, that just shows that people are willing to travel long distances to experience Jerry World for themselves.
Looking ahead to 2017, the stadium will host the Cotton Bowl, Monster Jam, Supercross and then bull riding. Unlike many venues, the end of the football season does not mark the beginning of low usage rates for AT&T stadium, it marks the beginning of eclectic events that highlight the adaptability of the stadium.
The only downside is the price of course, but Jerry Jones has to pay off the construction fees somehow.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.