A Home Built for America’s Team
AT&T Stadium, located in Arlington, Texas, is one of America’s largest sports and entertainment venues. Since 2009, it has been home to America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys.
The stadium is the second-largest domed stadium in the world, capable of holding 80,000 people (which can be expanded to 105,000 for certain events), and it’s the 6th most expensive stadium ever built in the United States, costing more than 1.5 billion.
While primarily used for Cowboys games, AT&T Stadium regularly hosts other football events like the Cotton Bowl Classic and Big 12 Championship, some of the NCAA’s biggest college football events. It has also hosted Super Bowl XLV, the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, WWE’s WrestleMania 32 and 38, the 2015 NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship, iconic boxing matches, and many other sporting and music events.
AT&T Stadium offers a first-class experience to anyone who visits. So, if you’re looking to root for the ‘Boys to win, getting tickets to their upcoming home game should be an easy decision.
Memorable Musical Moments at AT&T Stadium
AT&T Stadium isn't just a shrine to football – it's also a standout music venue that has hosted some incredible concerts. The first event ever at the stadium was a George Strait and Reba McEntire concert on June 6, 2009. The stadium's enormous capacity and cutting-edge facilities make it a prime choice for musicians to bring tours to Dallas.
AT&T Stadium also hosted the country’s highest-attended-single-concert event ever in a stadium. In 2014, George Strait played to a record crowd of 104,793 in his farewell tour, “The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.”
Other memorable events that have happened at AT&T Stadium are:
- U2’s “360° Tour” in 2009
- Kenny Chesney’s “Goin’ Coastal Tour” in 2011
- Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “On The Run Tour” in 2014
- Bad Bunny’s “World’s Hottest Tour” in 2019
- Beyoncé’s “Renaissance Tour” in 2023
- Taylor Swift’s “Reputation Tour” in 2018 and “The Eras Tour” in 2023
What is the history of AT&T Stadium?
The idea of a new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys was conceived in the mid-2000s. The previous home of the Cowboys, Texas Stadium, had been in use since the 1970s and was showing its age, needing more modern amenities and features, so Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thought a change was required.
He started to envision the future stadium for the team, a massive entertainment venue that would showcase the team’s significance and attract major events.
After securing funding from both private entities and public subsidies, which required an increase in sales, hotel occupancy, and car rental taxes in the city of Arlington, Jerry Jones’ vision finally became a reality during a groundbreaking in September 2005 and almost four years later, AT&T Stadium officially opened its doors, May 27, 2009, as Cowboys Stadium, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by several Cowboys legends.
The first sporting event at AT&T Stadium happened on July 19, 2009, and it was a soccer match between Costa Rica and Guadeloupe, part of the Gold Cup. The first-ever NFL game held at Cowboys Stadium came a few months later, on August 21, 2009, a preseason game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tennessee Titans. The first NFL regular season game in the stadium featured the Cowboys hosting their divisional rival, the New York Giants, spoiled by a last-second field goal after an Eli Manning drive. The 105,121 fans on hand was a record, and famously, Manning anointed the visitor’s locker room wall with an autograph saying, “First win in the new stadium.”
In July 2013, Cowboys’ chairman, Jerry Jones, announced a sponsorship deal with AT&T, which granted naming rights to the stadium, and to this day, it still holds the telecommunications company’s name. Since then, the stadium has been the stage of the most important sporting and music events in the United States, breaking attendance records and drawing interest from fans from all over the country.
AT&T Stadium Stadium Design
AT&T Stadium's design is a standout example of modern architecture and innovation. Its unique dome design combines elegance with practicality, making it a recognizable symbol in Arlington's skyline, which is something Bryan Trubey, the lead architect in charge of the stadium project, had in mind when imagining the stadium. He envisioned the stadium as a civic structure just as much as one devoted to athletics.
One of its most impressive features – and there are many – is its massive retractable roof that can open and close in under 20 minutes. This weather-proof design is perfect for the hot and humid Texas weather and ensures that events can go ahead, rain or shine, providing comfort to guests and the experience of both an open-air and domed stadium.
The field at the stadium is a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art convertible turf system made by Hellas Construction. This system has 26 interchangeable panels, allowing the stadium to host various events, such as concerts, dirt bike races, monster truck rallies, and various sporting events.
Its massive video screen once held the Guinness World Record for the largest HD screen in the world, with a dimension of 160 by 72 ft. It is currently the 39th largest screen in the world.
AT&T Stadium also features an impressive collection of contemporary art tucked in various locations, from concession stands to upper-level bowl seating. The genesis for the art collection came when developers sought to add other experiences outside of concerts and football. The collection is refreshed annually, so keep your eyes out for interesting installations when you go.
Fun Facts about AT&T Stadium
Initially, the stadium hadn’t reached a naming rights agreement, so fans decided to give it gave it different nicknames like "Jerry World," "The Palace in Dallas," and "Jerrassic Park."
Did you know that the stadium’s video screen has been hit by a punter four times? The first player to hit the screen was A.J. Trapasso at the inaugural Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium on August 29, 2009. After, the NFL instituted a rule that if the ball hits the screen, the down is replayed.
If the Statue of Liberty were standing upright on field level, the flame of her torch wouldn’t be close to touching the top of the roof.
The field design has received many complaints from players due to its orientation. While most football fields are oriented north-south to minimize the sun's glare, AT&T Stadium is oriented east-west with large windows on the western side of the field. This design allows sunlight to enter the stadium during afternoon games, which can impair players' vision and performance.
AT&T Stadium Amenities
The experience at AT&T Stadium begins with various seating options depending on how much you want to spend, including standard seats, club seats with access to premium lounges, and luxury suites providing upscale comfort and views.
In Texas, everything is bigger. In one of the largest stadiums in the world, there are countless food and drink options to consider. The stadium prides itself that everything consumed (and drank) during the game is made from scratch at AT&T.
Unique offerings include:
- Cowboyrita: The stadium’s signature drink, a refreshing frozen margarita made with tequila, agave syrup, and lime juice. Hoist one of these, and say cheers to your ‘Boys!
- Brisket Mac N Cheese Cone: A bread cone filled with famous Cowboys Mac and Cheese, chopped brisket, and their signature BBQ Sauce topped with jalapeño.
- Lobster Mac-N-Cheese: The classic Cowboys Mac-N-Cheese has taken the dish to a new level, with chunks of garlic-butter-poached lobster and fresh parsley.
- Steak Sandwich: Slow-roasted beef dipped in signature broth on a toasted bun with arugula, provolone cheese, creamy horseradish sauce, and caramelized onions.
- Heaven and Hell Burger: A burger with mac and cheese, crushed Fritos, lettuce, and more.
- Texas-sized Chicken & Waffles Sandwich: The famous chicken and waffle sandwich with maple syrup.
Several merchandise stands allow fans to buy blue and silver memorabilia, and the Pro Shop is on the Northwest side of the AT&T Stadium, near Entry A, and is open seven days a week.
Free Wi-Fi keeps fans connected to social media and the internet during the game to text family and friends or check their fantasy football scores during the game.
AT&T Stadium has 12,000 parking spots spread across 15 numbered lots. About 12,000 parking spaces in lettered lots are available around the Texas Rangers Ballpark on event days. Typically, parking zones open five hours before Cowboys games.
Tailgating at AT&T Stadium
Tailgating is a long-standing tradition in American culture, and AT&T Stadium offers a lively pre-game experience for guests attending events. Please note that you must purchase a parking pass to enter the tailgating areas and follow guidelines.
Several rules are involved with the party before the game:
- Tailgating is permitted in designated areas only.
- Your tailgating space shouldn’t exceed 9 feet in width and 12 feet in depth.
- Common areas are shared spaces.
- Prohibited activities include open flame fires, disorderly conduct, weapons, and commercial activities.
- Tailgating is allowed up to two hours post-Cowboys or college football games.
Designated tailgating spaces are available in various lots, offered on a first-come, first-served basis, encouraging early arrival for preferred spots.
Besides the classic tailgating experience, AT&T Stadium’s Miller LiteHouse has a 70-yard turf football field featuring games, video boards, over 60 television screens, two fantasy football screen walls, and over 87,000 square feet of outdoor space. It’s a great spot for tailgating, watching the game, and participating in games and activities. A wide variety of food and drinks are available – including the best price for a beer anywhere at AT&T – $5.
Stadium Tours at AT&T Stadium
AT&T Stadium’s experience can go beyond the Dallas Cowboys, and they offer a variety of guided tours that provide visitors with the opportunity to explore the various aspects of the stadium, where you’ll learn about its history and get an up-close look at some of its most iconic features.
Learn more about these tours below:
- Self-guided Tour: Fans can explore the top attractions of AT&T Stadium through Self-Guided Tours. These tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays when the field is set up and ready for a game.
- VIP Guided Tour: The VIP Guided Tours at AT&T Stadium offer a more intimate and comprehensive experience than the standard tour. Led by our most knowledgeable guides, you'll visit exclusive areas like the private suite, press box, and Cotton Bowl Office, all the stops on the Self-Guided Tour. Your tour will end in the Pro Shop, where you can purchase souvenirs and memorabilia.
- Rally Days: AT&T Stadium lets NFL fans specially experience the stadium. Before a Cowboys home game, fans can enjoy fun activities on the field, take a tour behind the scenes, and enjoy other activities.
- Owners Experience: What’s better than being a VIP? Feel like Jerry Jones in this one-of-a-kind tour that takes you to some of the most exclusive areas of the stadium, including a stop at a location that has rarely been seen by the public. It’s a great way to get a behind-the-scenes look at AT&T Stadium and experience the excitement of being a Cowboys owner.
- Educational Tour: AT&T Stadium offers educational tours for schools and groups. These tours are designed to teach students about the history, design, and construction of the stadium. They also provide students with an opportunity to learn about the science and engineering behind the stadium's features. The educational tours are led by trained tour guides who are knowledgeable about the stadium and its history. The tours are customized to meet the specific needs of the group.
- Art Tour: AT&T Stadium stands out for its remarkable collection of high-quality modern art. On this tour, visitors will see a variety of art installations, including paintings, sculptures, and murals.
What comes next for AT&T Stadium?
AT&T Stadium will host matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, one of the world’s premier sporting events. The Cowboys plan to renovate some areas of AT&T Stadium within the next few years. These renovations are anticipated to cost $350 million and include:
- Upgrade the world’s-largest hanging HDT to 4k
- Update and refresh the stadium’s Pro Shops
- Add new bars and concession stands
- Incorporate wellness spaces for clubs and concourse levels
- Upgrade and update the technology displays throughout the venue
- Update the designs of suites and their corridors
Memorable Moments at AT&T Stadium
AT&T Stadium has delivered countless historical and memorable moments in its short history, from football games to concerts. Here are some of the most notable:
- Super Bowl XLV (2011): The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, marking the first Super Bowl hosted at AT&T Stadium. Curiously, the league has not awarded another Super Bowl to Dallas since 2011.
- 2010 NBA All-Star Game: The 2010 NBA All-Star Game held at AT&T Stadium was a remarkable event that set a world record for the highest attendance at a basketball game, with over 108,000 fans filling the stadium.
- 2014-2015 NCAA’s Football Playoff National Championship: This event marked a historic moment in college football. Ohio State emerged victorious by defeating Oregon in a thrilling game, claiming their first national title in over a decade. The game's intense atmosphere surely added to the significance of this inaugural championship under the new College Football Playoff system.
- NFL Draft 2018: The 2018 NFL Draft took place at AT&T Stadium, drawing enthusiastic fans to witness the selection of new NFL talent. It was the first draft held in a stadium and the first in Texas.
- WrestleMania 32 (2016): WWE's WrestleMania 32 took place at the stadium, breaking attendance records with over 100,000 fans in attendance.
- Canelo Álvarez vs. Liam Smith (2016): The stadium hosted a high-profile boxing match between Canelo Álvarez and Liam Smith, which drew a large crowd and showcased the stadium's suitability for combat sports events.
- George Strait's Farewell Tour: Renowned country crooner George Strait performed in front of 104,793 in his swan song, “The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.” To this day, it remains the highest-attended-single-concert event ever in a stadium in the United States.