If you took Interstate 30 on your way back to the university for this fall semester, you may have noticed something that resembles a spacecraft in Arlington. The structure is no UFO but the new playground of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his team. Despite much criticism about the cost of the behemoth in a poor economic climate, the stadium will end up paying for itself.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the final cost of the stadium was about $1.15 billion. That’s about the same as TCU tuition for the 2009-2010 academic year, at $28,250, for 40,708 students.
The stadium, though, will go a long way toward helping the economy in the Metroplex.
At a place where finding parking and buying tickets or concessions will be an expensive endeavor, someone has to be manning that parking lot and selling the fans overpriced T-shirts and beer. JerryWorld will end up creating many more jobs than the old Texas Stadium simply because of the sheer size of the place. While Irving’s old stomping ground seated 65,675, the new stadium will hold 80,000 for football and up to 100,000 for other events. And sure, people will complain about the price of the tickets, but do you really think Cowboys fans won’t buy them?
The giant has already hosted concerts for George Strait, the Jonas Brothers and Paul McCartney. It has held a few soccer matches and will host college football games for Oklahoma and Texas A&M this fall. It will even hold the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in February and the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four.
But on Feb. 6, 2011, this country’s largest yearly event will come to Arlington. Super Bowl XLV will be a two-week long celebration in DFW, with the Host Committee involving both cities and bringing tons of money to North Texas with all the fans making the trek for the big game. The east side of the Metroplex will host the NFC champions as well as the media hotel and the NFL Experience. The NFL Experience is an event so big that at 850,000 square feet the Dallas Convention Center is the only building that could even conceivably hold it.
Here in Fort Worth, the Omni Hotel will be home to the AFC champs, who by the way will hold team practices right here at TCU. Cowtown will also see its convention center take on the Taste of the NFL fundraiser, which features chefs and players from each NFL city and raises money for hunger relief charities.
Maybe one of the coolest things Fort Worth gets to welcome is the Kickoff Concert on March 6, 2010 at Bass Hall. The performer has not yet been announced, but to have the entire NFL world focused on our city as the year-long party kicks off is pretty amazing.
Cowboys Stadium’s ability to be transformed into one of the world’s largest concert or soccer venues makes it a worthy investment for the city of Arlington. And with single-game Cowboys tickets priced anywhere from $75 to $239, America’s Team certainly will not be hurting for money.
So what’s left to say, but “How ’bout them Cowboys (Stadium)!”
Chris Blake is a junior broadcast journalism major from Irving