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Texas Stadium is a football stadium in Irving, Texasmarker, a suburb of Dallasmarker. Built to replace the aging Cotton Bowlmarker, it was the home field of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, and had a seating capacity of 65,675. The stadium opened on October 24, 1971, at a cost of $35 million.

In 2009, it was replaced as home of the Cowboys by the $1.15 billion Cowboys Stadiummarker, which completed construction and officially opened on May 27, 2009 in Arlington, Texasmarker. Texas Stadium is to be demolished and redeveloped by the city of Irving in early 2010.

Roof

Texas Stadium was to have originally been a domed stadium, but the stadium could not support the weight of the entire roof, and public funding ran out before the roof support structure could be modified. This resulted in most of the stands being enclosed but not the playing field itself. This unusual arrangement - more commonly seen in European soccer stadiums - prompted Cowboys linebacker D. D. Lewis to make his now-famous quip "Texas Stadium has a hole in its roof so God can watch His favorite team play", often paraphrased as the "hole" in the stadium's roof was there "so that God can watch His team."

The roof at Texas Stadium, whose worn paint had become unsightly in the early 2000s, was repainted in the summer of 2006 by the City of Irving, which owns the stadium. It was the first time the famed roof was repainted since Texas Stadium opened. The roof is structurally independent from the stadium it covers.

Playing surface

The playing surface installed in 1971 officially was labeled Texas Turf, and was a form of AstroTurf. The original surface was replaced in 1981 and that generation of Texas Turf was replaced in 1996 with a much darker turf. The 1981-96 version was notable for having a large patch between the 35 and 40 yard line from the sideline to the middle of the field on one side of the field. The 1996 turf was replaced by a somewhat softer surface called RealGrass, similar to FieldTurf, in the middle of the 2002 season.It was tufted nylon 6 until it was demolished.

Non-Cowboys related events hosted

The stadium hosts neutral-site college football games and was formerly the home field of the SMUmarker Mustangs from 1979 to 1986. After the school returned from an NCAA-imposed suspension in 1988, school officials moved games back to the school's on-campus Ownby Stadium in order to signify a clean start for the football program (it has since been replaced by Gerald J.marker Ford Stadiummarker).

In November and December, Texas Stadium is a major venue for high school football. It is not uncommon for there to be high school football tripleheaders at the stadium. Texas Stadium has served as a temporary home for two Dallas-area high schools, Plano Senior High Schoolmarker in 1979 after its home stadium was damaged by a prank gone awry, and Highland Park High Schoolmarker while a new stadium on campus was being built. The 2001 Big 12 conference championship game was held at the site, as well as the 1973 Pro Bowl.

In addition to football, the stadium has hosted concerts, pro wrestling events, and religious gatherings such as Promise Keepers and Billy Graham crusades (a Graham crusade was the first event held at Texas Stadium). The two "bridges" that are connected to one of the support arms were installed to support the stage effects (rain) of Garth Brooks tour. They are referred to as Garth Bars. The supports have remained ever since.

From 1984 until 1988, the stadium hosted the annual World Class Championship Wrestling's David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions wrestling card every May. The initial 1984 card drew over 40,000 fans; the highest attendance of any wrestling card in the state of Texas at that time.

On May 25, 2008, Texas Stadium hosted the first ever professional lacrosse game in Texas when the two time defending champions Philadelphia Barrage played the Long Island Lizards. Both teams compete in the Eastern Conference of the Major League Lacrosse

The Carthage Bulldogs faced The Celina Bobcats at Texas Stadium, becoming the last high school football game played there. The Carthage Bulldogs won, becoming state champions in 2008.

The Cowboys' departure from Texas Stadium

The Cowboys left Texas Stadium after the 2008 NFL season for the new Cowboys Stadiummarker (to open for the 2009 NFL season) that was partially funded by taxpayers in Arlington, Texasmarker. In November 2004, Arlington voters approved a half-cent (.005 per US Dollar) sales tax to fund $325 million of the then estimated $650 million stadium by a margin of 55–45. Jerry Jones, the Cowboys' owner, spent over $5 million backing the ballot measure, but also agreed to cover any cost overruns which as of 2006 had already raised the estimated cost of the project to $1 billion.

The new stadium, which has a retractable roof system, also includes a setting that mimics a hole in the roof as a tribute to Texas Stadium.

The Cowboys lost their final game at Texas Stadium to the Baltimore Ravens, 33-24, on December 20, 2008.

Texas Stadium Transition & Future

The fate of Texas Stadium after the Cowboys' departure is clear and the stadium is scheduled for demolition and implosion in early 2010 as confirmed by the mayor of Irvingmarker on September 23, 2009.

"The Dallas Cowboys’ lease has terminated as of early 2009 and city staff has been meeting with the organization to prepare for all transition issues. The Cowboys have removed all of their property from the stadium and the City of Irving now has possession of the Stadium.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will lease the Texas Stadium site for $15.4 million and will occupy it as a construction/staging location for up to 10 years. TxDOT will be working on the diamond interchange reconstruction project of State Highway 114 and Loop 12.

During the term of the lease, the city has the right to relocate the construction staging area to accommodate a redevelopment opportunity.

According to an article published in the Dallas Morning News on September 23, 2009, the City of Irving granted a demolition contract to Weir Brothers Inc., a local Dallasmarker based company, for the demolition and implosion of the stadium . The demolition is scheduled for January or February 2010.

References

  1. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/cowboys/2009-09-17-cowboys-stadium-cover_N.htm
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Makes Texas Debut
  5. sports.espn.go.com/nfl
  6. Jerrydome or Jerry Dome (Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington)
  7. Plans for the Demolition of Texas Stadium Move Forward after City Council Approves Resolution
  8. Texas Stadium Demolition Set
  9. The Dallas Morning News - Irving officials consider Texas Stadium demolition contracts, events


External links

  • http://www.california.com/~csuppes/NFL/DallasCowboys/index.htm includes a photo giving a good impression of the scale of the stadium.
  • http://www.crossroadsdfw.com shows potential redevelopment plans for the stadium after the Cowboys leave, including possible preservation of the roof by itself.



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