Stadia Debate

Revealed: The new stadium that puts Wembley to shame

We fawn over the new home of the Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Stadium

The Dallas Cowboys’ brand new stadium hosted its first NFL game last Friday night, and hit the headlines thanks to an apparent flaw in its design. The HD screens that hang over the pitch are the world’s largest at 160 feet wide and 72 feet tall, but they were proved to hang a little too low when Tennessee Titans’ A.J. Trapasso struck one of them with a punt. Scoreboard issues aside, Cowboys Stadium is a stunning feat of engineering that makes the new Wembley Stadium seem quite mundane by comparison.

Cowboys Stadium

Like Wembley, Cowboys Stadium was over budget (it ended up costing nearly double the projected $650m , and was partially funded by a half cent rise in Arlington sales tax), and is aesthetically defined by a doublearch design that towers 300 feet over the pitch. Unlike Wembley, however, the roof is fully retractable, and the world’s largest glass doors at either end zone can be opened up on particularly stuffy days. It currently holds 80,000 (10,000 less than Wembley), but will be expanded to a capacity of 100,000 in due course.

Cowboys Stadium

Our admiration of the Cowboys’ new home doesn’t merely stem from impressed Chelsea fans (the Blues played there during their summer tour) and Wikipedia pages, but a solid testimonial from our globe-trotting friends at Popbitch, who attended the inaugural game last week. They described it as the “greatest stadium they have ever seen”, and one that makes Wembley appear “pathetic” and “old fashioned”. Popbitch were also won over by prawn sandwich brigade-esque touches like a ‘wine room’, and the fact that one can enjoy alcoholic beverages from the comfort of the reasonably spacious seats.

Cowboys Stadium

We have been quite impressed with our visits to Wembley (most recently we quaffed £4 pints in the modestly-appointed Club Wembley while watching Bonio and The Hedge’s 360 Tour) but have to admit that it lacks the character of the old stadium, the design flare of The Emirates and the feeling of ‘largeness’ that one may get at, say, The Millennium Stadium. Dallas’ home seems to eclipse anything we have in the UK.

In fact, with the obvious exception of the fact that one has to watch American football there, it’s hard to fault Cowboys Stadium.

7 responses so far
  • SPOT // August 26, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    If I wanted to watch the telly I’d stay at home.
    Other than that great stadium.

  • Delboy Dublin // August 26, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    “it’s hard to fault Cowboys Stadium”… you mean apart from the fact that the big screen has been cited as a major problem after the Tennessee Titans complained when their punt kicker hit it on a basic return kick & the NFL are now investigating whether or not it represents a hindrance to the game!

  • Igor // August 26, 2009 at 6:10 pm


    it’s not the ‘Boys fault that that happened. The NFL rules state that the HD screen needs to be 85 ft above ground, and Jerry put it 90 feet in the air. The NFL approved it and that’s what happened.

  • wllmhll // August 26, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    looks like it can hold more than 80k in there. what a beast.

  • Aron // August 27, 2009 at 12:05 am

    I’m from Dallas, was fortunate enough to see Chelsea play Club America.

    For all you Brits, if you are ever over here in Dallas, I highly suggest you make the trip to Arlington to check it out. It truly is a great stadium that leaves a a formidable impression of human engineering.

    And about the TV, they are estimating it would cost $2 million to raise it. Pennies in comparison of the cost of the stadium, surely it will be fixed if it continues to be a major problem.

  • RedbyDawn // August 27, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Wow, that’s awesome.

    Hopefully one day our national sport can be even more money grabbing and soulless than theirs.

    Oh hang on, it already is.

  • Will // June 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I have been there, it is very impressive but in my opinion it does not match Wembley…Wembley is the greatest sports venue on the planet, the feeling you get as you come out of wembley park tube station and view the crowd down wembley way is unmatched…
    And there is that 133 meter arch that just makes the stadium the most beautiful, in my opinion, Wembley puts this to shame, as it puts every stadium on the planet to shame.

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