Revealed: The new stadium that puts Wembley to shame
We fawn over the new home of the Dallas Cowboys
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.
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.
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.
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.