Reporters: Janelle Gray and Malik McCullough
Devotion: Psalms 9:9-10 &16-18
Today, we woke up at 7 and had breakfast. Janelle read from Psalms 9 verse 9-10 and 16-18. We left the hotel at 9:35am heading to the AT&T Stadium. We arrived at the stadium at 9:41 since it wasn’t that far away. At the pro shop their slogan said “Get Closer To The Game”. We walked through the store and they had wonderful merchandise like wallets, glasses, footballs, puzzles, apparel, shoes etc. At 9:58am we waited outside to go on our 10:00am tour. Our tour guide Mr. Daniel introduced himself and took us upstairs.
We walked into the big stadium which is home of the Dallas Cowboys. The stadium has the largest dome structure, which is 3 million square feet. The moved from the old Texas stadium, which was East of Downtown Dallas. The new stadium opened in April 2006 and finished in April of 2009. It took one year just to dig the hole since they only worked at night to not cause traffic. If you looked above you could see their TV that showed whatever was happening below. They have the world record for the largest suspended television. It was a 4-sided TV that weighed 600 tons with 30 million LED lights. All the TV’s put together were 25,000 square feet and it cost a pretty penny… $40 million. We took a group picture and then sat in the seats. Mr. Daniel said that Jerry Jones supports a charity called A Hope to Dream. They host different events like rodeos, monster truck rallies, concerts, boxing matches, college basketball etc. Sometimes the TV would rise up and down for certain events so people would come in to wash it because it was waterproof. They also changed the fields for the NFL, College Basketball, Soccer and the NBA. During the NBA all-star game, there was a record breaking 108,000 fans that came. That is a bigger audience than the Cowboys game. There are 80,000 blue seats, but if you take out the cup holders they can slide the seats over and add 1 extra seat in each row making it a total of 8,000 more seats in the stadium. The TVs inside of the stadium are made by Mitsubishi. It is so big that they needed to set it up an elevator to go inside of the TV for maintenance. The ceiling can slide open using 128 motors. It takes 10 minutes to open and 12 minutes to close since the roof has a slight incline. They hold the record for largest outdoor stadium when it opened. From the ground to the roof it is 315 feet and the whole entire cost of the stadium was $1.2 billion. Straight across you could see the owner’s booth and where he sits during the game. In the food court, his wife Jean Jones and daughter Charlotte wanted it to still feel like they were still at the game, so they had football shaped lights. There is imported marble from Italy which naturally reflects the color blue known to fans as “Cowboy Blue”. Mr. Daniel told us that the plastic on the blue chairs were the strongest recyclable plastic from Australia. In the food lounge, they have different clubs. About 200 weddings have been held there. They set another record for the most TV’s in a lounge sporting area. There are about 3,500 Sony televisions in a lounge sporting area. When serving food, nachos are #1 selling which is not surprising. An interesting fact is that there are 1,600 toilets. 60% are women and 40% are men. They can convert the bathrooms depending on the gender of the fan base. Next we went on the freight elevator, up the Press Box Room. If you are a part of the media, you get a free ticket, free parking and free buffet. The first game that they had was North Carolina vs. Texas and it was a basketball game. The media room wraps all the way around the stadium.
We walked over to the V.I.P. area and sat down. The chairs were so comfortable you could fall asleep. There are 320 luxury suite chairs and 95% of them were already leased out then the other 5% are to the public. Different suites held a certain amount of people. The Legends Hospitality owned by Jerry Jones served special foods like hand churned ice cream, burgers, sandwiches, fries etc. But they are serve a much more upscale menu as well. The suites are leased out for a minimum of 10 years. Some of the football players would rent out suites for their families like Emmit Smith. He had a suite that was blue and silver since you could personalize your own. Sadly, we had to leave the V.I.P. center and we stopped to look at a picture.
It was on December 28, 1975 at game between the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys Roger Staubach, the quarter back for the cowboys. They Cowboys were expected to lose the game but he threw the ball to receiver Drew Pearson and made the touchdown. During the post game interview, the reporter asked “What were you thinking when you threw the ball?” and Staubach replied, “I closed my eyes said Hail Mary 3 times”. Before it was known as the “Hail Mary” the term was notable the “Alley-Oop”. Ever since then the term “Hail Mary” became NFL vocabulary.
In another picture in 1973, Air Force Planes flew over the Football field. The old stadium is used for college football in 1960-1961. The next place we went to was the Cotton Bowl office, which was full of helmets from college divisions. On the glass of the office they had drawn out plays that were responsible for the team to win. Next we took an escalator to the top floor where you can see the skyline of Downtown Dallas. We were looking at how the structure of the roof is held up. 6.5 million lbs. of steel hold the rood and it is the strongest steel from Europe. The steel goes 71 feet underground connected with concrete. Mr. Daniel took another group picture of us, which was nice of him. They had a Dr. Pepper lounge with fake ice cube you could sit on. We took the freight elevator 50 feet below the surface of the earth and saw the rolls of turf used by the cowboys, college football and soccer neatly packed. The first locker room we visited was the Dallas Cheerleaders. In order to qualify to become a Dallas Cheerleader you must be a high school graduate, must be 18 years or older, a stay at home mom and enrolled in college. Two of the newest members are from Australia. The cheerleaders started back in 1972 while the Cowboys were already established in 1960. As we walked inside of the locker room we noticed a cheerleader by the name of Jinelle, which was weird since we already have a Janelle on this trip. Aside from cheerleading, they also work with local charities and camps and travel overseas to visit the American soldiers. There was a 55-year-old woman who tried out and made it to the second round. While on our way to the Cowboys locker rooms, we took notice of the visitor’s locker rooms. Usually high school and college students stay there. All together there are 7 locker rooms. In the Cowboys locker room the lockers were made out of African wood that was very rare and cost $9,000. We took a group picture in front of the lockers. On top of their lockers, they had pictures of old football players. It didn’t smell either because most of the time they don’t practice at the stadium. While walking out, we saw their big showers and bathrooms. The next room we went to was the Post Game Media room. Before telling us about this specific room, Mr. Daniel told is that we were the best group he had since he is a schoolteacher. He told us that we had a future going for ourselves and that God blessed us with that. The Post Game Media room is where the football players come to give interviews about their win or loss. Our last stop was the main level of the field. Unfortunately we were not able to walk on the turf because they were setting up for a big event. This entry is where the Dallas Cowboys come out and get pumped up with fans on both sides of the ramp supporting them as they make their way onto the field. We retuned upstairs and received a souvenir picture and we were able to purchase other souvenirs as well. We said our goodbyes to Mr. Daniel and boarded the bus to make our way to Van Horn, Texas.
Mr. Wayne needed to refuel the bus so we stopped at a gas station. While we waited, Pastor Carol allowed us to purchase a subway sandwich for lunch. On the bus we took a nap and watch 3 movies: “Like Mike”, “Journey 2” and finished up with “Legend of Guardians” On our way to Van Horn, it started to rain a bit and it woke some of the kids up. At 6:48pm we stopped in the middle of nowhere at Huttle House for dinner. Many of us didn’t like it but it filled our bellies. We boarded the bus and 2 hours later at 10:15pm we finally arrived at our hotel. We fell asleep almost as soon as we saw our beds. Tomorrow we are headed to Phoenix, Arizona.