|My crazy sister insisted on this shot|
Mr. Jones has always been the bad boy of Dallas Football. He's the rich guy everybody loves to hate but he does put on a pretty good show. It was his dream to have the biggest and best stadium to keep Dallas, his beloved Cowboys and...lets face it, his legacy (well and his ego) the center of attention throughout the world, and I dare say he has succeeded.
The original plan was a $650 million dollar wonder which Arlington residents ponied up half in a bond proposition to help with the costs. But Mr. Jones' desire for greatness and additions drove the ultimate price to $1.5 billion. There is a litany of reasons why this happened and most have to do with up-sell. You know the concept, when you go in to buy a two-door sedan and drive off the lot with an Escalade.
Labradorite in which the crystals produce an iridescent play of colors which, when struck by a light ray, flashes a bright blue color as you pass over it. It's quite remarkable to see in person and mimics the Cowboy Blue of the teams logos. Well... he had to have those tiles and they are everywhere and cover the floors of all the elevators. He purchased them by the thousands at $35 dollars each.
The structure is mammoth. The roof is the largest free-standing dome in the world weighing in at 14,100 tons of structural steel (which, I am told, is equivalent to the weight of 92 Boeing 777s) covering 3 million square feet of stadium (73 acres) which stretches 900 feet from end zone wall to end zone wall. The roof soars to 292 feet over the field and the arches stretch 1/4 mile from end to end. Of course, for strength and durability, they had to be made of the strongest steel in the world. Grade 65 steel..... from Luxembourg of all places. Little known fact is that the roof is not in contact with any of the sides of the building. The entire roof is held up by the twin arches which are anchored into the ground on the exterior of the building like two huge Roman Arches gathering strength as each welded and bolted section transmits the weight to the ground at each of the four points.
|Astro Turf storage|
We made it down to the basement where all the warehouses and team rooms can be found. We visited the Dallas Cheerleader dressing rooms and Cowboy locker room as well as the press room where Head Coach Jason Garrett and Jerry explain the victories and loses of the team to thew media.
|Sister and the Burlwood|
Little known facts about the Cheerleaders is that there are no tenured Cheerleaders. Each of the 40 Cheerleaders must try out each year in May when several hundred other women come to tryout as well. Jerry Jones’ daughter, Charlotte Anderson has been in charge ever since her family bought the team in 1989. And if you're caught dating a Cowboy...you're out, no appeals.
The Cowboy Locker room was very spacious with defense on one side and offense on the other with a separate locker room for the practice (read second stringers) team members. Our tour guide often pointed out the extravagant appointments of Jerry's Stadium and this place was no exception. He noted that the wood used for each locker was a special Burlwood which was commonly found in the interiors of fine cars like Bently's and Rolls Royce cars.
A very fine tour and kudos to our tour guides Bob and Susie, both were fellow retirees and this was a part time gig a couple of times a week and on game days. On a personal note, I have been to many sports facilities and I was struck by how clean this place was. I firmly believe you could eat off the floors of this place and clearly these folks take their jobs seriously. Bob said, on any given day, there are about 350 employees working but on game day....as many as 6,500 are roaming around tending to the fires and making your visit as seamless as possible. Amazing place.