November 07, 2007
NFL Fan Value Experience
26 Dallas Cowboys
TEXAS STADIUM :: Opened 1971 :: Capacity 65,581

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Average Price Per Ticket $84.12
Price Range Of Tickets $50-$130
Ticket Availability Games sold out since 1991
"Dallas fans tend to be a little fickle." "If the Cowboys are winning, the fans are delighted;" if they are losing, "it's like a wake." "Texas Stadium never has that feeling of raw emotion you would get at an OU-Texas game." "Dallas fans are too damn quiet." Some attribute this to a crowd where "most people are there to be seen, not watch a game." Others feel "Cowboys fans are spoiled by all the success of the organization." The hard times -- by Dallas standards -- of the recent past filtered out the "hoity-toity" crowd of the Super Bowl years for a more "down-to-earth" group that isn't "all that loud, but they are smart." That makes for an atmosphere "easily silenced after repeated frustrations," but also one that knows the biggest "stakes are on the line." "You look around to see that Ring of Honor, the semi-looking dome, the players getting pumped up, and then your hair stands up on your arms and the back of your neck. What a rush!"
SCORE 4 out of 10
Hot Dog $3.50
Soda (32 oz.) $3.50
Beer (16 oz.) $5.00
Expected Meal Cost $10-$20
Program $5
Cap $10.00
"Unless you get off on Cheez Whiz nachos, there's nothing of interest." Really? "You might as well drink from the urinal." C'mon? "The fried food smell throughout the stadium is killing me." OK, OK, we get it; the food is "nothing special," to put it more diplomatically. Some do find that the "turkey legs are the best." And some think "the Cowboys Corral ... and all of its drinks, music and games ... costs a few bucks but is worth it and is open to anyone" who can find it "next to the stadium's Blue Lot." "If your wallet can stand it," "there's an awesome stadium club available to season-ticket holders that is fine dining."
SCORE 5 out of 10
Parking $12
In theory, getting to the game should be easy as "Texas Stadium sits at the intersection of three major freeways." But "getting in and out of the parking lots resembles Dante's first circle of hell," backing up traffic "onto the highways for miles in every direction." With few entrances, "lots of pedestrian traffic" and "multiple parking zones" that unintentionally encourage "a lot of loop de loop" driving, "it can easily take more than 90 minutes to finally park once you hit game time traffic." Adding to the misery is the possibility of a "walk of more than a mile if you don't have a pre-paid parking pass" and are sent to one of the distant, unpaved lots. Getting out is no easier for many. "Parking lots don't have enough exits and the police direct you to certain highways, often not of your own choosing." Unfortunately, there seems little alternative to taking your commuting medicine since "buses are too few and there are no trains/subways to the stadium."
SCORE 3 out of 10
"There aren't as many tailgaters as at other stadiums. However, those who [do] have VERY good food, TV (even satellite) and often are willing to share with strangers." In many ways, the Dallas scene is "still in its embryonic stages" after a ban was lifted on open flames in the parking lots in 1999. Now, "a virtual smoke screen" arises from around the stadium, "even at some of the remote lots." "Everything from beef to chicken to vegetables is prepared." And during the annual Thanksgiving Day game, the Cowboys Corral, a group that organizes game experience packages for fans, "offers rows of tables with a feast that is unimaginable." Though spread across the stadium's vast array of lots, tailgating at the famed "Blue Lot is where you see your stadium family. The beer is always cold, footballs are being thrown, pregame shows are being watched ... and you will meet people from all over the country [and the world sometimes] who have come to see the Cowboys."
SCORE 6 out of 10
Terrell Owens
Terrell Owens :: Greg Nelson/SI
Record through Week 9 7-1
Players Worth Watching Terrell Owens (WR), Tony Romo (QB), Marion Barber III (RB), DeMarcus Ware (LB)
SCORE 9 out of 10
"Texas Stadium is well past its prime." Concourses are "narrow." Seating is "cramped." And "second-floor walkways often leak onto the first-floor walkways." Worst of all, "when the team added an extra row of luxury boxes" "above the upper deck," "it closed up the gap between the seats and the roof, killing air flow in the stadium." Little wonder, then, that some ponder if the folk tale about Texas Stadium is a bit twisted, and that it is "Satan, not God, looking down upon the Cowboys" through the infamous hole in the roof. "God would not have you sit in 110-degree temperature with no circulation to watch [a game]." On the plus side, "the roof is nice because you are outside but you never get wet if it rains or snows. The price for protection from the elements, though, is a seating area that is "quite dark except where the sunlight hits." Despite it's iconic roof and being the site of so many memorable games, many "are sick of Madden and Michaels waxing nostalgic" about this "Grade-A dump." A few note how little owner Jerry Jones has upgraded the stadium during his tenure, an interesting development for a man who has spared little expense on the team playing in the stadium. More on that later.
SCORE 5 out of 10
"The stadium is surrounded by parking, which is surrounded by three highways," "so [the immediate area is] concrete on top of concrete covered by concrete with a nice concrete topping." "There's not a lot beyond: no hangouts, restaurants, pubs -- anything." "You can see the Dallas skyline from the parking lot, but it's a 15-20 minute drive. Ft. Worth is a little farther." In other words, "there isn't much of a neighborhood at all."
SCORE 1 out of 10
Clever guy, that Jerry Jones. Despite watching the league's most glamorous team take the field Sunday after Sunday in perhaps the league's least glamorous stadium, he raised nary a finger to update the Cowboys' home, letting his patrons stew over paying $84 ticket prices while sweating away in the uncomfortable sauna that often is Texas Stadium. Lo and behold, residents of Arlington -- some of them Cowboys fans we'd guess -- up and approved $325 million in public financing to help Jones build a $1 billion football palace, set to open in 2009. We can only assume there won't be any leaks, cramped seating or diabolical parking lot designs at the home of the 2010 Super Bowl. Y'know, unless he has plans for a bigger, better place down the road.
FINAL SCORE 33 out of 70

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