Tuesday, October 06, 2009

"Jerry World" (aka "The Death Star)

Last Saturday, my beloved Arkansas Razorbacks renewed an old rivalry with Texas A&M. We began a 10 year series with them, with all the games being played here in DFW at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. We don't live too far from the stadium and on a clear day, you can drive just a few miles to the south and see it on the horizon. The ticket prices for the Ark-A&M game were fairly high, especially for a college football game. I'm not sure we'll go every year, but I definitely wanted to go to the first game and wanted a chance to check out the stadium. The Razorbacks won rather easily, proving once again our dominance over A&M and our conference, the SEC. But I wanted to share some pictures and comment about the stadium itself, which has come under some ridicule for what it lacks, even thought the price tag was around $1.1 billion.

It is beautiful and spacious and very fan friendly (in regards to # of bathrooms, # of concession areas, wide concourses, friendly staff). All chair back seats with cup holders, and amble leg room between rows. And, of course, the video board over the field is truly amazing. Not just the size of it, but the quality of the picture. However, there are a couple of glaring problems which have have received a lot of press here in the DFW area and I wanted to see if the complaints were warranted.

Problem #1 - the sound system is awful. I could not understand one word the PA person was saying, nor could I understand anything said on any video's shown. It just sounded like garbled noise. The roof was closed and I don't know if that had anything to do with it or not, but the same complaints have been lodged when the roof was open. From the very first event at the stadium (a concert), this has been the #1 complaint. U2 is playing there next Monday and with the ticket prices being charged, I would be extremely p*ssed if the sound wasn't straightened out.

Problem #2 - scoreboards, or lack thereof. You really have to be paying attention to the game, because even with the 2 little scoreboards I could see, you don't get basic information. Like down and distance, # of timeouts remaining, what yard line the ball is on. And it didn't even say ARK A&M - it was just small logos of the schools. Also, no stats and no scores from other games. This has also been a big complaint here, because if the PA guy is telling you this (as the Cowboy officials claim), you can't understand anything being said and you have no clue. One would think that if you're already spending $1 billion, what's another hundred thousand or so for a decent sound system and a couple basic scoreboards.

Here are a few pictures inside the stadium:

As for the title of this post, the media here in DFW all call the stadium "Jerry World", while the guys on The Ticket (local sports station) call it "The Death Star".

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