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Chris Harry’s Blog Harry Fodder

Friday March 29, 2013 Stadium on steroids

Updated: 3:12pm, March 29

Cowboys stadium for hoops

ARLINGTON, Texas -- So I was sitting there in a mostly empty media room at the NCAA South Region waiting for Florida Gulf Coast’s shoot-around to end so the Gators could take the floor.

Thought I’d bang out a few nuggets about Cowboys Stadium, a.k.a. “Jerry World” -- and the sports venue version of the Death Star.

Cowboys Stadium outside Cowboys Stadium, the vision, brainstorm and virtual property of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, opened May 27, 2009 as home to the Cowboys, and a pair of college football games: the Cotton Bowl Classic and Cowboys Classic.

Originally budgeted at $650 million, the final construction costs were in excess of $1.156 billion and included a retractable roof. Jones footed the bulk of the bill, but local sales taxes, occupancy taxes, tourist taxes, plus $325 million in bonds from the City of Arlington helped cover the costs. The NFL also kicked in $150 million (that’s chump change for “The King”) to get the project done, well aware of its revenue possibilities as a Super Bowl site.

The stadium’s listed capacity is 85,000, but with considerable expansion capabilities, including more than 100,000 for Super Bowl XVL on Feb. 6, 2011 when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25.

death starThe attendance record for a football game here is 105,212 for the Cowboys and New York Giants on Sept. 21, 2009, the grand opening of the stadium. Think that’s a lot of people? The most ever to see an event here was the 108,713 who filed in for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game (above). A world-championship boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey drew 50,994 on March 13, 2010.

The famous video screen is the fourth-largest in the world (second in the U.S. to the one that Charlotte Motor Speedway) measures 60 yards long (from 20-yard line to 20-yard line). Tennessee Titans punter A.J Trapasso actually hit the screen with a kick in the stadium’s debut preseason game.

Cowboys Stadium will play host to the 2014 Final Four and is reportedly the leader to host the inaugural college football play championship game.

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