Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas is a marvel. In fact, it’s a must see if you are in the metroplex. But I recommend paying $15 for the Stadium tour rather than the hundreds of dollars it will take to bring your family to a Cowboys game. You will most likely end up watching the game on the world’s largest HDTV because most seats are too far from the action for a good view. A $29 “Peasant Pass” aka Party Pass actually costs $39 with Ticket Master fees. The cheapest stadium parking at either Cowboys Stadium or Rangers Ballpark is $50.
I attended the first sporting event in Cowboys Stadium, a concacaf gold cup soccer match in July. I also attended the first Monday Night Football game last night, Panthers vs. Cowboys. The soccer game experience was much less expensive and the crowd was really into the match (Mexico vs. somebody?)
The 90,000 or so fans last night sat on their hands with mouths closed for the first half, just like they did for years in Texas Stadium. Football games by design have tons of down time. Add the TV commercial time outs and well, let’s just say, I have never understood while my fellow Americans think soccer is boring. Soccer has 90 minutes of live action and the game is over in 2 hours or less. But I digress…
So here is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of attending a Dallas Cowboys Game at the new stadium:
The Mitsubishi $40 million HD video board (complete with 30 million light bulbs) ensures a quality vantage point for every fan sitting in the 80,000-seat stadium, but not for all the Party Pass holders. This ENORMOUS, HUGE, GIGANTIC, STUPENDOUS HDTV spans nearly the entire length of the field, running from20 yard line to 20 yard line. The board dominates your field of vision and did I mention, the HD picture quality is as good as it gets.
Traffic was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Getting in and out of parking lots proved to be much easier than anticipated. I took the “T” Cowboys Coach from downtown to the stadium for $5 round trip. It took 30 minutes to get to the stadium and 35 minutes to get back to my truck in Fort Worth.
The overall visuals of the stadium itself are stunning and a bit overwhelming. Every seat has armrests and cup holders. Cowboys Stadium is a well constructed, beautiful and roomy sports venue.
An observant Party Pass holder can easily “upgrade” to an empty seat in the upper deck (400 sections). Ushers are nonexistent up there. Something about the air being too thin for them to breathe…
Cell phone service (T-mobile) was virtually nonexistent from my arrival in the parking lot until I left 4.5 hours later. I could not get a signal 99% of the time and I tried from all over the stadium.
There is a huge lack of game stats and other vital information such as injuries. Down and distance is all you get. The Fan radio broadcast of the game on FM 105.3 comes in loud in clear on the tiniest of FM receivers from anywhere in the stadium. BUT, the game is broadcast on a 7 second delay.
The vast majority of the seats are really, really far from the field and the view without the video board is tiny, tiny, tiny.
EXPENSIVE! I purposely attended on the cheap, purchasing a $29 Peasant Pass for $38 on Ticket Master. Parking and transportation via the “T” was $10. Two hotdogs, a Dr. Pepper & a Miler Lite cost $24. Total cost for one person was $72.
The cheapest non Party Pass ticket is $75 plus fees of about $10. The cheapest parking is $50. The cheapest food item is a hot dog and a drink at $10.50, cheapest beer $8. A family of four will easily spend over $450 to sit in the nose bleed section. Add souvenirs and more than one dog/drink and they bill could easily surpass $700 for a family of four.
I pay $50 for seats at Rangers and Mavericks games without batting an eye. The Ranger seats are practically on the field. Maverick seats are in the lower bowl for that price and you can hear the players flop. $50 won’t even get you a nose bleed seat at a Cowboys game.
I don’t anticipate attending any more Cowboys games in person. I live less than 13 miles from the stadium and I am a huge football fan. $72 is no biggie for me. I lose that much money or more on a single poker hand with regularity. But I also have a shot to get much more than that back and I enjoy the experience.
Truth is, I enjoy the experience of watching NFL games at home on my 52 inch HDTV more than I enjoy actually going to the game in person. Maybe, that is just me. I feel for the family that wants to take their kids to a game, so they can experience the NFL like I did as a kid attending an Atlanta Falcons game.
My advice to NFL fans, get Dish Network and subscribe to the Red Zone package for $5.99 a month. You not only get to see the best action in every NFL game being played on Sunday but you also get subscriptions to both the NBA & NHL TV and all the Fox Sports regional networks for SIX BUCKS! With this Party Pass, cold beer costs a buck a bottle or less and Lazy Boy parking is FREE. Now that’s what I call a WOLF SEASON PARTY PASS!