Texas Stadium was an American football stadium located in Irving, Texas, a suburb west of Dallas. Opened in October 1971, it was known for its distinctive "hole in the roof", after plans to construct a retractable roof were abandoned.
The stadium was the home field of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys for 38 seasons, through 2008, and had a seating capacity of 65,675. In 2009, the Cowboys moved to the $1.15 billion AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Texas Stadium was demolished on April 11, 2010 by a controlled implosion.
Texas Stadium in November 2008
|Location||2401 East Airport Freeway|
Irving, Texas, U.S.
|Owner||City of Irving|
|Operator||Texas Stadium Corp|
- Texas Turf (1971–1995)
- AstroTurf (1996–2002)
- RealGrass (2002–2008)
|Broke ground||January 26, 1969|
|Opened||October 24, 1971|
|Closed||December 25, 2008|
|Demolished||April 11, 2010|
|Construction cost||US$35 million|
($217 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||A. Warren Morey|
|General contractor||JW Bateson Co., Inc.|
|Dallas Cowboys (NFL) (1971–2008)|
Dallas Tornado (NASL) (1972–1975, 1980–1981)
SMU Mustangs (NCAA) (1979–1986)
The Cowboys had played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas since their inception in 1960. However, by the mid-1960s, founding owner Clint Murchison, Jr. felt that the Fair Park area of the city had become unsafe and downtrodden, and did not want his season ticket holders to be forced to go through it. Murchison was denied a request by mayor Erik Jonsson to build a new stadium in downtown Dallas as part of a municipal bond package.
Murchison envisioned a new stadium with sky boxes and one in which attendees would have to pay a personal seat license as a prerequisite to purchasing season tickets. With two games left for the Cowboys to play in the 1967 season, Murchison and Cowboys general manager Tex Schramm announced a plan to build a new stadium in the northwest suburb of Irving.
Texas Stadium, along with Arrowhead Stadium (1972), Rich Stadium (1973), and the Pontiac Silverdome (1975), were part of a new wave of football-only stadiums (all with artificial turf) built after the AFL–NFL merger. More so than its contemporaries, Texas Stadium featured a proliferation of luxury boxes, which provided the team with a large new income source exempt from league revenue sharing.
It hosted its first game on October 24, 1971, a 44–21 victory over the New England Patriots, and became an icon of the Cowboys with their rise in national prominence. The Cowboys entered the season as defending NFC champions and won their first world title in Super Bowl VI in January 1972. The field was surrounded by a blue wall emblazoned with white stars, a design replicated in its successor, AT&T Stadium.
Texas Stadium's field alignment (between the goal posts) was southwest-to-northeast, perpendicular to the Cotton Bowl, which is southeast-to-northwest.
The most distinctive element of Texas Stadium was its partial roof, the only one in the NFL. The roof was originally supposed to be the first retractable roof in the NFL. However, it was discovered that the structure could not support the additional weight. This resulted in most of the stands being enclosed but not the playing field itself. This design prompted Cowboys linebacker D. D. Lewis to make his now-famous (and much paraphrased) quip "Texas Stadium has a hole in its roof so God can watch His favorite team play."
This meant that weather could become a factor in games, perhaps most famously in the Thanksgiving Day game against the Miami Dolphins in 1993, which saw the field covered with snow. This unusual arrangement also made it difficult to televise games, a problem, generally speaking, foreseen by the original architect  as sunlight would cover part of the field and make it hard for the cameras to adjust for the changes in light.
The roof at Texas Stadium, whose worn paint had become unsightly in the early 2000s, was repainted in the summer of 2006 by the city of Irving, the stadium's owners. It was the first time the famed roof was repainted since Texas Stadium opened. The roof was structurally independent from the stadium it covered.
The stadium hosted neutral-site college football games and was the home field of the SMU Mustangs for eight seasons, from 1979 through 1986. After the school returned from an NCAA-imposed suspension in 1988, school officials moved games back to the school's on-campus Ownby Stadium to signify a clean start for the football program (since replaced by Gerald J. Ford Stadium in 2000). The 2001 Big 12 Football Championship Game was held at the site.
The 1973 Pro Bowl was held at Texas Stadium in front of 47,879 spectators.
In November and December, Texas Stadium was a major venue for high school football. It was not uncommon for there to be high school football tripleheaders at the stadium. Texas Stadium served as a temporary home for two Dallas-area high schools, Plano Senior High School in 1979 after its home stadium was damaged by a prank gone awry, and Highland Park High School while a new stadium on campus was being built.
The stadium has also played host to the two largest capacity crowds for Texas high school football playoff games. In 1977, Plano defeated Port Neches-Groves 13-10 in front of a record crowd of 49,953. In 2006, the long-awaited mythical matchup between Trinity High School and Carroll Senior High School in the second round of the playoffs, ending in a scintillating 22-21 Southlake victory (on their way to a fourth 5A state championship in five years) before an announced crowd of 46,339 at Texas Stadium. The attendance appears to approach 60,000 midway through the third quarter, which would have set an all-time playoff record. These games marked two of the top three all-time attendance figures for a Texas high school football game and the stadium recorded three of the top twenty attendance records.
In 1994, the stadium hosted the John Tyler vs. Plano East high school football regional playoff, whose wild seesaw finish won it the 1995 Showstopper of the Year ESPY Award.
|November 21, 1991||Friendly||United States||1-1||Costa Rica|
The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) held a Bud Light Cup event at Texas Stadium known as the "Battle of the Bulls" during the organization's first two years of existence (1994 & 1995). In both instances, the event was won by three-time PBR world champion Adriano Morães. The 1995 event was also notable because it rained while the roof was open, turning much of the dirt into mud, which affected the performance of several bulls.
On May 25, 2008, Texas Stadium hosted the first ever professional lacrosse game in Texas when the two-time defending Major League Lacrosse champions Philadelphia Barrage played the Long Island Lizards. Both teams compete in the Eastern Conference of the Major League Lacrosse
|Date||Artist||Opening act(s)||Tour / Concert name||Attendance||Revenue||Notes|
|July 13, 1984||The Jacksons||—||Victory Tour||120,000||$3,564,090|
|July 14, 1984|
|July 15, 1984|
|July 26, 1987||Madonna||Level 42||Who's That Girl World Tour||40,601 / 41,000||$812,020|
|October 14, 1988||George Michael||—||Faith World Tour||38,564 / 41,000||$846,923|
|March 14, 1992||Willie Nelson
John Mellencamp and many others
|—||Farm Aid VI||—||—|
|May 8, 1992||Genesis||—||We Can't Dance Tour||—||—|
|September 5, 1992||Guns N' Roses
|Faith No More||Guns N' Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour||44,391 / 44,391||$1,220,753||Faith No More lead guitarist Jim Martin joined Metallica onstage for their cover of the Misfits song "Last Caress".|
|September 24, 1993||Garth Brooks||—||The Garth Brooks World Tour||—||—||The first show was recorded and broadcast on NBC, titled This is Garth Brooks, Too! (a follow-up to Brooks' 1992 televised concert). It was later included in Brooks' The Entertainer DVD collection, released in 2006.|
|September 25, 1993|
|October 22, 1994||Carman||—||—||71,132||—|||
|November 14, 1999||Shania Twain||—||Come On Over Tour||40,000||—||This concert was filmed for a CBS TV special which aired on Thanksgiving night.|
|July 9, 2000||Metallica||Korn
System of a Down
|Summer Sanitarium Tour||—||—||Metallica lead singer James Hetfield was unable to attend the concert as he hurt his back during a jet skiing accident while in Georgia before the Atlanta show. Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, along with other lead singers from the other bands on hand, sang most of the songs. Metallica did return in August to perform two make-up shows at the Starplex in Dallas a month later.|
|July 15, 2001||Dave Matthews Band||Angelique Kidjo
|2001 Summer Tour||—||—|
|August 3, 2003||Metallica||Linkin Park
|Summer Sanitarium Tour||—||—|
From 1984 to 1988, the stadium hosted the annual World Class Championship Wrestling David Von Erich "Memorial Parade of Champions" professional wrestling card every May. The initial 1984 card drew more than 40,000 fans, the highest attendance of any wrestling card in the state of Texas at that time.
From October 17 to October 20, 2002, evangelist Billy Graham held the Metroplex Mission crusade in Texas Stadium. Several Christian musical groups also played during the event. Former president George H. W. Bush gave an introduction for Graham on the first night of the crusade.
Throughout the network run of the television series Dallas, a number of scenes were filmed on location at Texas Stadium. An overhead shot of the stadium (looking down at the field from the hole in the roof) was also featured prominently as part of the show's opening credits for each of its thirteen seasons on CBS. This trend has continued with the new series with AT&T Stadium taking its place.
When opened, the stadium had many amenities that included 381 luxury suites, a stadium club where fans gathered for parties and banquets, and The Corral that provided food, beverages, entertainment and large screen televisions. However, by the 2000s other NFL teams received new stadiums that had more club and luxury seating than Texas Stadium had, so the Dallas Cowboys asked for a new stadium.
The Cowboys left Texas Stadium after the 2008 NFL season for AT&T Stadium (opened for the 2009 NFL season) that was partially funded by taxpayers in Arlington, Texas. In November 2004, Arlington voters approved a half-cent (.005 per U.S. dollar) sales tax to fund $325 million of the then estimated $650 million stadium by a margin of 55%-45%. Jerry Jones, the Cowboys' owner, spent over $5 million backing the ballot measure, but also agreed to cover any cost overruns which as of 2006 had already raised the estimated cost of the project to $1 billion.
The Cowboys lost their final game at Texas Stadium to the Baltimore Ravens, 33–24, on December 20, 2008.
Many of the items in the stadium were auctioned off by the city and the Dallas Cowboys including the stadium seats, scoreboard and other pieces of memorabilia.
The City of Irving announced that the Texas Department of Transportation would pay $15.4 million to lease the site for 10 years for use as a staging location for the State Highway 114/Loop 12 diamond interchange. The city has the right to relocate the staging area if redevelopment becomes available.
On December 31, 2009, The City of Irving and Kraft Foods announced details of their sponsorship deal for the stadium's implosion — including a national essay contest with the winner getting to pull the trigger that finishes off the stadium. Kraft paid the city $75,000 and donated $75,000 worth of food to local food banks to promote its "Cheddar Explosion" version of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. The city council unanimously approved the sponsorship deal.
At 7:07 a.m. CDT on April 11, 2010, 11-year-old Casey Rogers turned the key to cause the demolition. From the first explosion, it took approximately 25 seconds for the stadium to completely fall. Debris removal continued until July 2010. Texas's Department of Transportation is using the site as an equipment storage and staging area, after which Irving will decide long-term plans.
In 2013–15, the area around the former stadium has been the epicenter for at least 46 small earthquakes, ranging in magnitude from 1.6 to 3.6.
| Home of the
| Home of the
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
| Host of the NFL Pro Bowl
| Home of the
Big 12 Championship Game
| Host of NFC Championship Game
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
The 1973 Dallas Cowboys season was their 14th in the league. The team matched their previous output of 10–4. They qualified for the playoffs for the eighth straight season. After a 4-3 start the Cowboys won six of their last seven games to win the NFC East with a solid 10-4 record. In the Divisional Playoffs the Cowboys beat the Los Angeles Rams 27-16 in Texas Stadium to earn their four straight Championship Game Appearance. However, not even the home crowd at Texas Stadium could help the Cowboys as they fell to the Minnesota Vikings 27-10.1973 Pro Bowl
The 1973 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 23rd annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1972 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 21, 1973, at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. It was the first Pro Bowl not to be played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.The final score was AFC 33, NFC 28. O. J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills was named the game's Most Valuable Player.Attendance at the game was 47,879. Chuck Noll of the Pittsburgh Steelers coached the AFC while the NFC was led by the Dallas Cowboys' Tom Landry. The game's referee was Dick Jorgensen.Players on the winning AFC team received $2,000 apiece while the NFC participants each took home $1,500.1981 SMU Mustangs football team
The 1981 SMU Mustangs football team represented the Southern Methodist University in the 1981 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Mustangs offense scored 365 points while the defense allowed 137 points. At season's end, the Mustangs were given the National Championship Foundation's (NCF) national championship and secured the Southwest Conference championship.
However, the Mustangs had been put on probation by the NCAA for recruiting violations and, per its terms, were banned from participating in any bowl game in 1981 should they have won enough games to qualify. Since SMU's performance would have given them an automatic berth in the Cotton Bowl, the team decided to treat its final regular season game against Arkansas as their bowl game and nicknamed it the "Polyester Bowl".
SMU finished at #5 in the final Associated Press poll of the season. Because its rules prevent schools under probation from being considered, the Mustangs were not ranked in the UPI Coaches Poll at all during the season.1984 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1984 Dallas Cowboys season was the team's 25th in the National Football League. The Cowboys finished the season with a record of nine wins and seven losses, and missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. A division record of 3–5 caused them to finish fourth in the NFC East, despite equaling the overall records of the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. A loss to the winless Buffalo Bills in week 12 cost the team a critical win. Nonetheless, the Cowboys had a 9-5 record and would have made the playoffs had they won one of their two remaining games, and would have won the division had they won both games. The team gave up a 15-point lead against the Washington Redskins in week 15, and then lost to the Miami Dolphins by one touchdown (surrendered with less than a minute to play) in the final week of the season. The season was overshadowed by a quarterback controversy between Danny White and Gary Hogeboom, with Hogeboom getting the majority of the starts.1984 SMU Mustangs football team
The 1984 SMU Mustangs football team represented Southern Methodist University during the 1984 college football season.The Mustangs finished the season with a share of the Southwest Conference championship, marking the third time in four years that SMU had at least a share of the title. Instead of receiving an invite to the Cotton Bowl Classic, which went instead to the other co-champion Houston (who handed SMU one of its two defeats), the Mustangs were invited to play in the Aloha Bowl where they defeated Notre Dame 27-20. The team's final mark was 10-2 and they finished #8 in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls.
The Mustangs finished with their fifth consecutive ten-win season. Due in part circumstances that arose from the university's continued violation of NCAA bylaws, as of the end of the 2015 season it is also their most recent season with ten or more victories. The Mustangs would also not make another bowl appearance until 2009.1985 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1985 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 26th season in the National Football League. The Cowboys improved on their 9-7 record from 1984 and made the playoffs after a one-year absence. This marked the final postseason appearance for the Cowboys under Tom Landry, where they were shutout in the divisional playoff game to the Los Angeles Rams. The team holds the record for consecutive winning seasons with 20.1986 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1986 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 27th season in the National Football League. The team finished the regular season at 7–9 and finishing with a losing record for the first time since 1964.1990 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1990 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 31st season in the National Football League and was the second year of the franchise under the ownership of Jerry Jones and head coach Jimmy Johnson. The Cowboys rebounded from a 1–15 season in 1989 to a 7–9 record, however, missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. Despite this, Jimmy Johnson won AP's NFL coach of the year honours.2005 Dallas Cowboys season
The 2005 Dallas Cowboys season was the 46th season for the team in the National Football League. The season began with the team trying to improve on their 6–10 record in 2004. Despite a 7–3 start, the Cowboys ended the season with a 9–7 record and narrowly missed the playoffs.2006 FC Dallas season
The 2006 FC Dallas season was the tenth season of the Major League Soccer team. It was the most successful regular season in franchise history, and was the only time that the team secured the #1 seed in the Western Conference. After an elimination against the Colorado Rapids in a shootout in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals, head coach Colin Clarke was fired and replaced by Steve Morrow. It was also the final season under owner Lamar Hunt, who died soon thereafter.2007 FC Dallas season
The 2007 FC Dallas season was the eleventh season of the Major League Soccer team. During the offseason, long-time owner and partial founder of the MLS Lamar Hunt died. His son, Clark Hunt, took control of the team. The team was invite to participate in the first SuperLiga tournament. The team did not make it out of the Group Stage.2008 Dallas Cowboys season
The 2008 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 49th season in the National Football League. The season ended when the Cowboys were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles 44–6 in week 17, their worst loss since the 1985 Chicago Bears came to Texas Stadium and beat the Cowboys 44–0. It was the last season the Cowboys played at Texas Stadium; they moved to Cowboys Stadium in 2009. Despite entering the last month of the season four games above .500, they failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2005, losing three of their last four games and finishing with a 9–7 record.2008 FC Dallas season
The 2008 FC Dallas season was the twelfth season of the Major League Soccer team. The team failed to make the postseason for the first time in four years.Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Cowboys compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. The team is headquartered in Frisco, Texas, and plays its home games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which opened for the 2009 season. The stadium took its current name prior to the 2013 season. The Cowboys joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960. The team's national following might best be represented by its NFL record of consecutive sell-outs. The Cowboys' streak of 190 consecutive sold-out regular and post-season games (home and away) began in 2002. The franchise has made it to the Super Bowl eight times, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos for second most Super Bowl appearances in history, just behind the New England Patriots record eleven Super Bowl appearances. This has also corresponded to eight NFC championships, most in the NFC. The Cowboys have won five of those Super Bowl appearances, tying them with their NFC rivals, the San Francisco 49ers; both are second to Pittsburgh's and New England’s record six Super Bowl championships. The Cowboys are the only NFL team to record 20 straight winning seasons (1966–85), in which they missed the playoffs only twice (1974 and 1984).
In 2015, the Dallas Cowboys became the first sports team to be valued at $4 billion, making it the most valuable sports team in the world, according to Forbes. The Cowboys also generated $620 million in revenue in 2014, a record for a U.S. sports team. In 2018 they also became the first NFL franchise to be valued at $5 billion and making Forbes' list as the most valued NFL team for the 12th straight year.The Cowboys are one of the most successful franchises regarding win-loss record in NFL history, but after their Super Bowl XXX championship, they have an all-time win-loss record of 0–7 in road playoff games, 0–6 in the divisional round, and 4–10 in the playoffs overall.Governor's Cup (Texas)
The Texas Governor's Cup (also known as the Cowboys-Texans rivalry, Battle of Texas, formerly the Cowboys-Oilers rivalry) is the trophy awarded to the winner of the football game between the two National Football League (NFL) teams in Texas, currently the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. Prior to the Texans' inaugural season in 2002 the Cowboys' opponent was the Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans). In 1991, after 13 straight games at the Cowboys' Texas Stadium, the Cowboys and Oilers went to a home-and-away format for the preseason and this format more or less continues to this day for the games between the Cowboys and Texans.Since the very first meeting between the Cowboys and Texans in 2002 the two teams have met in the regular season every fourth year and meet relatively often (by NFL standards) in the preseason; from 2002 until 2008 and again since 2013, the Cowboys and Texans have been scheduled to play each other in the preseason whenever they are not scheduled to meet in the regular season. In 2010, the teams played both a pre-season and regular season game while in 2009, 2011 and 2012 they did not meet at all. The 2017 preseason game, scheduled to be played in Houston, was cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey. In 2018, the teams will play both a pre-season and regular season game once again, marking the first time that this instance of two games in one year has happened since 2010.Live at Texas Stadium
Live at Texas Stadium is a live album by Alan Jackson, George Strait and Jimmy Buffett. It was recorded during a concert at Texas Stadium that took place on May 29, 2004. The album was released by Mailboat Records on April 3, 2007.SMU Mustangs football under Bobby Collins
Bobby Collins was the coach of the Southern Methodist University's football team from 1982 to 1986. He compiled a 43–14–1 record, and was succeeded by Forrest Gregg. Though Collins himself was not sanctioned by the NCAA, he lost his job as a result of the Southern Methodist University football scandal that resulted in the Death penalty.SMU Mustangs football under Ron Meyer
Ron Meyer was the coach of the Southern Methodist University's football team from 1976 to 1981. He compiled a 34–32–1 record, and was succeeded by Bobby Collins.Safeway Bowl
The Safeway Bowl is the name given to the North Texas–SMU football rivalry. It is a college football rivalry game between the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs football team and the University of North Texas (UNT) Mean Green football team, two universities in Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.
|Division championships (23)|
|Conference championships (10)|
|League Championships (5)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
This list is incomplete.
|Bowls & rivalries|
|Culture & lore|
National championship seasons in bold
Defunct stadiums of the National Football League
†= Team's stadium under construction or refurbishment at time
1 = A team used the stadium when their permanent stadium was unable to be used as a result of damage.