Remembering Texas Stadium

I just finished watching a news video of the Texas Stadium implosion that took place in Irving, my hometown, at 7am their time this morning. (See video here.) And I'm more emotional about it than I thought I would be. There are several posts from people on Facebook who are complaining about the amount of news coverage and talk that the implosion has garnered, but I hope they take a moment to realize what the Texas Stadium meant to the people of Irving, surrounding cities and, most of all, to us Dallas Cowboys football fans. Even though they've got a glitzy new field over yonder in Arlington, the original Texas Stadium has become an important symbol for so many of us.

A few facts from various online sources:

Texas Stadium was a football stadium in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. Built to replace the aging Cotton Bowl, it was the home field of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, and had a seating capacity of 65,675. The stadium opened on October 24, 1971.

Texas Stadium was to have originally been a stadium with a retractable roof, but the stadium could not support the weight of the entire roof. This resulted in most of the stands being enclosed but not the playing field itself.

"Texas Stadium has a hole in its roof so God can watch His favorite team play."
~Cowboys linebacker D.D. Lewis

In addition to football, the stadium hosted concerts, pro wrestling events, and religious gatherings such as Promise Keepers and Billy Graham crusades (a Graham crusade was the first event held at Texas Stadium). On 29 May 2004, Alan Jackson, George Strait, and Jimmy Buffett put on a concert at the stadium, which was later made into a CD. The two "bridges" that were connected to one of the support arms were installed to support the stage effects (rain) of Garth Brooks tour. They are referred to as Garth Bars. The supports had remained until the 2010 demolition.

Owned by the City of Irving, the $35 million dollar structure was finally closed in December 2008, and demolished on April 11, 2010. After more than 6 months of planning, an estimated $6 million and over one ton of dynamite, it took roughly 25 seconds for the stadium to fall.

The new Dallas Cowboys stadium, opened in 2009 and located in Arlington is the largest, most technologically advanced entertainment venue in the world. Designed by HKS and built by Manhattan Construction, the $1.1 billion stadium features two monumental arches, the world's largest HD quality video board, an expansive retractable roof and the largest retractable end zone doors in the world. Features of the stadium include seating for 80,000 and expandable to 100,000, 300 luxury suites, club seating on multiple levels and the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop, open to the public year round. In addition to being the new home of the Dallas Cowboys and the annual AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, the stadium will host the 2011 Super Bowl, the 2010 NBA All-Star Game and the 2014 NCAA men's basketball Final Four as well as high school and college football, concerts and special events.

Every time we drove by the Texas Stadium when I was a kid, I would press my face to the glass to get a better look at this gigantic venue where I knew the Cowboys were often playing when I watched them on TV. I remember the Cowboys' glory days just as well as their not-so-glorious days... and I remember as a child telling my dad, also an avid Cowboys supporter, that I would always be a Dallas Cowboys fan even when "they didn't play so good and win." And growing up through the years and moving out of town, seeing the stadium loom into sight as I rounded the bend on I-35 never failed to bring a smile to my face. What a wonderful view.

"Even in the dawn, (driving in) we slowed down and took a real good look at it. You get a little lump in your throat," said Jerry Jones, who bought the team and the stadium lease for $160 million in 1989. "It was beautiful."

(Quote from http://wcbstv.com/national/Texas.Stadium.implosion.2.1625203.html)

My husband played his highschool playoff game at Texas Stadium during which he scored his first playoff touchdown. How many kids can get a memory like that? To know you've scored a touchdown where the idols of our time - like Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin - played their hearts out for a game they loved in a city that supported them.

Mike was generous enough for me to drag a few words out of him to share his memory about that day for the blog: "I was kinda surprised myself when it happened, it was a really long pass. After the touchdown, I was 50 yards from any of my team and I was running toward them and they came running towards me to congratulate me."

Any time he sees Texas Stadium, whether driving in town to visit from college or nowadays driving in from Houston, Mike says he remembers that day as well as all the great moments created by the Dallas Cowboys. (Mike's younger brother also played his highschool playoff game at the stadium.)

In a tribute to the Texas Stadium and all that it stands for, I found these great photos and captions at DallasNews.com and wanted to share some of them through my blog. All photos and photo captions are from DallasNews.com by DMN Staff.

"Construction of Texas Stadium is shown in this 1971 photo."

"Texas Stadium became a sea of white as fans were encourage to wear something white to the game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants in the second round of the playoffs on Jan. 13, 2008. The Cowboys lost the game, 21-17. The Giants went on to win the Super Bowl that season."

"Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Michael Irvin celebrate during a playoff game during the Green Bay Packers at Texas Stadium on Jan. 14, 1996. The Cowboys won the game, 38-27, to advance to Super Bowl XXX."

"The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders take the field under a blaze of fire during the last Monday Night Football game at Texas Stadium between the Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 12, 2008. The Cowboys won the game, 41-37."

"American flags wave during a pre-game ceremony on Sept. 23, 2001, at Texas Stadium honoring the men and women who died September 11 in terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. This was the first day back for the NFL after the attacks. The Dallas Cowboys lost to the San Diego Chargers, 32-21."

"Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith celebrates setting the all-time career rushing record in the game against the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 27, 2002. Smith broke the record with an 11- yard run in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys lost the game, 17-14."

"Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Terrell Owens greets members of the military after making a catch in pre-game snaps prior to their playoff game against the Giants at Texas Stadium on Jan. 13, 2008. The Cowboys lost the game, 21-17."

"The Tom Landry statue and the banner celebrating the Dallas Cowboys' Super Bowl wins adorn the front of Texas Stadium on Nov. 17, 2008."


1 comment:

  1. Great post!! It is a memorable day in Irving! The landscape has forever changed here!


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