My last day in Dallas. While I had made huge leaps in finishing scrapbook pages, I had done not a whit of sightseeing unless I count the wrong turn to the University of Texas. I decided to do something touristy. I had previously visited the Texas School Book Depository Museum, where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fateful shot that killed JFK, and wanted to see something else.
My hotel was in Arlington, about 30 minutes from downtown Dallas, so I decided to look for something nearby. Six Flags Amusement Park was just a few blocks away but since I hate roller coasters, it didn’t seem like a good option. I had driven by signs for The International Bowling Hall of Fame. I can bowl, badly, but hadn’t in years. I was skeptical, even though it had rave reviews on Trip Advisor and only charged $10 as an entry fee. Or, I could take a tour of the AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, for $32 plus tax and the $5.94 transaction fee. I felt like doing something that screamed “Dallas” and bowling just didn’t spring to mind, so I booked a ticket for the 10AM tour of the AT&T Stadium.
It looks like a giant spaceship from the Walmart parking lot across the way:
Larry, our tour guide, greeted me and the other 29 people on the tour. This being Father’s Day, all the tours were sold out. Larry led us to our very plush, comfortable seats on the 50 yard line and regaled us with information about the history and architecture of the building. It was the largest NFL building in the world. It was the largest indoor stadium in the USA. This being Texas, it was the largest of a lot of things. It can hold about 80,000 for a football match and over 100,000 for basketball and concerts. It has standing room for 20,000. The Jumbotron is the height of a 7 story office building, the width of lots of semi-trailers and 115 feet from the ground. More people watch the Jumbotron than the actual game:
We proceeded to the private suite of the owner, Jerry Jones. Very luxurious, with a dedicated elevator to his parking spot, and windows with shades that could be rolled down if he doesn’t want to face the 80,000 other people watching the game.
We walked around the private clubs where 6500 employees toil every game (12,000 for the 2011 Superbowl), producing everything from the most popular food (nachos) to Michelin quality food for those so inclined. There were play stations for the kids in case they were bored by the game and then, the unexpected, an art tour. The AT&T stadium houses one of the best collections of contemporary art in Dallas, no doubt for all the fans bored with the game and the play stations.
From art to sweat. We took a gigantic freight elevator deep underground to the locker rooms. There are 7: 4 for university teams, one for the visiting NFL team, one for the Dallas Cowboys and one for the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. The ladies locker room is painted bright pink:
The Dallas Cowboys’ locker room looks similar:
Aside from the lack of scantily clad full size photos of the Cowboys, the big difference between the Cowboys’ and the cheerleaders’ lockers is that the cheerleaders have lights inside their lockers to assist with their make-up. Both have plug-ins for their phones.
Now about the bathrooms. It was part of the tour-not seeing them (although we could use them), but the statistics. According to Larry, the standard male to female ratio for bathrooms in sporting venues is 60:40 for the men. But Jerry Jones’ daughter would have none of that; she insisted that the ratio be reversed: 60:40 for the ladies. Which makes the AT&T stadium fairly unique in the sporting world. Now, I didn’t press Larry on this, but I suspect Dallas is still behind the Seattle Mariners’ Safeco baseball stadium where I watched the Blue Jays win 2 out of 3 games in 2017. There are 4 bathroom types at Safeco: Men, Women, Family and Gender Neutral. No idea of the ratio. From my perspective, I prefer France where all the bathrooms are unisex. All genders wait equal time.
Thus ended my time in Dallas.