Cowboys Stadium (Dallas Cowboys)
The Skinny: This $1.2B palace is the largest domed stadium in the world, and sports the world’s largest HD video screen, which hangs from the 20-yard line to the 20-yard line, 60 yards long. The retractable roof stadium has hosted a number of events in sports and entertainment, including NBA All-Star Weekend in 2010 (with a record crowd of 108,713 fans), the Cotton Bowl, a number of college football and college basketball games, soccer games, boxing matches and high-profile concerts. The stadium will host Super Bowl XLV in February of 2011, and the Final Four in 2014.
Year Opened: 2009
Capacity: 80,000 (expands to 110,000 with standing room only seating)
Best Moment: January 3, 2010. In a Week 17 game that would decide the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-0 to win the division in their inaugural season at Cowboys Stadium. One week later, the Cowboys would host the Eagles again in a Wild Card Weekend playoff matchup, with the Cowboys again proving victorious, by a 34-14 score.
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (Texas Rangers)
The Skinny: One of the early retro-style ballparks, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington – which hosted the 1995 MLB All-Star game – incorporates features from Tiger Stadium, the old Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. Greene’s Hill, named after former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene, is a sloped section of grass behind center field that serves as a “batter’s eye.” The Rangers have announced extensive renovations to upgrade the technology of the park that are set to debut for the 2011 season.
Year Opened: 1994
Best Moment: October 22, 2020. The Rangers clinched their first-ever American League pennant at home by defeating the New York Yankees 6-1 in Game 6 of the ALCS. The Ballpark also hosted Games 3, 4, and 5 of the 2010 World Series.
American Airlines Center (Dallas Mavericks & Dallas Stars)
The Skinny: In addition to being a state-of-the-art sports facility, the American Airlines Center is also considered to be among the best concert venues in the country, even being named “Concert Venue of the Year” by Pollstar Magazine in 2006. Forbes ranked it the fourth most lucrative arena in the US in 2008. The unique design that includes retractable seating makes for a very easy transition between basketball and hockey, and results in great sightlines for fans on the north and south ends.
Year Opened: 2001
Capacity: 19,200 for basketball, 18,532 for hockey
Best Moment: June 8, 2006. In their NBA Finals franchise debut, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat 90-80 in Game 1 of the 2006 NBA Finals. The Mavericks would go on to win Game 2 at home as well, but eventually lost to the Heat in six games.
Pizza Hut Park (FC Dallas)
The Skinny: Home to FC Dallas of Major League Soccer, Pizza Hut Park also sports 17 additional tournament-grade fields for youth and adult soccer, as well as high school sports and other events. The soccer-specific stadium located in Frisco has hosted FC Dallas since it opened in 2005.
Year Opened: 2005
Best Moment: The stadium hosted the MLS Cup in each of the first two years it was open, in 2005 and 2006. Both of those games had thrilling finishes; in 2005 the LA Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution 1-0 in overtime, and in 2006 the Houston Dynamo defeated the Revolution 4-3 on penalty kicks after finishing 1-1 in regulation. The stadium also played host to the NCAA Men’s College Cup in 2008, and will host the NCAA FCS championship game in 2011-2013.
Darrell K. Royal Stadium (Texas Longhorns)
The Skinny: Keeping in line with the “Everything is bigger in Texas” mantra, Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium offers a 55 x 134-foot HD display board, one of the nation’s largest. With over 100,000 fans in the stands each week, the stadium offers one of the largest crowds in college football. The Longhorns have won 77.9% of their games in this stadium since it opened through the 2010 season.
Year Opened: 1924
Fun Fact: On December 9, 1988, Darrell K. Royal Stadium was the site of the 5A state semifinal game between Dallas Carter High School and Odessa Permian (won by Carter 14-9) that was the center of the Buzz Bissinger book Friday Night Lights.
Gerald J. Ford Stadium (SMU Mustangs)
The Skinny: The bowl-shaped stadium within the Dallas city limits was the last on-campus Division I-A stadium to be built in the 20th century. It features Doak Walker Plaza outside the northeast corner of the stadium, honoring the former Mustang Heisman Trophy winner. The plaza features a replica of the Doak Walker Award trophy, awarded annually to the top running back in college football. In 2007, the stadium hosted a #1 vs. #2 matchup in high school football between Miami Northwestern and Southlake Carroll in front of 31,986 fans.
Year Opened: 2000
Best Moment: September 2, 2000. In this inaugural game at Gerald J. Ford Stadium, the SMU Mustangs defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 31-17. It started a new chapter in the storied (but tumultuous) history of SMU football.
Amon G. Carter Stadium (TCU Horned Frogs)
Photo Courtesy of GoFrogs.com
The Skinny: The stadium has undergone a number of renovations over the course of its 80-year history, most recently in 2008, when capacity was expanded to 44,358. A $105M renovation is underway in the West stands that aims to enhance football fans’ experience at the stadium, with an expected completion by the 2012 season. The Armed Forces Bowl has been held here since 2003.
Year Opened: 1930
Best Moment: November 14, 2009. The fourth-ranked Horned Frogs welcomed the 14th-ranked Utah Utes to Amon G. Carter Stadium, with ESPN’s College Gameday making its first appearance on TCU campus. TCU won 55-28 in front of the largest crowd in the stadium’s history, 50,307 fans.
Kyle Field (Texas A&M Aggies)
The Skinny: Known as one of the most intimidating venues in college football, Kyle Field in College Station, Texas is nicknamed the Home of the 12th Man, an ode to Aggies fans. From “Midnight Yell” practice to kissing your date every time the Aggies score, Kyle Field offers a top-notch game experience. It is no wonder CBS Sports named it the best venue in college football.
Year Opened: 1927
Decade of Dominance: n the 1990s, Texas A&M was dominant at Kyle Field with a 55-4-1 (92.5 winning percentage) record. During that span, the Aggies put together two of the longest home winning streaks in school history, a 31-game winning streak from 1990-95 (fifth-largest in Division I-A history) and a 22-game winning streak from 1996-2000.
Jones AT&T Stadium (Texas Tech Red Raiders)
The Skinny: Between 1999 and 2009, Texas Tech has spent $84M on on-going renovations to the stadium that have kept it modern and increased seating capacity by nearly 10,000 seats. Located in Lubbock, Texas, the stadium follows the Spanish Renaissance architecture seen throughout the Texas Tech campus.
Year Opened: 1947
Best Moment: November 1, 2008. ESPN College Gameday made its first-ever trip to Lubbock to see Texas Tech knock of #1 ranked Texas 39-33 on a Michael Crabtree touchdown catch with one-second remaining in the game. The fans rushed the field (a bit early, actually), providing perhaps the greatest memory in the stadium’s history.
Erwin Center (Texas Longhorns)
The Skinny: Often referred to as “The Drum” because of its drum-like appearance, the Erwin Center is Austin’s premiere venue for special events and concerts, as well as Texas Longhorns basketball, of course. A 2003 expansion and renovation added 28 seats and increased seating capacity to 16,734, as well as a new Jumbotron.
Year Opened: 1977
Fun Fact: The first sellout and largest crowd at the Erwin Center do not belong to Texas basketball. Lawrence Welk was the first sellout of the arena on March 12, 1978, and the largest crowd showed up for John Denver on May 6, 1978 to the tune of 17,829 fans.
Reed Arena (Texas A&M Aggies)
Photo courtesy of AggieAthletics.com
The Skinny: The Reed Rowdies help make the arena one of the most hostile in college basketball, similar to the atmosphere that has made football games at Kyle Field so popular. Reed Arena features parquet wood floors, and set a record attendance of 13,717 in a February 27, 2010 win over Texas.
Year Opened: 1998
Hurricane Relief: Reed Arena has served as a temporary shelter for evacuees during Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike. It served as the temporary home to Tulane’s basketball team in 2005-06.
United Spirit Arena (Texas Tech Red Raiders)
The Skinny: The arena has played host to the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders basketball and volleyball teams since opening in 1999. The building is named for United Supermarkets, the 68-store retail grocery chain that contributed the $10 million gift to kick-off construction of the arena.
Year Opened: 1999
Best Moment: January 1, 2007. Texas Tech defeated New Mexico 70-68, giving head coach Bobby Knight his 880th win, making him the winningest coach in men’s college basketball history.
Dr. Pepper Arena (NAHL Texas Tornado & NBDL Texas Legends)
The Skinny: Located in Frisco, Texas, Dr. Pepper Arena serves as the executive offices and home practice facility of the Dallas Stars as well as the home of the Texas Tornado North American Hockey League team and the Texas Legends of the National Basketball Developmental League.
Year Opened: 2003, reopened in 2009