The Rise of the Billion Dollar Stadium
Football season is upon us. Rejoice football fans. But as much as we love watching football, have you noticed lately that the stadiums where the games are played have become the center of attention? We’ve seen a growth of billion dollar stadiums around the U.S. in major sports markets, each attempting to outdo the last, and these massive temples of sport are no longer just about the game being played. It has turned into a luxury experience like none other. These new developments spare no expense to ensure that the fans are getting the most up-to-the-minute experience. But what is it that makes the fans’ experience unforgettable in these new stadiums? We’ll take a look at some of their unique characteristics.
The first stadium to hit the billion dollar mark was the AT&T stadium which is home of the Dallas Cowboys (originally just Cowboys Stadium before AT&T took naming rights with a reported $17-$19 million/year sponsorship). This project ended up costing $1.3 billion dollars, making it one of the most expensive sports venues ever built in 2009. The stadium can accommodate up to a whopping 105,000 people. One of its main attractions is the 60 yard wide, 2,100 inch HD video screen (the largest at the time) that allows fans to see every detail from the game. They’ve also installed more than 3,000 Sony LCD displays throughout the stadium extending the game experience beyond the field. If you are in the stadium you cannot only see the game, but can also enjoy the art collection and even enjoy a party at Party Pass sessions located in the elevated platforms in each end zone.
Another structural element that makes this stadium unique is its retractable roof with a famous hole in the middle. According to Cowboys linebacker D.D. Lewis, the hole in the roof was purposely added, “so God can watch His favorite team play”.
The AT&T stadium set the blueprint for this new concept of billion dollar stadiums moving forward.
The question became, how can anyone possibly compete with the famed Cowboys Stadium by Cowboys owner and oil tycoon, Jerry Jones? Well, we just found out this past week. The new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons, announced its unveiling playing host to its first Falcons preseason game and College Football Kickoff weekend. This ultra-modern stadium cost $1.5 billion dollars and can seat up to 83,000 people. It was designed in a way that fans can feel the intimacy of a smaller stadium. It also has a huge HD display that is five stories tall and 360 degrees, called The Pièce de Résistance. They’ve also made their own retractable roof which resembles a camera aperture and can be opened and closed in less than 8 minutes. Falcons owner, Arthur Blank, also owns the Atlanta soccer team, Atlanta United of the MLS and was a co-founder of The Home Depot.
Los Angeles is also working on its own stadium which will cost an estimated $3 billion dollars. The stadium home for the Los Angeles Rams will be NFL’s largest and most expensive multipurpose complex. It is being designed to be LEED Certified, meaning that the stadium will be eco-friendly. It will use less water and energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and employ major recycling initiatives. Besides that, the complex will include a major commercial and entertainment sector with a hotel, arts center, and a lake. It will seat 80,000 people that will have the privilege of watching all game details on “Oculus”, a 50 foot tall and 120 yard wide display. The LA Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, also owns the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL, and Colorado Rapids of the MLS.
But that’s not all! The Oakland Raiders are planning to move to Las Vegas. This project proposal is still being analyzed and it’s said to cost $1.9 billion. Like everything in Vegas, this stadium will also be magnificent. It will have a retractable roof, an Olympic-style torch in honor of Raiders, and a glass wall with an incredible panoramic view of the Las Vegas Strip.
Are you excited for football season? Grab your friends and reserve your seats in one of these incredible stadiums that will take your experience to another level.