This man still gives me nightmares, and I was in the stands.
So, the last time I "reviewed" the stadium, it was based on a few text messages and reactions after the opening game against the Giants. I lambasted the idea of the vast stadium and the catering to luxury boxes and the fucked up logistics of parking and prices, etc. I mentioned that somehow college campuses that routinely pack 95K+ every week for games (Texas, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, etc.) managed to do easily, but the Cowboys couldn't because the pro game experience is too different.
I was blasted in the comments section by some anonymous person who said that I was complaining too much because I only wanted a suite with free parking and beer. First off, I've got an extra "kiss my ass" card for anyone doesn't agree with me. I'm always right, don't you know that? Second of all, I actually ventured out to the stadium for a game, the Big XII championship, so allow me to re-review the stadium based on my own experience.
In a word...meh.
I'm sorry, I just wasn't taken aback by the aura of the stadium and game presentation. I'm going to chalk this up to the fact that it was a college game in a pro stadium, and the way to present a game is different, but here's my pro/con run down.
- Parking was not as bad or teeth pulling as I expected.
- Neither was traffic.
- Line of Sight. We were sitting in the third section, in the corner of the end zone and I was able to see the entire field and not think I was looking at ants.
- Bathrooms. I didn't think they were that bad. Maybe that's just a comparison factor to everywhere else.
- The Screen. Sweet Jesus. You hear how big and bad that thing is, but you don't realize it until you see it in person. Almost to a fault, it deceives you as to how big the stadium is because the screen is so mammoth. You have to train yourself to watch the game and not the television, but it's okay if you do.
- Sound. This didn't work on two levels. This isn't really relevant in a pro game (so not really Jerry's concern), but in the college game, the band is a pretty crucial element to the fans. If you can't hear the band, then it takes away from the college football experience. Similar to the band, it's really difficult for a crowd to really get a good chant going. Check that, it's really hard for certain chants to get going. If the crowd is all doing the same thing, then it works. For example, Nebraska has a "Go! Big! Red!" chant. That works because all the fans are screaming the same thing in unison. However, Texas uses the "Texas! Fight!" chant where half the fans scream "Texas!" and the other screams "Fight!". This works in most stadiums because you can hear what's being said. For the life of me (and the sections around me), every time Texas tried to start that chant, it died immediately because no one could hear "Texas" and no one could hear "Fight".
- Presentation. Again, this might pertain mainly to the college game, but if you notice, there isn't a lot of "stuff" happening during the college game. The presentation is usually left in the hands of the fans. Chants and band noise and all that. Every time either side tried to get a chant going, the stadium people decided that was the time to either blare music from the sound system or show a commercial on the big screen. This move effectively killed any fan chanting, so it really hurt both teams' momentum.
- Public Address. This was not the usual Cowboy Stadium announcer, Jody Dean, but this falls onto The Ticket's George Dunham. It usually helps to let the people in the stadium know what is going on. We had no idea down and distance. We had no idea when/if there were penalties. We had no idea when things were being reviewed. It was like watching a game with the sound turned off and KISS FM turned way up.
- General information. I've heard this before and confirmed it, but there's no information displayed on any of the 2,000 screens in the stadium. I'd like to know some stats and information beyond a small ticker at the bottom of the giganto screen.