Cowboys Stadium and famed owner Jerry Jones have finally given in to the fiscal temptations of the corporate world. The team announced on Thursday that the home of the Dallas Cowboys has been renamed AT&T Stadium, effective immediately.
The announcement is probably both surprising and disappointing to most Cowboys fans. Much like Yankee Stadium, Cowboys Stadium has long shied away from naming rights offers to maintain the history and integrity of the stadium. AT&T’s (T) offer, however, was too good to pass up.
According to Darren Rovell of ESPN via Twitter, the deal is worth between $17 million and $19 million per year. Considering that the Cowboys' payroll just north for $100 million, the deal presents a sizable chunk of change. The deal was enabled by the Cowboys’ enormous fan base, its status as “America’s team,” and its valuation, as Forbes recently valued the Cowboys at $2.1 billion, tops in the NFL.
Commonly known as the Palace in Dallas, Cowboys Cathedral, and Jerry World, the stadium is a $1.3 billion marvel of stadium architecture. It boasts the world’s largest column-free interior, a 2,100 in. high-definition video board, and a beautiful modern exterior of glass, concrete and steel. The stadium hosts events across a number of sports and seats up to 80,000 fans, expandable to 105,000 with standing room.
While the deal will surely provide Jerry Jones and the Cowboys with some extra cash, it probably won’t help them win on the field. The team hasn’t posted a winning season since 2009 and only has one playoff win since 1996. The Cowboys will also face brutal divisional competition this season from Washington Redskins’ phenom Robert Griffin III, a new-look Chip Kelly-devised Eagles offense, and the always-relevant New York Giants.
Regardless, the Cowboys still have high expectations for the coming year with a new defensive coordinator and a commitment to rising superstars like wide receiver Dez Bryant and running back DeMarco Murray.
Twitter was abuzz about AT&T Stadium and the Cowboys Thursday afternoon. Here is today’s top tweet.
Cowboys Stadium now officially known as AT&T Stadium: Home of Dropped Calls and Dropped Balls.
— The Fake ESPN (@TheFakeESPN) July 25, 2013