Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cowboy's New home will have futuristic look

The curved glass skin will give the stadium a silvery tint depending on the time of day. Two steel arches -- spanning a quarter mile and reaching more than 300 feet above the field -- will anchor the roof to give the stadium a sleek appearance. And, of course, the hole in the roof is reminiscent of the one in Texas Stadium. But this hole will come with two retractable covers, letting events below take place indoors or outdoors.
"There is not an enclosed stadium in the world really that achieves this level of architectural expression," said Bryan Trubey, lead architect at HKS. "It's very important as a building in addition to being an important stadium."


By the time it opens in 2009, the new Dallas Cowboys stadium will have been more than a decade in the making. Here's how events have unfolded.

1994: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he wants to expand the 65,000-seat Texas Stadium by up to 40,000 seats, add retractable roof panels and install a climate-control system to make the stadium a year-round venue for sporting events, including the Super Bowl; concerts; and conventions.

1997 - 2000: The Cowboys hold preliminary talks with Arlington officials about building a stadium there. The team also publicly discusses a $260 million plan to upgrade Texas Stadium.
In 2000, the Cowboys compile a list of potential stadium sites, which include Grapevine, Coppell and Arlington. The team continue negotiating with Irving to renovate Texas Stadium.

2001: Jones says Arlington is a leading contender for a $500 million stadium. The primary site being considered is the 2,000-acre Lakes of Arlington tract on Farm Road 157. Other cities in the running include Grapevine and Grand Prairie. In October, Jones discusses the new stadium with the mayors of Arlington, Irving, Grapevine and Dallas.

2003: The Cowboys ask the Irving City Council to extend their lease at Texas Stadium, which expires at the end of the 2008 season, on a year-to-year basis. They narrow their search to sites in Las Colinas and Dallas, and state legislators file bills that would allow Dallas County to increase its hotel-occupancy and car-rental taxes to pay for a new stadium.

2004: In April, the Cowboys announce plans to build a $650 million stadium at Fair Park in Dallas. The deal requires $425 million in public financing from a 3 percent hotel-occupancy tax and a 6 percent car-rental tax. The deal falls apart in June when Dallas County commissioners say they cannot justify asking voters to approve the team's request for $425 million in public funding. In July, the Cowboys and Arlington announce they are negotiating to locate the stadium near Ameriquest Field. In August, the City Council agrees unanimously to put before voters a tax increase that would fund the city's $325 million portion of the project. Voters approve the tax increase Nov. 2.

2005: Arlington and the Cowboys choose the site south of Randol Mill Road and east of Collins Street for the new stadium. The city begins notifying residents and property owners of its plans to acquire their property. The Cowboys hire the HKS architectural firm to design the stadium. Early blueprints show 414 luxury suites and a two-panel retractable roof. The city completes its sale of $297.9 million in bonds to pay for its portion of the construction. Demolition of houses begins Nov. 1.

2006: The Cowboys hire Oklahoma-based Manhattan Construction as the general contractor for the stadium and announce alliances with two minority-owned general contractors: Rayco Construction of Grand Prairie and 3i Construction of Dallas. The city completes its land purchases, although it still faces a number of lawsuits over land acquisition. Excavation begins in April, and the two primary construction cranes are raised in August. In October, the grass amphitheater on Randol Mill Road is leveled to make way for the extension of Baird Farm Road. The stadium's structure will begin to go up this month.

2007: Masonry work will begin in February, and the structural precast concrete will be placed in the stadium bowl in April. Work on the retractable roof, designed by Uni-Systems, will start in June. exterior facade and enclosure work will begin in July.

2008: Work on the parking lots will begin in March. The steel roof will be in place and completed by June. Installation of the scoreboard and sound system will begin in September. Later in the year, the seats will be installed and landscaping will begin.

2009: The artificial-turf field will be brought into the stadium. And a not-to-be-missed event in May: the super flush. Hundreds of toilets and urinals will be flushed at the same time to test the stadium's plumbing. The stadium is scheduled to be completed in August, and the Cowboys will play their first home game there in September.

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