NFL franchise the Dallas Cowboys has shed further light on a multi-year renovation programme for AT&T Stadium that is expected to be completed ahead of its role as a host venue for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Since opening in 2009, over $150m (£119.2m/€139.2m) in reinvestments and enhancements have been made to further enhance the fan experience for those attending Cowboys games and other events at AT&T Stadium.
It has now been announced that Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, will see his family’s post-opening private reinvestments in AT&T Stadium approach $500m over the coming years with a significant new program that is set to continue through autumn 2025. The full project timeline was created in order to be completed prior to the 2026 World Cup. AT&T Stadium was confirmed as a host venue for the tournament in June 2022 and has been strongly linked to securing the rights to the final.
The Cowboys’ latest plans were first disclosed earlier this week as a planning document filed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation detailed $180m worth of renovations starting January 2 that will include an “interior refresh of premium clubs and suites with new millwork and finishes.”
These upgrades were said to be among those planned as Jones stated in December that a $295m renovation project would make AT&T Stadium “better than new”. The NFL’s owners meetings at that time were said to have seen a proposal approved for the Cowboys to withhold their normal contributions of shared gate revenue to finance the upgrades. The Cowboys also gained a waiver to the NFL’s usual $600m team debt limit.
Dallas-headquartered HKS, the architectural firm behind AT&T Stadium, has been listed in the state planning document as the partner for the renovation project. The Cowboys said the new multi-year project has been “thoughtfully planned” to avoid major interruptions to AT&T Stadium events. Key elements will include:
- Upgrading the world’s largest centre-hung HDTV video board to 4K technology
- Refreshing all seven AT&T Stadium Pro Shops
- Creating additional permanent concession and bar locations
- Creating additional wellness spaces within the main clubs and upper concourse
- Updating finishes and enhancing technology displays around the venue
- Re-imagined suite design and finishes including updated technology applications
- Re-designing and creating an all-new look and feel of suite level corridors
Upgrades and enhancements to date have impacted the full spectrum of fan experience in every area of the three million-square foot AT&T Stadium over the last 14 seasons. Art and design, mobile technology and cashless operation, in-seat ordering and delivery, restroom design and expansion, video and LED technology, 4K IPTVs, and augmented reality installations are examples of this.
In 2019 AT&T Stadium also became the first venue of its kind to feature 5G service, and in 2020 a new DAS (distributed antenna system) enhanced the capability previously offered ten-fold.
“The vision to create, operate and maintain AT&T Stadium as the world’s best venue of its kind is something that was accomplished by always having an eye to the future,” said Jones, the Cowboys owner, president and general manager.
“Now, after 14 seasons, that forward thinking to be industry leaders continues to be rooted in our deep commitment to our fans, our partners and our community. It is a reflection of the unparalleled experience and environment we want to provide every time they are here with us for Cowboys games or any of the world-class events that will call AT&T Stadium home.”
The Cowboys have said the venue’s capacity will not be impacted by the project, continuing to offer seating for 80,000 with expandability up to 100,000, 380 luxury suites, and club seating on multiple levels.