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Photo Courtesy, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collection, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Arlington, Texas

The Prototype of the Modern NFL Stadium

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When Clint Murchison led the Texas Stadium groundbreaking in 1969, few people realized he would produce a sophisticated, modern, money-making venue unlike any other in the NFL. Texas Stadium ushered in innovations, amenities and financing options that have been incorporated into nearly every stadium built since:

Texas Stadium

Firsts

  • Prototype for the modern NFL stadium

  • With 178 luxury suites ­– eventually 400

  • Financed with seat option bonds (now PSLs)

  • First to create an entirely new source of revenue

  •  Innovative “hole in the roof” to protect fans

  •  Private club

  •  First class 50-yard-line press box for media

  •  Established model for future football-only stadiums

more than a stadium

We asked a historian, a stadium architect, a Cowboys executive, an NFL legend and more to share how Texas Stadium changed the game.

texas stadium groundbreaking - 1969

WFAA news footage of the 1969 Texas Stadium groundbreaking. Includes a Clint Murchison, Jr. classic practical joke and a short speech from Cowboys’ quarterback Don Meredith.

texas stadium tour

1971

WFAA reporter Jerry Haynes (who went on to become local children’s TV star Mr. Peppermint) tours the newly finished Texas Stadium. Don’t miss the Louis XIV-inspired luxury suite starting at the 3:08 mark.