Today in Texas History – October 24

Image result for texas stadium postcard

From the Annals of the Builders –  In 1971,Texas Stadium officially opened in Irving with the Cowboys beating the New England Patriots 44-21.

The Cowboys’ original home was the Cotton Bowl at Fair Park in Dallas.  However, by the late 1960’s, owner Clint Murchison, Jr. was concerned about that area of Dallas and believed that Cowboys’ fans should not have to experience any less than pleasant experience on their way to games. CMJ attempted to persuade Dallas to build a new downtown stadium as part of a municipal bond package, but failed to get any traction for the idea.

Murchison was a visionary and planned for a new stadium with sky boxes for elite patrons that would provide a new revenue source that would not have to be shared with other owners.  He also came up with the idea of selling bonds (now called personal seat licenses) as a prerequisite to purchasing season tickets and as a way to finance construction of a new stadium to be located in nearby Irving.

The somewhat pretentiously named Texas Stadium was the first football only stadium built for an NFL team.  NFL teams had long-played in baseball parks or stadiums such as the Cotton Bowl original intended for college football games.  Then came a wave of multi-purpose stadiums such as the Astrodome.  But Texas Stadium with its iconic hole in the roof (really an accident as the stadium was supposed to have a retractable roof) set the mark for NFL teams who now aspired to controlling their own venue.  In the future, local taxpayers would bear the brunt of paying for the billionaires playgrounds.

 

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