17 posts categorized "Stadium general"


City documents show officials' concerns about temporary seating at the Super Bowl

Arlington city officials on Friday defended the permitting and inspection process that led to more than a thousand temporary seats being unavailable on Super Bowl Sunday.

The city released hundreds of e-mails and building inspection documents to the media that detailed the city's role in certifying the safety of the temporary bleachers constructed in the end zone plazas and the concourse.

Officials also said they "threw everything we could at" the project to help the contractor, Seating Solutions, and the Dallas Cowboys finish the temporary seats in time for the game.

"We don’t build seats," deputy city manager Trey Yelverton said during a morning news conference. "It’s not a stadium job to actually do the job. We are in the role of supervising and inspecting the work that is being done. We can’t get out there and build the seats ourselves."

Fire and city building officials were clearly concerned for weeks that the seats wouldn't be done in time.

In an e-mail sent to Jack Hill, Cowboys Stadium general manager, three days before Sunday's game, Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson said:

"I'm very concerned that there is not currently a certified Engineering report confirming the structural stability of the 'as built' seating/stands," the e-mail reads.

"I'm also concerned about the effective completion of this project. There have been multiple meetings with your contractor where agreed-upon goals and timelines were established and, subsequently, not met nor completed to standard," Crowson wrote.

-Andrea Ahles and Susan Schrock


Post-game Super Bowl traffic

Here's an e-mail from Michael Morris, transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, about what Super Bowl guests can expect when the game ends:

"Light rain temperature around 39 degrees. I called Taxi companies and latest is we should have capacity for 800 plus taxi customers. TxDOT spotters out...... pavements look good. The T is preparing to return 3,200. All shuttle vehicles being staged."

-- Gordon Dickson, gdickson@star-telegram.com

Southbound Collins Street closed at 3 p.m.

An official at the Joint Information Center in Arlington said the closure was planned. Collins has been southbound only since early Sunday from I-30 to Division Street.

Fans in line to stadium ready for action

IMG_1012 On the line to get into the stadium, Ryan Natoli’s menacing yellow-and-black mask and matching hat drew some stares from passers-by. The 20-year-old said there wasn’t anywhere else in the world he wanted to be right now than at Cowboys Stadium with his Steelers ready to get on the field.

“We want to see the Steelers win their seventh, which will be one more than the Cowboys, in Jerry’s house!” the 20-year-old from St. Louis said.

His mother, Mary Beth Natoli, explained that she grew up in the Pittsburgh area.

“I brainwashed him from birth” she said proudly.

This week's bad weather almost ended the family's Super Bowl trip before it started.

“We drove 12 hours in the ice and snow because you guys cancelled all the flights,” Mary Beth Natoli said.

Things have been much better since they got into the area. She said she was now looking forward to seeing the inside of "Jerry World."

“It’s a nice stadium,” she said. “It looks very expensive.”

Further down the line, Tom and Pam Kelly and their daughter Cassidy Villareal were sporting Packers' colors. The family hails from St. Francis, Wisconsin.

“We live a half a mile from the foam cheesehead factory, Foamation,” Pam Kelly said.

Tom Kelly said he was still having trouble believing he was at the Super Bowl.

“This was on my bucket list,” Tom Kelly said. “It’s a dream come true. My dad went to two.”

There’s also something that makes this trip to the Big Game extra sweet for a Packers fan, he said.

 “After Favre, everyone thought we weren’t going anywhere,” Tom Kelly said.

The trio saw the Packers defeat the Bears at a playoff game in Chicago late last month. After that, they knew they needed to get to Arlington.

“People in Dallas have been really nice," Tom Kelly said. "People here are taking pictures for us and everything. Chicago wasn’t this nice.”

-Aman Batheja




Super Bowl traffic update: Freeways moving at full speed

2 p.m. Just got a traffic update:

Freeways such as I-20, Texas 360 and Texas 161 are moving at top speed, said Michael Morris,transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

More than 1,600 Super Bowl fans rode the Trinity Railway Express to CentrePort Station south of D/FW Airport, then hopped on T buses for a seven-mile shuttle ride to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Unlike regular season games, during which nearly all fans arrive in private cars, about 35,000 people are arriving to this big game in buses -- over 800 of them.

"Our transportation system is working," Morris declared during a brief interview in the Super Bowl media work room. 

-- Gordon Dickson, gdickson@star-telegram.com

Pedicabs allowed at Super Bowl

Don't feel like walking all the way to Cowboys Stadium?Pedicab

Arlington officials have issued permits to a small number of pedicabs, who are wearing color-coded vests and and flags so they can travel close to the stadium, said Michael Morris, transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. They're out and about right now, for anybody who needs to rest their dogs ...

-- Gordon Dickson, gdickson@star-telegram.com

Cheap parking at Cowboys Stadium, walking distance

Parking Ample parking is available within walking distance, including dozens of $60 spots just north of the Sheraton near the Arlington Convention Center. That's no more than about a one-mile walk to Cowboys Stadium.

Traffic is still moving smoothly, about five hours before kickoff.

On the way in, this morning, the most expensive parking we saw was $250.

But plenty of spaces were available for $60 to $150.

Texans Can Academy, a charity that accepts junked cars to raise money for children, was selling a couple dozen parking spots for $80 each at its lot on Division Street in Arlington, just east of Stadium Drive. From there, Cowboys Stadium is a 1.25-mile walk. As of 10:30 a.m., Texans Can Academy has sold two spots at that price, plus one $40 spot that was discounted for a motorist who only planned to tailgate for a few hours and leave before game time.

"We didn't decide how much to charge until today," said title manager Jennifer Kitchens. "We heard so many stories that parking would be $1,000, and we saw one on Craigslist for $500, but when we drove around this morning we saw the prices were a lot lower."


-- Gordon Dickson, gdickson@star-telegram.com www.twitter.com/gdickson


A peek inside Cowboys Stadium getting ready for the game

There is a lot of yellow paint being sprayed on the field at Cowboys Stadium.

On Thursday, NFL officials let local media in to take a peek at the work going on inside the stadium as the building prepares for the Super Bowl.

The end zones shout "Steelers" and "Packers" and the NFL logo has replaced the Cowboys star at midfield.

Thousands of temporary seats are already in place and crews are wiring up the scoreboard and Hall of Fame level with hundreds of spotlights and concert lights for the halftime show.


-Andrea Ahles




Arlington police hope to set up radio network around stadium

Arlington police want football fans to catch more than just the big game on the radio.

When the new football season starts at Cowboys Stadium, Arlington police hope to give motorists around the entertainment district important travel and emergency information through their car radios.

The planned AM radio channel would operate similar to those that broadcast information within a certain radius around airports.

"You have a lot of out-of-town travelers. That is the group we want to make sure we get the information they need," Arlington police spokeswoman Tiara Richard said.

The Police Department has not applied for a Federal Communications Commission license and is still gathering cost estimates and looking at how to fund the station, Richard said.

Super Bowl XLV will be held Feb. 6 at Cowboys Stadium, which opened in Arlington last June.

-- Susan Schrock


Kraft gets Casey Rogers to say "cheese" with Texas Stadium implosion video

Kraft Foods is about to make Casey Rogers of Terrell famous with this "cheesy" video about last month's implosion of Texas Stadium. 


If you'll remember, Kraft sponsored the implosion and held a national essay contest to choose the kid who would push the ceremonial button on the demolition.

Casey, 11, won the contest, writing about his experiences as a foster child.

When he was 8, he formed a charity called "Casey's Heart" to help the homeless. If you watch the video (it's short) until the end, you'll see him make a subtle plug for the charity.

-- Kathy Vetter