Written by Phil Cerroni
AT&T Stadium (Cowboys Stadium) may just be the best thing to happen to sports in North Texas. True, we have the Mavericks and the Stars, but nothing says ‘Sexy Sports Town’ like a monstrous steel and glass superstructure glowering at Ranger’s Ballpark from across the parking lot.
Why this bold statement about AT&T Stadium? Because after seven years of waiting and preparation pitch, the NCAA Final Four will take place in Arlington, TX in April, 2014.
North Texas last hosted the Final Four in 1986. True, we have the Cotton Bowl, but since Jerry Jones built his new stadium in 2009, the area has seen an uptick in high profile sporting events as AT&T Stadium has garnered a reputation as one of the premiere sports venues in the southwest, if not in the entire country.
The venue welcomed Super Bowl XLV in 2011, as well as NCAA Basketball’s Sweet 16 and Elite 8 in 2013. In 2015, the stadium will make history as the site of the first College Football National Championship game.
“Obviously the region has …a great infrastructure – the hotel industry, airport and now with AT&T Stadium, American Airlines Center...I think the best days for North Texas (are ahead). As regards to a national sporting events thing, I think we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. I think as we go into the next decade this area will continue to attract the biggest and best sporting events.” said AT&T Cotton Bowl’s CEO, Rick Baker, at the North Texas Commission’s Annual Member Luncheon at the Irving Convention Center on Sep. 13.