ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Before there can be a hole in the roof at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, there had to be a big hole in the ground.
It was a year ago April 10 that dirt excavation began at the site of the $1 billion, 80,000-seat stadium that is scheduled to completed for the 2009 season.
On April 9, workers installed the first of more than 3,000 precast concrete risers to which the stadium seats will be mounted. It will take 16 months to install all the seating risers, which will have a total weight of nearly 30,000 tons (27,200 t).
“We’re right on schedule,” said Jack Hill, stadium construction manager for the Cowboys. “We couldn’t ask for a better project.”
Hill said construction is approximately 25 percent complete, and called the installation of the first seating riser a “milestone” in the project.
The steel and concrete frame of the stadium and the huge cranes are visible from outside, but the amount of progress can’t be truly measured until standing on the rock-covered ground inside those walls where the playing field will be 50 ft. (15.2 m) below the main concourse level.
The framework of the seating bowl is taking place, primarily on the south side. Visible underneath that is the area where the Cowboys locker room will be and the midfield club through which the players will go to get to the field.
Construction of the supports for the roof will begin later this summer. The roof, which will rise 320 ft. (97.5 m) above the playing field, will feature the team’s distinctive hole-in-the-roof design like Texas Stadium. But this one will have a retractable lid.