Texas Stadium, a now-demolished iconic sports venue, holds a special place in the hearts of football enthusiasts and fans of the Dallas Cowboys. Asbestos plays a small part in that history in that asbestos containing products were used during the construction of the stadium in the early 1970s.
In the early 1960s, the Dallas Cowboys, a new NFL franchise, played in the Cotton Bowl at Fair Park in Dallas. By the end of the decade, as their success grew, the Cowboys were in dire need of a home. Texas Stadium emerged as the answer. Construction of this new stadium commenced in 1969, marking the commencement of an era in American football.
The Design and Construction
Texas Stadium’s design was not merely innovative; it was revolutionary. Its most distinctive feature was the hole in the roof. This architectural marvel served both practical and symbolic purposes, allowing sunlight to illuminate the field while creating an enduring emblem for the franchise. Additionally, the stadium featured the iconic Ring of Honor, a tribute to legendary Cowboys players and coaches.
In 1971, the Dallas Cowboys moved into their new home, Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. This momentous occasion ushered in an era of greatness, as the Cowboys made their first Super Bowl appearance. This was just the beginning of the many historic moments that would grace the stadium.
The Dallas Cowboys Legacy
Texas Stadium, an iconic sports venue, played a crucial role in the history of American football. It served as the home ground for the Dallas Cowboys and witnessed numerous historic moments in the team’s journey. Legends like Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Emmitt Smith are forever linked with the stadium. While Texas Stadium didn’t host a Super Bowl, it was the stage for countless thrilling Cowboys games and other significant events in the world of sports and entertainment. The team’s remarkable success during this era significantly contributed to its enduring legacy.
The Hole in the Roof
The most iconic feature of Texas Stadium was undoubtedly the hole in the roof. It was not merely a design quirk; it became a symbol of the Cowboys’ unique identity. The hole allowed fans to enjoy games while being sheltered from the elements, creating a distinct and captivating atmosphere. Diehard fans even boasted that the hole allowed God to watch his favorite team.
Home to Other Events
While primarily a football stadium, Texas Stadium also hosted a wide array of events, including concerts and high school football games, tractor pulls, and a Billy Graham crusade. Texas Stadium emerged as a multifaceted hub of entertainment in Texas.
Challenges and Controversies
As the years rolled on, Texas Stadium faced maintenance challenges due to its aging infrastructure. Sustaining the stadium’s structural integrity required substantial investments.
In 2008, the Dallas Cowboys moved to their new, state-of-the-art home, AT&T Stadium, signaling the end of Texas Stadium’s era. Two years later, in 2010, the iconic stadium was imploded, leaving behind a treasure trove of memories and an indelible mark on football history.
The Asbestos Controversy
Texas Stadium, an architectural marvel and a symbol of football greatness, was not without its controversies. One significant controversy that emerged during the stadium’s demolition was the startling discovery of asbestos-containing materials within its structure. Asbestos, once commonly used in construction due to its heat resistance and insulating properties, had in subsequent years been heavily regulated due to increasing public awareness of asbestos health hazards. The presence of asbestos within Texas Stadium raised grave environmental and health concerns, leading to a complex and contentious episode in the stadium’s history.
As the demolition crews began dismantling the stadium, they encountered asbestos in various forms, primarily in insulation materials and fireproofing compounds. Asbestos, when disturbed, can release microscopic fibers into the air, which, if inhaled, can lead to severe health problems, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.
The revelation of asbestos in Texas Stadium resulted in a meticulous and costly removal process. Highly trained asbestos abatement specialists were brought in to safely contain and abate the hazardous materials. This process not only prolonged the demolition but also added to the overall cost of dismantling the stadium. Most importantly, it ensured that the demolition did not pose any health hazards related to asbestos.