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Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Tx., HKS Architects/photo: Ralph Cole

Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Tx., HKS Architects/photo: Ralph Cole

I was out in Dallas last week to take a look at the new Cowboys Stadium, a $1.2 billion extravaganza that’s as much the creation of Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones as it is of the architects who designed it. It doesn’t represent the kind of radical rethinking of stadium design that you get from, say, Herzog & deMueron. But at a time when baseball parks are still mostly stuck in the retro-nostalgic mode that took over after Baltimore’s Camden Yards opened in 1992, you can only be grateful for a stadium that’s resolutely forward looking.

And in that department the Cowboys Stadium has got some nice features — massive steel arches that give it some structural drama and generous expanses of glass that admit actual sunlight. But what’s really distinctive about the place is the way it represents the last word in the evolution of the stadium experience into a something that’s beyond the means of people in the lower-and-middle tax brackets — how about those $340 club seats! — while that experience is also evolving into something ever more detached from the players on the field. How about that world’s largest hi-def video screen!

There’s a lot more to say, which I did in this week’s issue of Time.