Today's subscription-only Wall Street Journal takes a stab at the new Dallas Cowboys home set to open in 2009. You know the drill: 2.3 million square feet, 100,000 seats when counting standing room, two 2.1-million pound roof panels that open on a rack and pinion drive system so God can scoff, two 3,200-ton steel trusses, 180-foot video screens, a futuristic suppository shape. Oh, and there's the $1 billion price tag, $325 million of which is shouldered by Arlington taxpayers making team owner Jerry Jones the country's most famous welfare queen.
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The Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently wondered if Arlington was a chump repository for voting for Jerry's wallet cellulite, but then explains that the grandeur of the project is arousing developer interest that may turn Arlington into, er, a metro hotspot. Anyway, the intriguing thing about the Journal piece is that the Dallas-based architect HKS Inc. commissioned brand-marketing and strategy studies before sketching the stadium and discovered that the Cowboys brand is more about "flash" than tradition, or, as Jones put it, "glitz and glamour" rather than "checkered tablecloths" (for this we need studies?). Ponder this after shelling out some $200 for a pair of tix, parking and wieners in nose-bleed seats in Jerry's dream. Or is that standing-room only? --Mark Stuertz