News-Telegram Arts Editor Terry Mathews, News Editor Faith Huffman and I went to the grand opening of the new, state-of-the-art Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Not only was our experience a tour of the new facility, but a concert headlined by Country King George Strait, too. Before the jealousy begins to course through your veins I'll let you know that - even though it was a once in a lifetime experience - it was a grueling ordeal. Don't believe me? Ask my blistered feet.
I think I walked a total of 8 miles in my not-yet-broken-in cowboy boots (mistake). Mile one: parking. After the entire week of news reports stating there wasn't going to be enough parking for the estimated 60,000 visitors, do we find out that I only have a photo pass which puts me out on the curb after George Strait's second song. Oh yeah, and we only had one parking pass. It was warm in the June sun when I started walking to meet Faith and Terry from my parking spot, but once we got to the box office for our media passes... let's just say that I was cursing myself for wearing a black shirt and boots.
(Keep reading for the entirety of the adventure.)
Ah, but what a relief it was when we began miles two and three. The grand expanse of the stadium was air conditioned! Much to our dismay, however, the staff was clueless as to where the media was meeting for the guided tour of the stadium. Yes, mile two was spent walking to and fro between staffers. By the end of it, we had walked around the entire stadium. Of course, the tour did the exact same thing, (mile three, for those keeping track) only this time we had a guide. I said goodbye to Terry and Faith as they went to their seats - their adventure wasn't over yet (seeTerry's blog post). My feet hadn't started hurting - yet.
Mile four was following a cavalcade of photographers through the bowels of the stadium to shoot Lee Ann Womack, which made us take an unnecessary loop around the stadium (again). Then, after our allotted photo taking time of two songs, we walked back - the same way - to the press box atop the stadium.
Here's where my feet started hurting. What made it worse was the break in my momentum, sitting through the performance. That's when I felt it. I was thankful for the massive screens they put in the stadium since the media room had an obstructed view of the stage - I got to see the artists perform after all.
Three of those trips later, and wonderful performances by Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire and George Strait, I had walked a total of seven miles. Feet pulsing and squished between screaming fans and cowboy hats, my tenure at the stadium ended with the last note of King George's second song. I walked that final mile to my car slowly - echoes of a smooth baritone and cheers ruminating from the brilliant steel structure behind me.
Ignore all my whining. It was an awesome experience; and I think my pictures speak louder than my blisters - look at them (the photos, not the blisters) at myssnews.com/photos!
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