Maybe you're thinking of buying Mexico vs. Brazil tickets for the international friendly at Cowboys Stadium, well here's what to expect when you hit the Arlington wonder. When the New Cowboys Stadium was being constructed it was hard to believe the scale of the largest domed structure on the planet. Its labyrinthine executive suites, night-clubs, art galleries and colossal video screen have all been lauded since the turnstiles opened in 2009, but Cowboy Stadium has many features you might not know about. For instance, did you know there's a permanent rainbow in every bathroom?! Were you aware that anybody attending a Cowboys game there is entitled to a $45 tax rebate for each visit?! Yep, didn't think so. Have you heard about the on-site operating theaters where some of the most accomplished surgeons in North America will perform major surgeries for free?!? These things, combined with many more (like the twelve in-house Montessori schools that are open on gameday, and the 3-D holograms of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Al Capone that roam the stadium, delighting fans) make Cowboy Stadium simply untouchable. We took a little tour of Earth and compared it to five other monumental arenas in the entertainment industry. It wasn't easy finding anywhere that remotely measures up to the pride of Texas, but we tried.
1. Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Capacity 99,354
Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona, is the largest stadium in Europe and the twelfth largest in the world, with a 99,354 capacity. Barca's motto is "Més que un club" (More than a club), and one glance at this magnificent assemblage of training facilities and huge bowl-like uncovered stands instantly convinces you that's true. But the Nou Camp, as some people call it, was built in the twentieth century and it shows. Their concession stands are manned by actors who look and talk like Basil Fawlty and Manuel from Fawlty Towers, but those guys are getting old, and so are their jokes. Not to mention 100,000 Spaniards aren't exactly amused at the sight of a tall angry Englishman battering one of their own about the head, saying things like, "Ignore him, he's from Barcelona!" The current plans, to install the rock band Queen to sing their hit song "Barcelona" on an endless loop for several hours each gameday has been quashed, not so much due to Freddie Mercury being dead, but more because featuring Adam Lambert as the new singer is just too ridiculous. Another plan, to stage a mock terrorist attack by ETA, was shelved, not because of its somewhat inappropriate subject matter and potential for injury to fans, but because someone pointed out that ETA is a Basque organization and Barcelona is in Catalonia. Nice try but no cigar. As you can see, those who run Camp Nou are amateurs, and Barcelona's pride and joy can't compare to the Dallas dome.
2. Michigan Stadium, Michigan, United States. Capacity, 109,901
The USA boasts more big top quality sporting arenas than any other country, and Michigan Stadium is the biggest of all with a 109,900 capacity. Michigan is a state hard hit by the economic downturn and the stadium's sideshows have suffered a similar fate. An idea to house a living mascot in the form of a wolverine captured from the Au Sable State Forest hit a snag after it attacked and ripped the eyes out of a 97 year old man who actually worked on the stadium's construction in 1926 and who had been assigned as its keeper. Following that, a Kid Rock-inspired theme park sited next to the Stadium caused uproar when it was discovered that the only beverage available was Wild Irish Rose wine and the only food was "an order of fries with side of grease". In addition there were advice booths with names like, "How to Collect Fake Disability Benefit", "Valium Party Etiquette" and "Findin' Hos to Bang". The theme park was dismantled in 2010 and replaced by a strip club (adults only) which has since thrived. When you consider the above, and the fact that Michael Moore's offer of one million dollars to build a flatulence relief lounge was rejected by stadium bosses, the picture looks bleak when compared to the space-age wonders of Arlington, Texas.
3. Rungrado May Day Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea. Capacity, 150,000
The Rungrado May Day Stadium, which takes its name from a date in North Korean history when 17,000,000 men with oversized ears were executed live on national television for the president's birthday, is the largest stadium in the world and the pride of whoever's in charge of North Korea these days (the rest of them have other things on their mind). Its capacity is 150,000. Among the attractions here are the opportunity to not be publicly executed in exchange for a substantial "gift" of one's personal funds and a promise that one will keep one's f****** mouth shut or else suffer abduction, torture and death in exchange for said silence. There are also plenty of offers of not being rounded up and sent to concentration camps in exchange for not owning a car or vehicle of any kind. Plus, if you're a woman there are very attractive offers of not being assigned to the Gippeumjo (Joy Division) and forced to marry the president's guards at the age of 25, in exchange for a life of poverty and despair with regular public beatings for such awful crimes as wanting to live somewhere else, or phoning another country - as in the case of the factory owner executed by firing squad in front of 150,000 "fans" in this magnificent stadium in 2007. And the saddest part is, I'm not even making it up. What a shithole!
4. Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico. Capacity, 105,000
The Aztec Stadium in Mexico City was built around 2,000 BC by drug dealers, and visited by many luminaries of the ancient world, including Jesus, Plato, Samson (he tried to demolish the place because he thought everyone was laughing at him), Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin. The most famous event to be held there was probably the piano concert by Liberace in 1930 when locals, believing Liberace to be the reincarnation of Huitzilopochtli, the flamboyant hummingbird god, stampeded toward the stage, killing 900 police officers and dignitaries in the process. Kinda the opposite of North Korea. The Estadio Azteca continues to be owned by drug dealers and has a gigantic statue of Iggy Pop atop its highest roof. The statue is part of a vast man-made waterfall which makes it look like Iggy is urinating down upon the crowd. Many Mexicans have called for it to be removed, but the gangsters say no, and that's that. Has to be seen to be properly appreciated. Probably still not as good as Cowboy Stadium, though.
5. Wembley Stadium, London, England. Capacity, 90,000
Wembley, or the New Wembley, as some people call it, is England's brand newish national stadium, built on the site of the old Wembley, that has a capacity of 90,000. Unfortunately, Multiplex, the Australian contractor responsible for building New Wembley seems to have made a complete cock-up of the place, despite it costing 800 million British pounds. Firstly, Wembley was built so that the run-off from the gentlemen's urinals travels through an extensive conduit system to be eventually dispersed onto the playing field. The Old Wembley, not having such technology at their disposal, relied on men urinating onto the actual terraces and it cascading down in a growing volume that poured freely onto the pitch in one continuous piss avalanche throughout the game. New Wembley was also oriented in completely the wrong way, but perhaps this was just the Australians trying to do the sun-starved Brits a favor; the team dugouts are directly facing the sun, and this can obscure one's view of the game, or at least it would if Wembley was in a country where the sun actually came out once a century. Lastly, let's take a look at the concessions in this expensive colossal toilet. Eel pies are available. No, really. eel f****** pies! You can also enjoy a styrofoam tray of underfried livid white potatoes (the national dish) or a drink of some effervescent brown fluid they claim is beer, in order to calm your nerves as hundreds of fat, bald, old and violent hooligans beat the crap out of each other all around you while their children watch proudly. Drink up, though, that lumpy playing surface needs watering! As good as Cowboy Stadium? You're 'avin' a laff!
After reading about all those other pretenders out there, I think you'll agree that Dallas Cowboys games must be amazing to watch in such a spectacular setting, with all the awesome cheerleaders. You won't even need a pair of Google Beer Goggles!