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While European football fans might not be too familiar with AT&T Stadium, that could all be about to change. With the 2026 World Cup approaching, the world’s best will be on display in the United States, Mexico and Canada in just over two years.
AT&T Stadium is one of 16 stadiums that will host the tournament, and with rumours that it may even be the site for the final, it’s time to get acquainted with the stadium and who plays there. Read on to find out…
Who plays at AT&T Stadium?
Built in 2009, AT&T Stadium is home to American Football team the Dallas Cowboys. Known as “America’s Team”, the Dallas Cowboys are essentially the US version of Manchester United – the side everyone loves to hate.
Like United, the Cowboys are always tipped for greatness, but success has been few and far between in recent years. In fact, the Texas team last won the Super Bowl in 1996 – 13 years before they moved to their new home.
What is AT&T Stadium like?
AT&T Stadium is huge, holding around 80,000 people for most games but with the ability to be increased to more than 100,000 with the addition of six elevated platforms – three behind each end zone (or goal, depending on the sport). This means that the record attendance is 105,121, for the Cowboys’ very first NFL game at the stadium.
It is known as the Death Star or Jerry World, named after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who originally wanted to build the stadium as a vast entertainment venue. With its size, of course, comes a huge financial outlay – AT&T Stadium cost a whopping $1.15 billion to build, making it one of the most expensive stadiums ever constructed.
It has a retractable roof and two of the largest HD screens in the world, which were record-breaking at the time they were built. The stadium has even held movie premieres on these screens – the world premiere of Michael Bay’s 2016 film 13 Hours – The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi was displayed at AT&T Stadium with 30,000 people in attendance.
Crucially for the World Cup, the turf has 26 interchangeable panels which allow it to be converted into a soccer field.
Unusually for most stadiums, AT&T Stadium is built east to west instead of north to south, which means that some players have complained about glare from the sun interfering with their eyesight.
What soccer games have been held at AT&T Stadium?
Despite it not being AT&T Stadium’s primary purpose, the stadium has hosted a number of soccer games of a decent level.
In fact, the first ever sporting event held there was a soccer match – on 19 July 2009, Costa Rica beat Guadeloupe 5-1 in a CONCACAF Gold Cup quarter-final. Celso Borges, the most-capped player in Costa Rica’s history, holds the honour of scoring the very first goal (or point of any kind) at AT&T Stadium, opening the scoring in just the second minute of that game.
In 2012, goals from Javier Hernández and Giovani Dos Santos led Mexico to a 2-0 win over Brazil. A year later, the United States men’s national team played their first ever game there, beating Honduras 3-1 in the semi-final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Most recently, Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-0 in a pre-season friendly in front of 82,026 fans.
AT&T Stadium is due to host three games – two in the group stage and one quarter-final – at the Copa América this summer.
Stay tuned to the Football Ground Guide to find out whether the stadium will host the 2026 World Cup final, the United States’ most important soccer game in more than 30 years.