Cowboys owner Jerry Jones introduced the new name during a Thursday press conference at the Arlington, Texas facility:
“Welcome to AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.”
Jones likely won’t ever become president of the United States, but he wants his team’s home “to be more familiar than the White House.”
Of course, “The White House” had a different meaning to the Cowboys of the 90s.
Despite hosting a Super Bowl and other major events, the stadium has stood without a naming rights sponsor since it opened in 2009 at a cost of $1.2 billion.
The financial numbers for the deal were not released, but naming rights deals for previous structures have eclipsed $20 million a year and generally last for 20 years. When the stadium opened, the economy was in recession and corporations were not as willing to dole out millions for sponsorship deals.
By removing “Cowboys” from the name, the team will draw criticism from fans for “selling out” for sponsorship dollars. The club has also garnered untold exposure by having its own name on the stadium, which is regarded as one of the top sports facilities in the world.
AT&T may not get the full value for its money, since many fans and pundits have nicknamed the stadium “Jerry World” and “The Deathstar” and will likely continue to call it by those monikers.
For the rest of us, get used to saying “AT&T Stadium” because the deal takes effect immediately with new signage and logos. As part of the deal, the Cowboys and AT&T also promise new and better mobile device “experiences” inside the stadium.
Among the major events coming up that will be played under the roof of AT&T Stadium are the 2014 NCAA Final Four and the first championship game of the new College Football Playoff on Jan. 15, 2015.