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04/07/2014

Jerry World is this era's Astrodome

IMG_3968ARLINGTON, Texas - A basketball game at AT&T Stadium offers two types of seats: Great, or not great.

If you are a photographer, media member with one of the select seats, a cheerleader, or a player or coach you had a great seat. Anybody else, your seat wasn't that great. 

One day before the start of the Final Four I toured the seating arrangements for the event, and came to the conclusion that watching a basketball game here isn't that bad. It's not awful, but there is something obviously missing. There is zero intimacy in this cavernous venue, and it has officially become this era's Astrodome.

The Astrodome was not a great place to see a game, but it offered a memorable experience. AT&T Stadium is the same way. The attraction is the scope, size, and novelty.

But - hey - who cares? The NCAA announced the attendance for Monday night's title game between Kentucky and Connecticut as a record 79,238. This figure defeats any fan enjoyment every time.

But as sports leagues, and teams, fight the at-home experience vs. the in-game experience this far-away feeling is a major drawback to the ticket-buying consumer who may be on the fence. Attending a sporting event should always be better in person than the tele.

Basketball in football stadiums has always been less-than-ideal, and the NCAA put the floor in the center of the floor of domed stadiums, it's been this way everywhere else.

Viewing a hoops game at AT&T Stadium felt like the game was happening in the next area code. Even the high-dollar seats to the game felt roughly three miles away from the floor. There is just about nothing anybody can do to correct it; fans simply lower their expectations.

 

AT&T Stadium flows out, not up. The JerryTron that hangs from the top of AT&T Stadium is the single most impressive element to any stadium in the world, but even the fans in the best seats find their eyes focusing more on the video board than the event.

For the forseeable future, AT&T Stadium will retain its relevance because of is size, and that TV set.

Twitter @MacEngelProf

tengel@star-telegram.com

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Comments

Bobke

So does this mean that 40 years from now it will be an abandoned building too expensive to tear down?

Mac Engel

The ending of the Astrodome could well be in AT&T Stadium's future.

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