Game Day Traffic at Cowboys Stadium

Travel to Arlington on Cowboys game day can be an exercise in judgment and patience. Options such as extended tailgate parties or riding a “party bus” can alleviate some of the stress, but getting to the game still spells traffic.

The Dallas Cowboys Stadium (officially AT&T Stadium) in Arlington, situated near major thoroughfares in the Metroplex, is inevitably traffic-bound on game day. It’s adjacent to Rangers Ballpark, just “down the street” from giant amusement park Six Flags Over Texas, and on a heavily traveled stretch of Interstate 30 between Dallas and Fort Worth — so there is always plenty of traffic, even on a normal day.   

There are no shortcuts or back roads that will help you avoid it, so you may spend as much time getting to the stadium and going home as you spend in your seat cheering your team. Still, there are a few ways to avoid the worst of traffic frustrations and fully enjoy your day at the field. 

The Stadium Is a Wonder

You can always hit the road early to beat the worst of the traffic — and because the Cowboys’ stadium is an attraction in its own right, arriving early is not really an inconvenience. It’s the largest domed structure in the world, and visitors are allowed and even encouraged to wander its spaces. The stadium is Texas-huge, with seating for 80,000 and additional standing room, allowing for a total cheering section of about 105,000. There are TV screens everywhere; you can see the game without ever seeing the field.

If you visit outside of game days, the Cowboys stadium actually offers daily tours, including time on the field. The tour also includes opportunities to visit a private suite, the various “clubs,” and the locker rooms. You also get to view the stadium’s collection of art and the classrooms, meeting rooms, and soaring public spaces.

Getting There on Game Day

Game day is an event unto itself. Plenty of fans would rather be at the stadium than watching from any other place on earth. If you are lucky enough to snag a ticket for a game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, you will want to plan your visit carefully.

Fortunately, team planners have some help available for you, including a Cowboys stadium interactive map. All you have to do is plug in your beginning ZIP code and your designated parking section at AT&T Stadium, and the map will give you turn-by-turn directions. Unfortunately, the map can’t predict the weather, and it’s not updated to show traffic snags. But if you follow the directions, you won’t get lost, and you will get to your designated parking area.

Dealing with Traffic

Even if you live near Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, you’re going to have to deal with the traffic on game day. It is the only NFL stadium in the nation that is completely inaccessible by any form of public mass transit. Parking is in assigned lots or else off-site. However, lots generally open five hours — yes, FIVE hours — before kickoff, allowing you plenty of time to park and get to your seat inside the stadium. If you want to partake of the traditional tailgate party, however, your entire party should plan to arrive together, because you must snag specific perimeter parking spaces that back up to grassy areas. No middle-of-the-lot impromptu pep rallies are allowed!

As a final note, remember that you could consider using a shuttle or other type of private mass transit to help you get there. On game days there are shuttles that run from nearby malls and remote Rangers Ballpark parking areas. Party buses for home games are also popular. Traffic is simply a way of life in the Metroplex, but it does move efficiently, and on game days it’s good-natured gridlock.

Image Source: Flickr


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1 Comment

  1. Mike
    August 23, 2016

    I am traveling to Dallas for a game on Sept 3. I am hosting a tailgate in Lot 11. Should I arrive earlier than when the lots open 5 hours before to find a great spot ? What would you recommend and how early should I show up? Thank you in advance.


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