by MATT GOODMAN
ARLINGTON –– Dallas-based communications giant AT&T has snapped up the naming rights to the home of the Dallas Cowboys, which will now be known as AT&T Stadium.
Owner Jerry Jones announced the deal alongside AT&T representatives and Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck Thursday afternoon from Cowbo… –– ahem –– AT&T Stadium. The deal, which has been rumored since Monday, will also bring communication upgrades to the sports venue that officials promise will boost cellular connectivity on its grounds.
"AT&T is an iconic American leader that has guided the path of communication in the world for more than 100 years," Jones said in a prepared statement. "Our stadium has always been about providing fans with an unsurpassed experience in the area of technology. With AT&T, we are growing our relationship with one of the world's strongest and most innovative companies to ultimately provide fans with the latest cutting-edge technology for many years to come."
AT&T says it's doubled the capacity of the company's 4G LTE network inside the stadium, the plazas and the parking lots. Wi-Fi access will "nearly double" in the same areas by the time the season begins. The company also says it will "enhance" the Cowboys' official mobile app "with maps and way finding to improve the overall fan experience on game days."
The 80,000 capacity stadium opened in 2009 and has been without a corporate sponsor since. In that time, it's hosted Super Bowl XLV, the 2010 NBA All Star Game, the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Regionals as well as the annual Cotton Bowl Classic.
AT&T will have its name attached to the NCAA Men's Final Four next year and the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship Game in 2015.
Jones declined to release specifics of the deal during the press conference, saying only, "the fit is not all about the dollars." He called the deal a highlight in his time as owner and said he's been working to secure a naming rights agreement since the stadium was in its planning stages.
However much the deal is worth, Mayor Cluck told reporters the city of Arlington will receive 5 percent of revenue from the naming rights.
News 8's Carla Wade contributed to this report