ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys are the kings of conventional media, but social media is also within their realm.
According to a recent report from the Action Network, which took a look at Instagram data collected at each NFL venue, the most "gram-worthy" stadium in the league was AT&T Stadium with over a million posts.
Of course, AT&T Stadium may have had a little help beyond the NFL to achieve that distinction. The stadium, which has a listed seating capacity of 80,000 but can expand to 105,000, is also the home to college football games, including the Cotton Bowl Classic and College Football Playoff games, high school football games, soccer matches, fights, concerts, and NCAA men's basketball tournament games from time to time.
AT&T Stadium was the lone beacon of normalcy in the COVID year. With some NFL stadia not allowing fans for games at a time or for the entire season, AT&T Stadium hosted fans starting in Week 2. Because of that, the Cowboys' home opener against the Atlanta Falcons saw 21,708 fans in attendance.
Each week saw a steady expansion of fans in the stands to where the Cowboys' home ultimately accounted for almost a quarter of the entire NFL attendance last year, according to owner Jerry Jones.
"It was no accident that the Cowboys had 22, 23, 24 percent of all the fans in the NFL were at Cowboys games, just so you know," Jones told reporters on July 21. "That was important to us. It was important to us and by the way, there were no, none, serious in any way outbreaks of COVID. To have those fans there, those fans that we had, that outdistanced most."
Having AT&T Stadium as one of the most check-in places on Instagram is another example of how the Cowboys lead the way in fan experience. Even for opposing fans, AT&T Stadium is a destination game when NFL fans want to see their team on the road.
The one crown jewel NFL event that AT&T Stadium hasn't hosted since its second full season of operation is the Super Bowl. After hosting the Green Bay Packers versus the Pittsburgh Steelers for Super Bowl XLV in February 2011, AT&T Stadium can't seem to get back in the rotation.
The NFL has allowed newer venues to host, but has also gone back to familiar haunts, such as the Superdome for Super Bowl XLVII. Part of the attraction for a Super Bowl depends on the host city, and Arlington couldn't compete with the likes of New Orleans, Atlanta, or Minneapolis.
However, Jones said at the Senior Bowl in January 2019 that the additions of Texas Live! and Globe Life Field should make Arlington more appealing.
"The aggregation of that type of adjunct activity around the games themselves is something that I believe in," said Jones. "I believe that you can enhance the experience with additional affinity type activity. We know that those kinds of things they're doing over there at the ballpark we know that enhances the experience for the fans, and since we are literally joined at the hip out there, it will enhance our fans' experience."
Just do it for the gram.
Do you find AT&T Stadium to be a photogenic venue? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.