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Retractable Stadium Roofs Are the Exciting Future: AT&T Stadium

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

A giant open spaced domed arena shows fans waiting for a football game while soaking up the sun

Retractable roofing systems have been around since the early 1900’s but only recently has their popularity increased. Any sports fan is familiar with at least one famous retractable roof as they are popular amongst gaming stadiums. The retractable stadium roof is an innovative solution to many problems associated with traditional roofs.

A retractable roof system is a large structure that covers a sports arena or other facility. It consists of two main parts: the movable part (the roof) and the fixed part (the walls). The movable part is usually made up of a series of panels that move into place when the roof is opened. These panels are connected by hinges so that they can be folded back against the wall when not in use.

History of Retractable Roof Systems

The first retractable roof stadium was built in 1961 and was home to the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, the first dome-shaped stadium with a fully retractable roof was the Toronto Rogers Centre, which was formerly known as the SkyDome. The Houston Astrodome is another famous example of a domed stadium with retractable roof.

According to Mortenson, retractable roofs have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they offer a versatile solution for indoor-outdoor venues. These roofs can be made of a variety of materials, including metal, fabric, and glass. They can be opened and closed using manual, electrical, or hydraulic systems.


The benefits of retractable roofs are numerous and include energy savings, improved air quality, reduced noise pollution, and more. One of the main advantages of retractable stadium roofs is that they provide protection against weather elements such as rain, snow, wind, and extreme heat. This means that fans will not need to worry about getting wet during inclement weather. In addition, retractable roof stadiums also offer protection against lightning strikes.

The retractable roof stadium revolutionized the game day experience for both fans and athletes. Fans no longer had to worry about weather conditions, and athletes no longer had to worry about playing in extreme heat or cold. Retractable roof stadiums also allowed for more day games to be played, as the stadiums could be closed during the hot summer months.

The retractable roof stadium has become a staple of the modern day sports experience. These venues provide fans with a comfortable and controlled environment, no matter the weather conditions outside. They also allow teams to schedule more day games, which is a fan-favorite. As the popularity of retractable roof stadiums continue to grow, it is likely that even more of these venues will be built in the years to come.

Types of Retractable Roofs

There are several different types of retractable roofs, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The Constructor goes into further detail about these types. The most common type is the rolling roof, which consists of a series of panels that roll open or closed. Rolling roofs are typically made of metal or fabric, and can be opened or closed very quickly. However, they can be expensive to install and maintain, and may not provide as much protection from the elements as some other types of retractable roofs.

Another type of retractable roof is the sliding roof, which consists of a large panel that slides open or closed. Sliding roofs are typically made of metal or glass, and can provide good protection from the elements when closed. However, they can be difficult to open and close, and may not provide as much ventilation as some other types of retractable roofs.

A third type of retractable roof is the pivoting roof, which consists of a series of panels that pivot open or closed. Pivoting roofs are typically made of metal or fabric, and can be opened or closed very quickly. However, they can be expensive to install and maintain, and may not provide as much protection from the elements as some other types of retractable roofs.

Retractable roofs are a popular choice for many stadiums, arenas, and convention centers because they can provide protection from the elements while still allowing for ventilation and a view of the sky. However, they come with a variety of pros and cons that should be considered before installation. The roof tech involved with these is constantly changing to create the best roof possible.

There are a few different materials used in retractable roofs, including fabric and metal. Fabric roofs are typically made from PVC or another type of waterproof material, and they can be opened and closed relatively quickly. Metal roofs are more durable and they offer better protection from the elements, but they can take longer to open and close. No matter what type of retractable roof you choose, it is important to work with a reputable contractor who has experience installing this type of roofing system. With the right professional, you can enjoy all the benefits that a retractable roof has to offer.

A football sits on the turf in the foreground while the background shows an empty football field and a yellow goal post blurred out to bring focus to the football

AT&T Stadium

AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, is one of the largest and most technologically advanced sports stadiums in the world. The football stadium can seat up to 80,000 fans and features a retractable roof, making it one of the few indoor/outdoor stadiums in the NFL. The football stadium is also home to the world's largest high-definition video board, which hangs from the center of the roof and measures 160 feet wide by 72 feet tall.

In addition to being a state-of-the-art facility for football, AT&T Stadium has also hosted a number of other events, including the Super Bowl XLV in 2011, the NCAA Final Four, and concerts by some of the biggest names in music. The facility, owned by the city of Arlington, can also be used for a variety of other events. It replaced the partially covered Texas Stadium, which served as the Dallas Cowboys Stadium from 1971 through the 2008 season. HKS believes that the stadium is truly a world-class facility and a source of pride for the city of Dallas, TX.

The stadium is also sometimes referred to as "Jerry World" after Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who originally envisioned it as a large entertainment mecca. The retractable roof, which is one of the largest in the world, can open or close in 12 minutes. It is also the world's ninth-largest single-span retractable roof structure. The football stadium also features glass retractable end zone doors.

Sports Fan Perspective

The AT&T Stadium would be nothing without the fans, though. We talked with a Dallas, TX local fan to see what they think about this type of stadium:

“From an avid sports fan’s perspective, I love having the option for a retractable roof in a stadium while attending a game in-person. In a lot of markets across the country, you never really know what the weather will be like until the day of an event. With a retractable roof, you have the option to open up the top and let in the natural sunlight and elements, but you also have the option to close up the roof and keep in heat/air conditioning, and avoid any bad weather.

With a sport like football that was invented over 100 years ago, the sport was intended to be played outdoors. But no one wants to play in or watch a game with torrential downpours, blizzard-like snow storms, or strong winds if they have the option to be comfortable.

It seems like retractable roofs are a newer amenity when it comes to stadium bells and whistles, and for some owners that are footing the bill to build their brand new shiny stadium, a retractable roof could just be a status symbol vs practical usage. But I say flex that muscle - the more bells and whistles your stadium has to offer, the more tickets will be sold and more butts in seats.”

The outline of an excited crown and a man is standing with his arms raised in glee with a football field in the background

On Game Day

In conclusion, retractable roof stadiums are a great way to protect fans and players from the elements while still providing an enjoyable experience. They are also a great way to save money on energy costs. So next time you are at a football stadium, pay attention to the weather to look out for the retractable roof. Game day will never be ruined by inclement weather again!

Here at Lifetime Quality Roofing, we are big sports fans. There is nothing more upsetting than having game day canceled due to a storm, especially if said storm causes roof damage. If you suspect your roof might have damage, and you would like to schedule a 100% free roof inspection, then call Lifetime Quality Roofing at 214-833-7663!

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