NBA: All-Star game in Texas draws record crowd
AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas — Not only bigger in Texas. The biggest.
The NBA All-Star game at Cowboys Stadium set a record for the most-attended basketball game ever with a crowd of 108,713 people filling the stadium Sunday night.
"It's meant to be a party," Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. "We say we're going to throw the biggest party like you've never seen before and that's exactly what it turned out to be."
Cuban was joined at midcourt by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at the end of the third quarter to announce the record figure. The record was certified by Guinness Book of World Records, and there were already T-shirts celebrating the mark.
Jones spearheaded the building of the $1.2 billion stadium that opened last year in Arlington, a city of more than 370,000 people located between Dallas and Fort Worth.
The crowd for the second NBA All-Star game in the Dallas area was larger than any of the NFL games played in the stadium.
"I'm pleased looking at it," Jones said. "The atmosphere, if you had had a highly competitive situation where these teams were playing for the world championship, imagine this 100,000 people being completely nuts."
That could be the scene next February, when Cowboys Stadium hosts the Super Bowl. The 2014 NCAA men's Final Four also will be played in the building.
The Cowboys drew 105,121 for their first regular-season game against the New York Giants last September to set an NFL regular-season attendance record. For their playoff game last month against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys drew a crowd of 92,951. That was the most in NFL history for a playoff game other than the Super Bowl.
"Everybody's had a great time. ... You can just see people's eyes just bugging out of their head," Cuban said. "It's crazy and I haven't heard a negative comment yet."
The only other time the NBA All-Star game was played in the area was in 1986 before a crowd of 16,573 at Reunion Arena in downtown Dallas. That facility was demolished last year.