Here we are, officially one month (depending on when you read this) away from WrestleMania 32. Yes, the buildup has us scratching our heads and leaving choice words for the company on our Twitter accounts, but let’s not mistake anything. Once WrestleMania weekend arrives, there’s going to be a lot to do and a lot of fun to be had.
If you’re coming down to The Lone Star State to participate in the festivities, that’s where I come in. I want to welcome you to my neck of the woods and give a free tour of Dallas and the major venues you’re more than likely going to be attending over the course of three or four days or however long you are in the area. You always want to be prepared for a trip of this magnitude, so hopefully these notes will make your trip more enjoyable.
Arguably the most important thing you need to know is that if you’re relying on public transportation to get to AT&T Stadium on WrestleMania Sunday, you’re going to be out of luck. There are no public buses, trains, or anything of the sort that goes directly to the stadium. AT&T Stadium has held big events before, and have had some shuttle services available for a couple of them. As of right now, however, don’t expect them to have a system like that in play for WrestleMania. Be prepared to rent a car or use taxis/Uber if you need transportation. From Thursday to Saturday while you’re in Dallas, you can use the DART system to get to any venue. DART has both buses and trains you can use. Information for the DART can be found at DART.org.
For those that do rent a car and are driving from event to event, at some point you’ll end up on one of the following highways: I-35, Dallas North Tollway, I-30, The Bush Turnpike, and the 75. Possibly, but not likely, you could be on the 635, I-20, & Sam Rayburn Tollway as well. The DNT, Bush Turnpike, & SRT are each toll roads and so be prepared to be charged for driving those highways for any sustained amount of time. To get to AT&T Stadium, I-30 and Bush Turnpike are your best routes as they’re the only highways that go west enough to hit Arlington where the stadium resides.
The reason we’re all here, WrestleMania 32, will take place inside this monstrosity. WWE booked this venue for one reason and one reason only, to break the WrestleMania III attendance record. Had the build-up and card lived up to the hype, it would’ve been a slam dunk. For reference, county music legend George Strait packed in 104,793 fans for the last show of his final tour in June of 2014.
As much of a marvel as this stadium is, it does not come without its faults. It was inexplicably built east/west instead of north/south, which leads to issues when it comes to sunset time. I’m quite interested to see how WWE works with this as the show is scheduled to start at 5pm local time. Also the stadium isn’t the best for acoustics when major concerts come into town, but I personally feel they’ve worked to fix that problem over the years. There aren’t many bad seats in the house, though.
For those of you with Party Pass tickets, those are located at both endzones and scale three levels of the stadium. A tip to those that do have Party Pass, the doors to the stadium are located in the ends of the stadium on the second level and that’s where the main area of the Party Pass begins as well. So the majority of fans will end up congregating there, not realizing they can go up to the third or fourth level. When the show starts, go right up the stairs a level or two and get a much better spot and view.
American Airlines Center
The home to the Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks will be the spot to be for the WWE Hall of Fame and the Monday Night Raw the night after WrestleMania. This arena could not be located any better. The DART Train has a stop right in front of it and you can access it while driving from four major highways. Leaving the arena is just as easy. It’s a great venue for wrestling, there truly is not a bad seat in the house unless you ended up with seats behind the stage for Raw. The AAC has been host to numerous memorable moments for the WWE Universe including Survivor Series 2003, Night of Champions 2008, and Hell In A Cell both in 2010 and 2014. For anyone attending one of Jim Ross’ One Man Shows, his venue, House of Blues Dallas, is barely a 5-10 minute walk from The AAC.
Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
Othewise known as just the Dallas Convention Center, this entire property will be home to both WWE Axxess and the NXT Takeover event. NXT will actually take place in the arena that you can see in the top left of the picture above. Anyone expecting an atmosphere like the Barclays Center during SummerSlam weekend for NXT, should temper their expectations now. The venue is much older and only has a capacity of 9,200. That’s evident in the current secondary market for the event with the cheapest ticket going for a cool $362.25. One can only assume WWE felt it was too much work to have to switch from a wrestling set up, to the HOF set up, back to a wrestling set up for Monday. Parking will be at a premium around the Convention Center which is really the only drawback.
The City of Dallas will be happy to have the Convention Center in the news for other things besides getting sued by a porn convention for not allowing them to use the venue for a second year. True story.
Hyatt Regency Dallas
Look for the “Big Ball in Dallas” and you’ll find the last venue on this list. The Regency will be the host for both WrestleCon and the Ring of Honor events on Friday and Saturday. Very easily accessible in the heart of Downtown Dallas, this is a great property and should be a fantastic space to enjoy both events taking place here. It is mere minutes from both the Convention Center and American Airlines Center. I don’t know if I’d consider these three venues all walking distance from one another, but it’s not far off from being so.
Besides the fact that AT&T Stadium is out of the way of everything else, Dallas really couldn’t have been a better location for fans flocking into the city for WrestleMania weekend. For any other events that you may be attending during the weekend, such as the Evolve shows or the tailgate parties of Ric Flair and Terry Funk, feel free to contact me on Twitter @FriscoKTank, and I’ll be more than happy to help you get to your destination. I hope this helped anyone on their Road to WrestleMania.