(Dallas) You could say that Dallas is not a worse hockey town, especially when the Stars are winning, but it will never really be anything other than a football town.

Before Tuesday night’s game against the Canadiens, the Stars were attracting an average of 18,532 spectators per game, the 11th-highest average in the NHL. Respectable, certainly. But it’s not football and it’s not the Cowboys.

In town, ads and logos that refer to the blue star are everywhere. You have to go a little outside the center of Dallas, about 25 minutes further, in the direction of Arlington, to see this enormous temple of football in the sky looming on the horizon: the AT

Even on this little Tuesday afternoon at the start of the year, the stadium parking lot is full, for no other reason than to come take photos or spend several dollars in the enormous souvenir shop, where a retro jersey from the belle époque by Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith – with the big stars on their shoulders – is on sale for a cool US$325. Nostalgia has a price, especially here.

Then, for $40 per person, you can get the right to enter the temple and admire for about an hour this legendary field where the Cowboys have never won anything. A bit like the Canadian, the Cowboys were unable to take the ghosts of the past with them when it was necessary to change addresses, in 2009 in this case.

But it’s impressive and it’s a measure of what Texas has always claimed to be: bigger than everyone else, all the time, always. It gives this thing, where we can accommodate up to 100,000 people, built for 1.3 billion while the initial cost was supposed to be around 600 million. Which is good, because it’s proof that it’s not just in Montreal that stadiums cost more than expected.

At least the retractable roof on this one works great.