ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys revealed AT&T Stadium as the site of another major event Wednesday, as they announced it as the site of the 2015 AT&T American Cup.
One of the pre-eminent competitions in international gymnastics, next year's American Cup will take place March 7, 2015 at AT&T Stadium, making it the first time the event has been held in a football stadium. Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson was on hand Wednesday to welcome yet another championship competition to the arena.
"We have hosted high school football championships, we will host the college football championship, we've hosted the Super Bowl, the NBA All-Star game -- we will host the championship of college basketball with the Final Four in April," Jones said. "We've hosted the elite of boxing, the elite of bull riding, and now it is time to host the elite of gymnastics."
Several of USA Gymnastics' most recognizable figures were in attendance to highlight the announcement. Legendary gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi was on hand, as were several of the sport's most recognizable names – all of whom have claimed American Cup championships.
2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin, 2004 Olympic all-around champion Carly Patterson and 1991 all-around World champion and Olympic bronze medalist Kim Zmeskal-Burdette – all of whom call the Dallas area home – were on hand for the announcement.
"AT&T Stadium will be a truly unique stage to showcase gymnastics as the Road to Rio heats up in 2015," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.
All three Olympic medalists are two-time American Cup champions – Liukin in 2006 and 2008, Patterson in 2003 and 2004 and Zmeskal-Burdette in 1990 and 1992. [embedded_ad]
"This is actually one of our most important competitions for us – the AT&T American Cup – because it's an international competition and it's an FIG World Cup event," Liukin said. "So it's not just a competition here in the States, it's actually very internationally well-known."
Invitations to compete in the AT&T American Cup will be based on performances at the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships. The AT&T American Cup became an International Gymnastics Federation all-around World Cup event in 2011 and is part of the FIG's all-around World Cup series.
In addition to the American Cup, AT&T Stadium will also host the sixth annual Nastia Liukin Cup, a debut competition which features many of the country's top Junior Olympic female gymnasts.
"It's amazing to be able to have a competition in my name, first of all," Liukin said. "I never thought I would have that, and now to have it here – I can't even imagine what it's going to be like when I walk in here next year."
The competition serves as a stage for young gymnasts of all calibers – including eventual 2012 Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas, who finished fourth at the 2010 Nastia Liukin Cup.
"It's really cool, because for some of these gymnasts this is the first stop onto an amazing career. For others it may be the first and only time they'll compete in an arena like this," Liukin said.