Record crowd at All-Star Game
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban accomplished their goal and then some.
Sunday's NBA All-Star Game drew a crowd of 108,713 fans at Cowboys Stadium to set a new basketball record. That figure was announced by Cuban at midcourt, with Jones standing by his side, after a drumroll during the break between the third and fourth quarters.
Jones and Cuban knew they'd shatter the world record for attendance at a basketball game when they partnered up to bring the All-Star Game to the new $1.2 billion stadium. They set their sights on six figures. NBA officials expressed doubts, which is why Jones and Cuban were giddy with the official number.
"Does Dallas, Texas, know how to throw a party of what?" Cuban hollered.
The previous record crowd for a basketball game was 78,129, set when Michigan State played Kentucky at Detroit's Ford Field on Dec. 13, 2003.
The record crowd for an All-Star Game was 44,735, set at the Houston Astrodome in 1989.
A record crowd 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.
"This is a beautiful building, but it's so big that in some respects you couldn't even see many of the 108,000 people. It was surreal in that way," said Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash, who played for Dallas from 1998-2004. "I felt like I was in a spaceship."
The record for attendance in Cowboys Stadium was also broken. A crowd of 105,121 attended the Cowboys' first regular-season game.
"This is what we all hoped for, and it came through," Nash said. "Everyone I think would have been thrilled if there were 75,000 or 80,000 people. To have 108,000 people, for it to be an entertaining game, for it to go without a hitch ... it was a phenomenal experience."
Before the announcement was made, Jones said of Cuban, "He's the engine and he's the man who made this happen. He's always said if he couldn't get his fans in, he didn't want it, but he made it happen. He's a tremendous influence on me, and when he said we can do this, I immediately brought in."Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag. Information from ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins and The Associated Press was used in this report.