Monday, April 30, 2012 , Updated 12:00 p.m., August 5, 2012
UPDATED: Four DFW landmarks get cameo on Travel Channel show Off Limits
Tune in August 5.
Four Dallas-Fort Worth locations will appear on the Travel Channel's show Off Limits in the coming months. The show highlights "forbidden, hidden, and unseen spaces across America." In North Texas, those spaces are: Cowboys Stadium in Arlington; the not-yet-open Klyde Warren Park in Dallas; the Stockyards Championship Rodeo in Fort Worth; and Hawaiian Falls Water Park in Roanoke.
[UPDATE: The Klyde Warren Park episode airs Sunday, August 5.]
We wouldn't call Cowboys Stadium hidden nor unseen, but parts of it may very well be forbidden. The show aims to explain how architectural marvels work.
“There are certainly historical places [the show has covered], like we went to Cowboys Stadium and looked at that. It's sort of an engineering marvel,” said Julie McCully, executive producer of Off Limits on the Travel Channel. “You and I could go to [Klyde Warren] park and see it when it opens. But Don gets behind it. He goes behind-the-scenes to see what makes it tick.”
She's referring to Off Limits host Don Wildman, who's is known for taking camera crews into unknown parts of known structures most people would never be able to see. A recent episode took him to the San Francisco City Hall, where he explored how to “earthquake-proof” the building. He's also learned to make modern moonshine, fly the Goodyear Blimp, and wrestle an alligator.
Upon arriving in North Texas for the shoot, the film crew had an adventure of their own: They had to seek shelter almost immediately while the tornadoes in early April blew over.
“Welcome to Dallas: Here's our tornado,” said Mark Banta, president of Klyde Warren Park. “They literally had to abandon their cars and seek shelter on their way from the airport. … We had to reschedule with them, but it became a little bit of an interesting, memorable experience.”
The crew volunteered on a down day to help a family after the tornado. After that, Dallas-Fort Worth had sunny skies and mid-70s temperatures, making for a beautiful few days on-camera, Banta said.
Cowboys Stadium in Arlington
The spotlight of Cowboys Stadium on Off Limits will feature its retractable roof and video board. Crews visited the football stadium for half a day in April, a physically demanding job.
“We did a lot of climbing,” joked Cowboys Stadium spokesperson Brett Daniels. Getting up to the retractable roof required lots of stairs and catwalks. “The camera and sound guys had their work cut out for them,” Daniels said.
They also looked inside the “guts” of Jerry Jones' television screen, which is a hollow structure that measures 160 feet in width, 72 feet tall.
McCully didn't have an air date for the Cowboys Stadium segment yet, though she said it would be a 6-7 minute cameo.
Klyde Warren Park in Dallas
At Klyde Warren Park, crews wanted to explain how the park “literally floats over a freeway,” said Banta. It was his job to show them around after moving to Dallas just a few weeks prior.
After crews scouted for the best shots, Banta donned a hard hat, safety vest, safety glasses, and a microphone – which he calls the “outfit of the day: construction de jour.” Banta showed off the children's area of the park, the dog park, and the tunnel underneath the freeway. He explained how massive oak trees grow in concrete trays above the busy highway. “It's almost like a giant, potted garden that's very high tech,” Banta said of the park.
Though it was the park's first cameo on television, Banta has been featured on other television shows, including an episode of Extreme Home Makeover where a girl was given a new home with a water feature that took inspiration from Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, where Banta was once general manager.
Klyde Warren Park will be featured on Off Limits for a 6-7 minute segment sometime in early- to mid-July, McCully said.
Stockyards Championship Rodeo in Fort Worth
When the film crew visited Fort Worth's Stockyards Championship Rodeo, they'd already had about three other shows filmed at the rodeo recently. The Off Limits crew was most interested in bull riding, said Dee Dee Wix, director of operations for the rodeo.
The building where the Stockyards Championship Rodeo in Fort Worth is hosted, Cowtown Coliseum, is the home of the world's first indoor rodeo in 1886. The building is next-door to Billy Bob's Texas, and many patrons go to the rodeo and then to a country show on the same night, said Wix.
The crews spent most of their time getting close-ups of the bull riders and their bulls, who ride at the beginning and end of each rodeo. “We talked to them about style and form, and what the judges are looking for,” said Wix. “We talked to them about what goes on behind the scenes. ... We talked about injuries, the people who do the rodeo. We kind of covered it all,” she said.
An air date was not available for the rodeo segment.
Hawaiian Falls in Roanoke
Host Wildman was able to test his extreme skills at Hawaiian Falls in Roanoke, which is the “world's largest aqua play structure,” according to spokesperson David Alvey.
Wildman helped wax and buff the Hawaiian Halfpipe slide, harnessed so he wouldn't fall. He also climbed inside a 1,000-gallon bucket at the water park to help a Hawaiian Falls worker replace a plug.
We'll update you when we have an air date for the Hawaiian Falls segment.
Off Limits airs for one hour on the Travel Channel on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. CT.
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