Not every Cowboys fan knows the name Bruce Hardy. Hardy is a longtime Dallas Cowboys executive and the general manager of Texas Stadium. He worked for the Cowboys organization for thirty years. He has timed his retirement to coincide with the retirement of George Strait, who will play his final show of his Cowboy Rides Away tour at AT&T Stadium this weekend. Strait and Hardy have been good friends for years.
After the Cowboys moved to their new stadium in 2008, Hardy turned Texas Stadium into a concert venue for the biggest touring acts in the country. The stadium was also routinely used for major high school football games. Hardy considers himself the luckiest man in the world, having worked with the Cowboys through a number of Super Bowls and organized over 1200 games and events at Texas Stadium.
He has countless stories, worthy of a more serious interview. He partied with Axl Rose, celebrated New Year’s Eve with Thomas ‘Hollywood’ Henderson, and even received a hug from Taylor Swift! He was also involved in many backstage events in the football club’s history, including fixing a stage collapse, a fire, and plenty of athlete issues that fans would love to know about.
Hardy’s departure is his choice, though he has been struggling with multiple sclerosis in recent years. Jerry Jones talks about Hardy with great affection, noting his sharp and creative mind and resourceful nature were a valuable asset to the team over the past three decades. “His fingerprints are all over the success we’ve had.” Hardy is very well liked in the sports and entertainment communities, with many artists more excited about performing in Irving because of Hardy than the stadium itself.
Garth Brooks set a music industry record at the stadium in 1993 with three sellout shows says Hardy is one of his ‘dearest friends.’ Brooks cites what so many others like about Hardy – his honesty, his straightforward nature, and his simple love of people.
Hardy was raised in Highland Park, and was close with the children of Bedford Wynne, one of the first owners of the Dallas Cowboys. Later in life, he became a chauffeur for Pat Summerall and Chris Schenkel when the broadcasted in town. He didn’t even have a driver’s license! A simpler time…
After a brief stint with college, Hardy worked in the screen printing business, eventually founding a company called Image Builders. One of his contracts was with the Dallas Mavericks. Some of his t-shirt lines were notable. He mad a ‘Texas Dress Shirt,’ potentially the first ‘tuxedo t-shirt.’ He also produced Killer Bees shirts after Democratic state senators fled the capitol in 1979 to bust a legislative quorum. He eventually wore out of chasing corporate contracts and left the business, looking for what was next.
Through an old friend, he was introduced to one of the new owners of the Cowboys, where he landed a marketing job. The rest is history.
We wish you well, Mr. Hardy!