A $60 Million Reminder That Texas Cares About High School Football

Allen High School in Allen, Tex. is constructing a $60 million football stadium, where its teenage boys will learn the game. "Football has always been a big deal here," says district athletic director Steve "Bubba" Williams. "It's about tra-di-tion."

The upgrade is part of a $119 million project that will add a fine arts stadium, a service center, and the 18,000-seat stadium to a 650,000 square-foot campus:

It will hold 18,000 spectators in a sunken bowl designed to improve sightlines. The stadium will include a two-tier press box, an indoor golf practice area, a high-definition video scoreboard, a practice room for wrestling, and enough parking for every car in Dallas, or close.

Yes, this may seem outlandish, perhaps a little over-the-top — especially in a country with a minor issue in public education funding! But consider that this is for a high school with a 600-piece student band that consumes 2,000 bottles of water a game.

Consider, too, that elsewhere in Texas this week, the Green Bay Packers were forced to move around their practice arrangements — from SMU's outdoor practice field to Highland Park High School's very own indoor practice facility. Just so we're clear, this is necessary because both a professional football team and a private university do not have indoor practice facilities, but a local public high school (one of the wealthiest in the nation) does.

Proposed budget cuts in Texas may affect "arts education, pre-kindergarten programs and teacher incentive pay," but thanks to this voter-approved bond, the Allen student band will stay both seated and hydrated.

A $60 Million Palace for Texas High School Football [NY Times]
Packers move to indoor high school facility [Sporting News]