When the growing Dallas suburb of Allen, Texas decided to build a new football stadium for its local high school they went big. How big? Here’s what they came up with: “A gleaming $60 million facility with seats for 18,000 roaring fans, a 38-foot wide high-definition video screen, corporate sponsors and a towering upper deck,” according to ESPN. When the tax-payer funded stadium opened its doors, and powered up its Jumbotron, for the 2012 football season, ESPN raved that Eagle Stadium was the “grandest” in all of Texas—a state that has some pretty grand ideas about football.
Eagle Stadium, home of Texas state champ Allen HS, cost $60M. They're closed for now after two seasons. 🏈 pic.twitter.com/2fadfyFEdl— Sportz Place™ (@Sportz_Place) May 20, 2014
You can’t, of course, cut corners when it comes to quality. And the Allen school district, home to some 4,000 students, most certainly didn’t. “District officials went with more expensive concrete seating over all-aluminum benches, adding perhaps $4 million more to the cost,” officials told ESPN at the time of the christening. “But they said they expected this stadium to last decades.”
That attention to teenage football watching detail, however, didn’t turn out quite as planned. “The stadium is not safe for public assembly,” school Superintendent Lance Hindt told the Dallas Morning News on Monday. What happened? “Allen [school district] officials said Monday that design flaws appear to have contributed to problems with cracking of concrete at the district’s new $60 million stadium, prompting them to close the stadium for the next football season,” according to the Morning News.