The 12,000-seater venue in McKinney has been labelled an "embarrassment" to the town by those opposing it
When it comes to the Lone Star State, it’s fair to say that even just the most casual observer of American culture knows to things: first, everything’s bigger in Texas, and second, they really love their high school football. Which is why it is perhaps not surprising that the town of McKinney has pledged to foot the bill for its teenage team for their new stadium, at the whopping cost of $62.8m (€55m) – the most expensive high school venue in the US.
Voters in the city passed the motion to financially support its school district to the sum of €220m, setting aside more than a quarter of that budget for the construction of the school field and stadium. This comes despite the fact that the nearby town of Allen, located 10 minutes away by car, paid $60m for its stadium in 2014, which had to be shut down when cracks in its concrete turned it into a structural safety hazard.
The new stadium will be the home venue for three of the district’s 29 schools and will have a 12,000 seating capacity and events centre.
“We’re visionaries,” the local newspaper reported school superintendent Rick McDaniel saying as the votes in favour of the project rolled in, “And we believe we have a vision for McKinney ISD that will propel us forward for a long time.”
The vote had become controversial, with the opposition camp calling the new stadium an “embarrassment” to the district, pointing out that the hefty price tag would translate more than a $2.1m windfall for the district’s schools had it been shared out evenly.
“We’re disappointed,” Mike Giles, a leader of Grassroots McKinney. “But the people have spoken.”