The $60 million Texas high school football stadium won’t reopen this year


The $60 million high school football stadium in Allen, Tex. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

In February, we told you about the high school football stadium in Texas that cost a whopping $60 million and was closed down due to “extensive cracking.”

At the time, the school district said Eagle Stadium in Allen, Tex., would remain closed until at least June to allow an engineering firm to look into the structural issues. They warned that the repairs could impact games at the stadium this fall.

On Tuesday, that possibility became a reality. The Allen Independent School District announced that the stadium would be closed for the 2014-2015 school year “after consulting engineers found significant structural problems” at the stadium.

While a full engineering study of the stadium won’t be done until June, a preliminary report from the consultants found “design deficiencies in the elevated concourse at the stadium that fail to meet building codes and reduce the safety and strength of the concourse,” Lance Hindt, the district’s superintendent, announced in a news release.

The stadium’s long-term closure was first reported by the Dallas Morning News.

Hindt said in the announcement that the architect and builder of the stadium were responsible for the flaws and that they would pay for the repairs. He said that engineers hired by the school district have been working with engineers hired by PBK Architects, which designed the stadium, and Pogue Construction, which built it, to figure out how to best repair the problems.

Eagle Stadium drew quite a bit of attention when it opened in August 2012 because it was a $60 million football stadium in suburban Dallas that seemed to be the high school version of the pricier collegiate facilities. The taxpayers who funded the stadium approved it as part of a bond issue in 2009.

The school’s football team — which won back-to-back Class 5A Division I titles over the two seasons the stadium was open — will play its home games in Plano, Tex., during the 2014 season.

“The stadium does not make the team, the players make the team,” Tom Westerberg, the football team’s coach, said in a statement.

Since they won’t be playing in Eagle Stadium, with its 18,000 seats and 38-foot-wide high-definition screen, there won’t be any season tickets sold for the 2014 season. Instead, all seating will be general admission.

 

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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