The BIG business of sports

 Posted on: May 16 2016

If, as they say, everything is bigger in Texas, well this should fit nicely. A high school in Texas has plans to build a $62.8 million football stadium, and it’s not alone in its plans for bigger and better facilities.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the school board in McKinney, Texas, outside of Dallas, this month approved a $220 million bond proposal for the district, including the construction of a 12,000 seat, $62.8 million football stadium.

Now, McKinney isn’t the first to do this. In fact, the Katy, Texas, Independent School District has proposed a 12,000 seat facility that is expected to cost anywhere from $58 million to $61 million. And the Allen Independent School District, just 10 miles from McKinney, opened an 18,000 seat, $60 million stadium in 2012. For its opening game, the home team had 22,000 fans show up.

“I think McKinney needs it,” said Tim Carroll, director of public information for the Allen school district. Carroll says a larger stadium will benefit not just McKinney but fans from the other schools. Allen, he said, often brings up to 12,000 fans to AWAY games.

Allen High School has a student body of 6,400. McKinney is home to three high schools, accommodating around 7,700 students. "[McKinney has] big schools, and they play big schools," Carroll said.

And big schools mean big money. Tickets cost $8 in McKinney and Allen's district, Carroll said. For a school like Allen, that can mean upward of $144,000 in revenue per game just for filling the seats. Some games draw standing-room only crowds, too.

Of course, not everyone is in favor of the plan. An anti-bond group called Grassroots McKinney, is against the proposal, which includes band hall expansions at local middle schools and a new auditorium at one of the high schools.

Despite the protests, there’s a good chance that in 2018, if the plans stay on schedule, McKinney’s school district will have a new football stadium—and new revenue sources for its school district.


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