Friday nights have always been big in Allen, Texas, but beginning in 2012, they will be even bigger.
This is Texas, of course.
Ground has been broken on an $59.6 million stadium for the Allen High Eagles, one of the powerhouse teams in the state. The facility will seat 18,000, have a video scoreboard, separate seating for students and band and a wall of honor to recognize former players.
By comparison, Central Florida's Bright House Networks Stadium, which seats 45,000 and opened in 2007, cost $54 million.
Allen's stadium was part of a $120 million bond package passed in May 2009. Money is also being used to build a state-of-the-art auditorium.
"The new stadium has been discussed for a number of years and the bond was passed," coach Tom Westerberg said. "We are very excited to get this project done and get in there and play."
Allen's existing stadium was built in the 1970s and seats 7,000, but officials say it has outlived it usefulness. The north Dallas suburb has experienced booming growth in recent years and the powerhouse team played before 50,000 last season at the new Texas Stadium in Irving.
"We finally maxed out on growth," said Tim Carroll, the public information director for the district.
"[The cost] may appear high to other parts of the country, but it compares to what people are doing here. It becomes an economy of scale."
The high school, built in 2000, has more than 600,000 square feet and an enrollment of 3,900 students between the 10th-12th grades.
Thanks to the Midwest Correspondent.