To say that Texans love football would be an understatement. Texans love football the way Johnny loved June. Texans love football the way Donald Trump loves his hair. Texans love football the way Kanye West loves Kanye West. The religious-like attendance at high school football games all across Texas is a testament to our devotion to the sport.
The passion can get even more intense the further you get from the city. When traveling through small-town Texas on a Friday night in the Fall, it’s liable to seem like a ghost town unless you happen to pass the stadium, and the only stations you’ll get out in the boonies will be gospel, country and broadcasts of high school football games.
Obviously, when you love something as fervently as Texans love football, you build shrines to it, and in Texas those shrines come in the form of multimillion-dollar football stadiums that would make some NFL teams jealous. Mckinney, Texas, for instance, just decided to build its high school a $62.8 million stadium. Some of these monoliths are in the big cities, but some are pretty isolated. Here are 10 of the biggest high school football stadiums in Texas.*
*Statistics are from Texasbob.com and are ranked according to seating capacity based on available information.
10. Burger Stadium in Austin- 15,000 capacity
Photo: Elizabeth Abrahamsen
Built in 1975, the Tony Burger Activity Center and Stadium is the home field of four high schools in the Austin Independent School District. Named for celebrated Austin High School coach Elton Toney “Coach” Burger, the Toney Burger Activity Center and Stadium was christened two years after it opened.
9. Stallworth Stadium in Baytown - 16,500 capacity
Built in 1969, Stallworth Stadium in Baytown, Texas, is the largest high school stadium in the Houston area. Home to three high schools in the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District, Stallworth can seat over 16,000 fans.
8. San Angelo Stadium in San Angelo - 17,500 capacity
Stuck out in the middle of three different interstates, the isolation of the town of San Angelo may cause you to mistake it for a small town, but small it is not. The city is home to almost 100,000 residents and three high schools, all of which call the San Angelo Stadium home. The stadium was built in 1956 and was one of the first horseshoe shaped stadiums built in Texas. Photos of San Angelo Stadium once hung in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as an ideal example of what was considered modern engineering at the time.
7. Ratliff Stadium in Odessa - 17,900 capacity
Due to the popularity of the movie and television show “Friday Night Lights”, most Americans are aware of the fervency of football in Odessa, Texas. The home stadium to the Odessa Bronchos and the Permian Panthers, Ratliff Stadium was built in 1982 and lost about 1,500 seats after a renovation in the early 2000s, which cleaned up the turf and brought the stadium into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
6. Buccaneer Stadium in Corpus Christi - 18,000 capacity
Corpus Christi Buccaneer Stadium was built in 1938 and can hold over 18,000 football fans on any given Friday night in the Fall. The home field of Roy Miller High School, Buccaneer Stadium once hosted a 1997 playoff game between Calallen and La Marque that drew over 23,000 fans. For that game, extra, temporary seating had to be brought in.
5. Allen Eagle Stadium in Allen - 18,000 capacity
A major cause of controversy in the Dallas suburb of Allen, Texas, the Allen Eagle Stadium cost around $65 million to build and was condemned less than two years after its completion. The stadium (at the time of its opening in 2013) boasted a jumbotron and concessions that offered Chic-fil-a and Texas barbecue, among other amenities not normally found at high school football games. Within 18 months of the stadium’s debut, cracks and major structural faults were found all throughout the stadium, and it was subsequently closed. The architectural firm that originally built the stadium funded its repairs, and it reopened earlier this month, just in time to host graduation for the Allen High School class of 2015.
4. Farrington Field in Fort Worth - 18,500 capacity
Owned by Fort Worth Independent School District and opened in 1939, Farrington Field is one of Texas’s largest and oldest operating high school football stadiums in the state. The stadium is shared by several high schools in the area.
3. Alamo Stadium in San Antonio - about 18,500 capacity
Alamo Stadium is home to eight high schools in the San Antonio Independent School District which accounts for its oversized seating capacity. Dubbed the “rock pile” by locals for its limestone construction, the stadium underwent massive renovations in 2011 which reduced its seating capacity, thereby unseating it as Texas’s largest high school football stadium.
2. Memorial Stadium in Mesquite - 20,000 capacity
Another monolithic stadium in Texas is Memorial Stadium in Mesquite. The Dallas suburb shares the jumbo field between all five of the high schools in Mesquite. The stadium has been in operation since 1976 and is often used as a neutral location to host state playoff games due to its size.
1. Toyota Stadium in Frisco - 20,500 capacity
Though Toyota Stadium was built primarily as a professional soccer field, its use as the football stadium for Frisco High School gets it admission to this list. The stadium opened in 2005 and was the home field of FC Dallas, the professional soccer team in Dallas. During football season, Toyota Stadium hosts the football games of Frisco Independent School District’s seven high school teams.