There's a reason people are still talking about Friday Night Lights. The NBC TV show was loosely based on the book Friday Night Lights written by H. G. Bissinger. The book was about the football players of the Permian High School Panthers in Odessa, Texas. The show was one of the best of its time, giving you all the small-town feels and Texas pride underneath those football stadium lights each week. But, where was Friday Night Lights filmed? The reason viewers felt so connected to the show is because it was filmed in the Panther's back yard: Austin, Texas!
Viewers also felt connected to its characters, especially Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and his wife Tami Taylor (Connie Britton). They were the definition of marriage goals in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas, where high school football is the highlight of everyone's year. The lovable Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch), Jason Street (Scott Porter), Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly), Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford), Julie Taylor (Aimee Teegarden), Landry Clark (Jesse Plemons), Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki) and Buddy Garrity (Brad Leland) kept fans tuning in week after week.
Here are a few filming locations from the show that you can still see today.
1. Dillon High School Stadium
1301 Pecan St., West Pflugerville, Texas 78660
In real life, that football field is at an actual high school. The Kuempel Stadium at Pflugerville High School to be exact. It's not exactly the same as watching the Dillon Panthers, but if you're local, you can stop by the high school for a football game during their season. Also, Pflugerville's football team is also the Panthers so that must have made it easy during filming!
2. Tim Riggins House
2604 Lehigh Dr., Austin, Texas 78723
Taylor Kitsch as Tim Riggins will forever be one of televisions best bad boy characters. The house where he lived with his brother Billy is still a privately owned home in Austin, but you can drive by today and wish you were showing up to one of Riggins' crazy parties.
3. East Dillon High School
3908 Avenue B, Austin, TX 78751
The former Baker Center served as East Dillon on the show though they sold the property to Alamo Drafthouse movie theaters. As of now, nothing has been done with the property so it's unclear what's in store for this space!
4. Panther Field House and Practice Field
7 Flow Ln., Del Valle, TX 78617
Coach Taylor gave his Dillon Panthers many pep talks led by "clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose" in this field house. The field house and the practice field for all of the outdoor shots on the show were captured at the abandoned Del Valle High School by the Austin airport. The area is currently gated off but you can still see the structure (just don't jump the fence). It actually also served as the field house for the Lions, the building is red on the opposite side.
5. The Landing Strip
745 US-183, Austin, TX 78741
In the TV series, Tim Riggins would end a crazy night at this strip club.
6. The Broken Spoke
3201 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78704
Landry's band played a show at this historic honky-tonk in the show's first season. The Broken Spoke is still around today in the middle of the busy street of South Lamar. The honky tonk offers line dancing and some killer old school country music to dance to any night of the week.
7. The Taylor Family's House
6805 De Paul Cove, Austin, TX
Eric, Tami, and their children resided at this quaint family home during the series. It's a private residence so don't bother them, but you can still drive by and wish you knew what it was like to be part of the Taylor family. (Or is that just me?)
A few filming locations in Austin that used to be available to see are currently no longer there, unfortunately:
Matt Saracen's house, Alamo Freeze, Vince Howard's House, Mini Max, Ez's Brick Oven and Grill, and Ray's BBQ.
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This article was originally published on Sept. 2, 2020.