When I arrived in Texas 10 years ago, I was probably told a dozen times by helpful strangers that âFootball is religion in Texas.â
While itâs true that football is football and religion is religion, itâs also true that players and fans in this state do worship the game, from the time their sons start in youth football and working their way up from there. By the time many players reach their senior year, they have already been playing together for 12.
That level of dedication to youth sports is what frames tonightâs opening of the new $59.6 million Eagle Stadium in Allen, Texas. As our sportswriter Matt Wixon reports, it has â18,000 seats, two scoreboards, a 38-foot wide high-definition video screen, 42 lines for concessions and the refined look of a college stadium.â The comparison to a college stadium isnât a stretch. Many writers are pointing out that itâs bigger and better than what many small colleges have.
Wixonâs fellow sportswriter Corbett Smith showed that the stadium was just one piece of a $119 million bond package â" which included the stadium, a performing arts center and a district service center â" which the cityâs roughly 88,000 residents passed in May 2009 with 63 percent approval, fresh on the heels of a $219 million bond for new school construction six months earlier.
If football is religion in Texas, this one community wonât have to pray for much other than victory.
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