The state of Texas is known for high school football and the heritage and tradition that comes with that reputation. The television series Friday Night Lights was an example of what importance high school football plays in large cities and small towns all over the state of Texas. Nowhere, is this more evident than in Allen, Texas a suburb north of Dallas. Allen has a population of just under 90,000 residents and only one high school. Allen High School is the largest high school in Texas with a listed enrollment of 5,987 students. The Allen Eagle football team is undefeated in UIL Class 5A Division 1 title games, with championships in 2008, 2012 and last night they won their third title beating Pearland 63-28. The game was played at the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium in front of a record crowd of 54,347 Texas high school football fans. Allen entered the game as the No.1 ranked team in the state, defending state champions, and completed their first undefeated season (16-0) in school history. They are 27-0 dating back to their last loss on September 28 ,2012! The story can’t get much bigger than that or can it?
The band, known as the Allen Escadrille has 850 members and is the largest marching band in the United States. They take up almost the entire football field when marching in full formation. Further evidence that we really do things bigger in Texas.
Speaking of doing things big, you have to talk about Allen Eagle Stadium where the football team plays all of their home games. The stadium opened in 2012 and was built at a cost of $59.6 million which currently makes it the most expensive high school stadium built in Texas and possibly the nation. Eagle Stadium is owned and operated by Allen ISD and was funded by a bond that was passed with 63% of the vote. It is the third largest high school stadium in Texas with a seating capacity of 18,000. Of those seats, 8,000 are reserved for Allen football season ticket holders and another 1,000 are reserved for the Allen Escadrille. The remaining 9,000 tickets are divided with 4,000 going to Allen students and general admission and the other 5,000 tickets go the the visiting team. During the last year in the old stadium, a lottery was held for those wanting season tickets that had not had the opportunity before. Over 400 applicants submitted their requests for the 70 slots available.
The stadium itself has features that include three (3) large concession stands, NaturalGrass Matrix turf, and a 75-by-45 foot HD video scoreboard. When the stadium opened on August 31, 2013 in a game that featured Allen versus the defending state 5A champion Southlake Dragons, the game drew 22,000 fans. Yes, they actually had 4,000 standing room only tickets that were sold that day.
Allen Eagle football even has their own Nike commercial. http://youtu.be/v_S3bD7hArQ
As you can see, high school football is king in Allen, Texas and I have no doubt that their excellence on the football field and the commitment and support of the Allen community will continue for many years to come. Source; The Dallas Morning News
Steve Lester is a Realtor living in Allen, Texas.