13 incredible high school football stadiums
Two Texas school districts are shelling out big bucks to build state-of-the-art high school football stadiums. McKinney, Texas voted last week to build a $62.8 million, 12,000-seat venue, one-upping Katy, Texas’ $62.5 million project that broke ground in February for the most expensive high school stadium in the country.
Here is a list of 13 must-see high school football stadiums already standing across the country, in alphabetical order, that these new stadiums will join upon completion.
Alamo Stadium (San Antonio, Texas)
Nicknamed “The Rock Pile” for its limestone construction, Alamo Stadium seats 23,000.
Home to several high schools in the San Antonio area, the stadium was built during The Great Depression through the government's Works Progress Administration. The initial construction cost was about $500,000, and the stadium finally received its first major renovation before the 2014 season to the tune of $35 million. Alamo Stadium received new turf and seating and added a new press box and digital scoreboard.
Bazemore-Hyder Stadium (Valdosta, Ga.)
Bazemore-Hyder was built in 1922 and received major renovations in 2004. The $6.5 million project included a synthetic turf surface, a two-story enclosed press box and new seats, entrances, restrooms and concession areas. The upgrades also increased the stadium's capacity to 11,249.
The stadium is home to Valdosta High, the all-time winningest high school football program in the United States. Some believe it is also home to the Valdosta Association of Free Mason Worship.
Cathy Parker Field (Barrow, Ala.)
There isn't much, if any, official seating, but you can always try plopping down on the frozen surface of Imikpuk Lake.
Cathy Parker Field is located right on the water three miles south of the northernmost point of land in the United States. And you thought Lambeau Field had tough playing conditions.
The field cost about $500,000 to build, and it was the result of a fundraising effort by Cathy Parker, a woman from Jacksonville. The field itself, which has a chain link fence surrounding the playing surface, isn't anything too special, but it's a major upgrade from the patch of dirt the Barrow Whalers used to play on.
Eagle Stadium (Allen, Texas)
The $60 million Eagle Stadium is a sight to behold. It seats 18,000 and has a 75-by-45 foot scoreboard with a 38-by-23 foot high definition video board. There are larger stadiums in Texas, but this is the largest for a field that serves only one high school.
The stadium has only been open for a few years, but Allen High School is undefeated there with a record of 20–0.
Eagle Stadium was condemned in February 2014 due to cracking in the concrete. After being closed for 15 months, it reopened in June 2015 and served as the Eagles home field once again that fall.
Memorial Stadium (Mesquite, Texas)
Memorial Stadium cost $2.7 million to build 40 years ago, which is a little more than $11 million in today's money. $11 million of renovations ahead of the 2015 season added a new facade, an expanded concession and restrooms area, new locker rooms, a new press box and three elevators.
Memorial Stadium seats 20,000 and is a popular neutral-site for Texas High School Football playoff games.
Monument Valley High (Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah)
Sometimes cattle wander on to the field and cause delays. That's what happens when your football field is located in the heart of the Navajo Reservation with not much more than a health center and a church nearby.
This is a spot where the scenery is bound to be better than the football, and that's not necessarily a knock on the football.
Ratliff Stadium (Odessa, Texas)
Ratliff Stadium was featured in Friday Night Lights as home of the Permian Panthers, and it is home to Odessa High School as well.
With the dedication of Texas football fans, Ratliff does not have trouble selling out its capacity of about 19,500 with standing room.
The stadium is wired for television, and all games are rebroadcast locally on Sundays.
Former Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams was an All-State player for Permian in 1998 and 1999.
Roosevelt Stadium (Union City, N.J.)
You have to get creative when building a football stadium in the most densely populated city in the country. Located in Union City, N.J., Roosevelt Stadium is situated on the roof of Union City High School.
The stadium cost $15 million to complete and includes 40-foot tall nets behind the end zones to catch field goals and errant passes. The urban location offers views of the New York City skyline across the Hudson River.
Round Valley Ensphere (Eagar, Ariz.)
Built in 1991, Round Valley Ensphere remains the only domed high school football stadium in the United States. The stadium cost $11 million to construct and has been the home to Round Valley High School for 25 years.
The dome is the first of its kind to be fully day lighted, allowing light and heat to enter.
Round Valley Ensphere is closed for the time being after sustaining water damage in 2015.
San Angelo Stadium (San Angelo, Texas)
San Angelo Stadium was such a marvel when it was built that a picture of the bowl was on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York during the 1960s as “an outstanding example of 20th century engineering.”
Home to two local high schools, Central and Lake View, it is the fourth-largest high school football stadium in Texas with a capacity of 17,500. The stadium received a new artificial turf playing surface and expanded scoreboard in 2003 and new locker rooms, weight and training rooms and office space in 2010.
Stadium Bowl (Tacoma, Wash.)
Originally built in 1910 with a beautiful view of Commencement Bay and the Puget Sound, the Stadium Bowl is one of the oldest high school football venues around. The original stadium seated 32,000 but has since had its capacity reduced to 15,000.
It was also the site of Heath Ledger singing Frankie Valli's “Can't Take My Eyes Off” in the 1999 romantic comedy 10 Things I Hate About You.
The Stadium Bowl closed temporarily last October after extensive flooding.
Sue D. Cooley Stadium (Lahaina, Hawaii)
Located in the West Maui Mountains, the football field at Lahainaluna High School overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Lahainaluna High is the oldest public high school west of the Mississippi River but did not have its own home field until 2015.
Sue D. Cooley contributed nearly 80 percent of the $9 million construction cost, and the school named the field in her honor.
Washington High School Stadium (San Francisco, Calif.)
Since 1940, George Washington High School's football field has overlooked the Golden Gate Bridge. There is also a 2,500-square foot frieze with artwork of ancient and modern Olympic sports and quotes from philosophers.