Everything’s bigger in Texas, and now the record-setting budget for a new high school football stadium has reportedly ballooned to a whopping $70 million.
Voters in McKinney approved a $63.5 million stadium in May, but just three months later, planners have called an audible -- tacking on another $6.5 million to the cost of the 12,000-seat gridiron showcase. The stadium will top a $62.5 million, 12,000-seat facility under construction in Katy and a $60 million stadium that opened in Allen in 2014 to become the costliest ever to host prep pigskin.
“We’re visionaries,” McKinney Independent School District Superintendent Rick McDaniel told the Dallas Morning News after 63 percent of local voters passed a $220 million bond issue to fund the stadium and other district improvements. “And we believe we have a vision for McKinney ISD that will propel us forward for a long time.”
The cost overrun was blamed on rising concrete and labor prices, according to WFAA.
As with pro sports venues that can cost upwards of $1 billion, much of the sales pitch for the high school stadium was about its value as a catalyst for development. Local officials believe it will bring restaurants and retail shops to the town, some 37 miles north of Dallas.
Not everyone was thrilled at the expenditure, with Grassroots McKinney campaigning against it.
“We’re disappointed,” Mike Giles, one of the group's leaders, told the newspaper. “But the people have spoken.”
The stadium, which will be the home field for all three of McKinney's high schools, is slated to host its first kickoff in 2017, the same season the stadium under construction in Katy is set to open.