While many U.S. cities are defaulting on their debts or are the verge of bankruptcy, Allen High School in Texas is set to open its $60 million football stadium later this month.
No, that is not a typo. Sixty million dollars is the correct amount.
In the throes of the Great Recession, Allen voters overwhelmingly supported a $119 million bond initiative that included funding for the 18,000-seat stadium, a new auditorium, and a “transportation, maintenance and nutrition center”, FOXSportsSouthwest.com reported.
The website reported that the district has almost 5,400 high school-age students and that the previous stadium really could not accommodate all the fans. (The article does a solid job of explaining the situation and easing the initial furor one might feel after hearing about a $60 million stadium.)
One section of the article really grabbed my attention. “The stadium itself serves more than just football. Under the east stands is an 84-yard long weight room. Under the west stands is a workout room and coaches offices for the wrestling program. There are also indoor hitting areas for the golf teams.”
Though some soccer matches will be played there as well, I am left with one question: Will female athletes get much benefit from the new facility?
The issue here is not the money spent as officials believe the stadium will be a revenue generator. Rather the concern should be whether this project helped as many athletes – male and female – as it possibly could.
-- Steve Bien-Aimé