New Katy Football Stadium the rule, not the exception in Texas

by Jeff Fisher

PlainsCapital Park at Lowrey Field high school football

Lowrey Field at PlainsCapital Park in Lubbock, Texas underwent $18 million in renovations that were finished in 2013 after voters approved a bond package in 2010.

Our Sea to Shining Sea Tour has taken us 3,200 miles so far from Laguna Beach, California to our present resting place of Charleston, South Carolina.

We’ve seen it all along the way – a high school football game on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona, the Grand Canyon and the grand high school football stadium known as Lowrey Field at PlainsCapital Park in Lubbock, Texas, where my good buddy Jason Strunk is the head coach of the Lubbock High Westerners, Buddy Holly’s alma mater.

There’s been a lot more in-between that you can read about in our earlier posts about our cross-country trip, but today, I decided to try to catch-up on some missed items while driving. The biggest being the next high school football “cathedral” that will be built in Katy, Texas.

For those of you that don’t know about Katy High School, the Tigers have captured seven Texas state championships with 13 appearances in the state finals.  The Tigers finished #22 in our 2013 national rankings and #5 in 2012 when they won the Texas Class 5A Division II title.

Last week, voters approved a $748 million bond package that builds new schools and a new $58 million football stadium in the football-crazed community.  The approval came one year after voters rejected a plan to build a $70 million stadium.

The “scaled-down” $58 million version will seat only 12,000, instead of the 14,000 that would have come with the $70 million model.  It will also keep it behind Allen, Texas’ $60 million dollar home that is currently closed for repairs.

I should also point out that the stadium isn’t just for Katy High School, there are seven schools within the Katy Independent School District that are currently using just one stadium.

For those of you who think such a $58 million expenditure for a high school football stadium is too much, please note that the bond was approved by 55-percent of the voters – that’s a big number.  I believe that the bond approval shows that the residents of Katy are investing in the future of their students and the community, which I believe is a great thing, especially because it’s for schools, not just a stadium.

During my 36 hours in Lubbock with the Westerners, who play in an absolutely gorgeous stadium, I learned that football is making a huge difference for the Lubbock High kids away from what we all see, which is the X’s and O’s and the wins and losses.  Quite honestly, Coach Strunk and his staff are not only changing lives, in some cases, they are saving lives.

That’s not just happening in Lubbock, it’s happening throughout all high school sports programs around this great land of ours.

In a day-and-age when so many of the headlines have been bad – concussions, hazing, etc., I was happy to see that Katy voters thought it was important to invest in our kids’ future.

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.