Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Youth Football: $60 Million High School Stadium

Football is big in Ohio, but not as big as it is in Texas.

Check out the new $60M stadium at Allen High School in Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.





This $60,000,000 stadium seats 18,000 people, has a three-tiered press box, and a huge 26 ft by 44 ft jumbotron. I'm sure Jerry Jones was impressed with this until he heard that Carthage HS spent $750,000 on a 1,200 sq foot scoreboard. Find more details about the new Allen High School Stadium here.

The Main Point

While the Chicago school teachers strike is front page news, Allen Texas is unveiling a new $60 Million high school football stadium.

Wow.

I am sure this extravagant use of money for a high school football stadium is upsetting many many people. I can practically hear arguments, "that money should have gone into general education."

Here is my take on it.

This country has poured millions and millions of dollars down a rat hole for the sake of education and our schools on a whole have not improved, in fact they have declined. Money is not the problem with our schools it is the approach we take to education. 

Regardless, this stadium was paid for by a bond referendum voted on by the citizens of the community.

What is a bond referendum?

A bond referendum puts the sale of bonds to generate revenue up for vote. If approved the money generated from the bonds can be used for acquiring, building, enlarging, or improving buildings or school grounds, or for any other use of the public schools within a district. The bonds are generally issued for a 20-year period and are repaid with property tax revenue. Investors buy the bonds and expect a return on their money. That money is used for the improvements, in this case a stadium. The bond holders are repaid with the increased property tax money approved through public vote.

So, no general education money was used. No teachers salaries were cut or raises denied because of this expense. 

The crazy youth sports community of Allen, Texas loves high school football. They had an old stadium that was too small to meet the demand. The fine people of Allen, Tx wanted this stadium, they voted for it and they figured out a way to pay for it. From all accounts I have read, Allen High School is a great school and offers much more than just football. They have a high graduation rate, a top drama / performing arts program and the largest HS marching band in the country. They are doing things right.

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  1. "Officials concede they will never recoup the cost of building the stadium but say revenues -- including six sponsorships that will bring in $35,000 a year -- will cover the cost of operating it."

    As far as payroll is concerned $35,000 is not even an appetizer.

    Think about it. An employee's salary, a maintenance worker or groundskeeper for instance, could deplete their annual revenue. o_O

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