Uganda, big-eyed starving children are going to hate this article. Our
only hope is possibly the Ugandan Times doesn’t carry Silliman on
Sports. I know they would hate it in Haiti, if there happened to be any
newspapers still standing. In earthquake devastated Southern Chili,
they also will not welcome this story.
Okay, here it is: A high school in Texas is building
a $ 60 million-dollar football stadium.
In Allen, Texas, north of Plano, for their 5A champion team, they are
laying out $ 60 million for a football stadium… or enough money to feed
a million starving Ugandans for a year.
“Wait a moment,” says Tim Carroll, public
information officer for the district in an article by Yahoo Sports,
“this isn’t just an ordinary stadium. It will be state-of-the-art,
18,000 seats, with video scoreboard, four concession stands and twelve
Thanks for pointing that out, Tim. The kiddos in
Somalia can rest so much better now. We didn’t expect it to be
county-of-the-art but still $ 60 Mil for high school seems a little
“You don’t get it, Mr. Silliman,” says Mr. Carroll.
“We’re a large school, 3900 in our top three grades. Our district
passes big bond packages. Plus, we’re not all about athletics. We’re
spending almost as much for our performing arts center.”
Well, that will soothe those slighted Haitians,
knowing that the relief packages they didn’t get funds Shakespeare as
well as the spread offense.
Let’s put a little perspective on this. The Allen
Eagles are getting a high school stadium for roughly the same cost as a
city (Oklahoma City) spent on an arena to house an NBA basketball
team. Both facilities seat approximately the same number of fans (actually, the Ford Center seats about
1500 more) except that the basketball arena is indoors, heated
and air-conditioned and hosts close to 100 events per year.
“You still don’t get it, Mr. Silliman,” Tim says,
preparing to enlighten me. “Our students will take up 4000 seats and
1000 seats are reserved for the band.”
I understand. And you expect as much as 5300
visitors from the opposing team to pack the other side of the field.
I’m sure you’ll have no trouble filling it, especially when they hear
about the twelve restrooms.
“Did I tell you we have the largest band I the
country, 600 strong?”
I didn’t realize that. Well, of course then, by all
means, you must spend $ 60 Mil for a facility.
“You’re being snarky, aren’t you?”
I just think the cost might be a wee bit out of
proportion for potential revenue. Did I mention that the basketball
arena I was comparing it to averages over $ 80 per seat for 41 games?
Are you going to charge anywhere close to that for high school football?
“You still don’t see the whole picture. The facility
will be used by the entire community… not just FOOTBALL.”
Why don’t you just say you’re filthy rich? The
little boys and girls of Uganda understand that. You happen to be
living in Texas, they’re in a hellhole. C’est la vie.