The $70 million McKinney ISD Stadium -- one of the most expensive high school facilities in the nation -- hosted its first football game on Thursday.
There were concerns the opening might be delayed after cracks were discovered in parts of the stadium’s concrete early this year, but the cracks were determined not to be a safety issue.
McKinney ISD Athletic Director Shawn Pratt showed off the brand new synthetic turf field, seating for 12,000 spectators, new locker rooms and a state of the art broadcast booth that students will run during a tour on Wednesday.
“When the kids come out on this field and you see their expression, it's made this project well, well worth it,” Pratt said.
Despite all the amenities, district leaders shrug off the notion of a competition.
“It's not about trying to outdo any other district around. It's simply about providing a first class facility for the kids and families of McKinney ISD,” said MISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel.
Like the nearby $60 million stadium in Allen, this project isn't without its flaws. In January, significant cracks were discovered. The superintendent said the cracks are cosmetic and will be addressed in the spring -- but won't derail the start of football season.
“I can assure you none of these issues are structural in nature,” McDaniel said.
Until then, games will go on. Expect other events there too.
“We have had a number of different people reach out to us about the venue from some collegiate athletics to things that aren't involved with athletics and we are talking to them,” Pratt said.
The stadium was approved by voters in a 2016 bond election.
Three games in three days will inaugurate the stadium: McKinney vs McKinney North on Thursday, McKinney Boyd vs Rowlett on Friday and Garland Naaman Forrest vs Prosper on Saturday.