Allen HS stadium closing for fall

Big doesn't necessarily mean better in Texas.

The $60 million football stadium at Allen High School that opened in 2012 will be closed for games this fall due to concrete cracking in the structure.

The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday that design flaws at the stadium's concourse level contributed to the cracking, with some support structures not made in a way that would sustain the weight anticipated on that level of 18,000-seat Eagle Stadium.

The discoveries were made during an analysis of the facility commissioned by the school district after the cracking became apparent in February, according to documents obtained by the Morning News. About 70 percent of the analysis has been complete; a full report is due next month.

"The stadium is not safe for public assembly," superintendent Lance Hindt told the newspaper.

Allen, the reigning Class 5A Division I state champion, will instead play three "home" games at two stadiums in nearby Plano. According to the Morning News, Allen will pay Plano $5,300 for each game.

Allen will not sell football season tickets this year.

In 2009, Allen taxpayers approved a $119 million bond issue that included funding for the stadium, which has a high-definition video board, a second deck on one sideline and vendor stands hawking Chick-fil-A and Texas barbecue.

The facility is the flashiest example of the grandeur of high school football in Texas, where the "Friday Night Lights" have been glamorized in books, movies and television.

PBK Architects designed the stadium and Pogue Construction built it.

The district said Tuesday that both companies had offered $1 million each to allow repairs to begin, but that their insurance companies refused to make the payments.

"Our commitment to Allen students and taxpayers remains firm that the stadium be repaired properly at the expense of those responsible for the failure: the architect and the builder," Hindt said in a statement.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.