Plano ISD offers temporary home for Allen football rivals

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by DAVID SCHECHTER / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on May 21, 2014 at 6:40 AM

PLANO, Texas — On any given Friday, Plano is a big rival of Allen High School.

But on Tuesday, that relationship looked more like good neighbors. Allen need some help, and Plano was there to give it.

Compared to Allen’s $60 million football palace, Plano's Clark Field — built in the 1970s — is a pretty modest sight. But Plano’s locker rooms will serve as Allen’s locker rooms for Eagles home games this year.

Plano Athletic Director Gerald Brence didn’t think twice about offering the facility.

“In the end, this is about kids, and we feel like it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Losing the stadium means the state champion Allen Eagles will play three home games — against Dutch Fork, Lewisville, and Flower Mound — in Plano. The two communities also worked out a swap where the two home games in Allen against Plano schools have been moved to Plano.

The shift also means goodbye to some of Allen's Friday night lights, with one game played on a Thursday night and another on a Saturday afternoon.

On the upside, Allen will get eight home games out of 10-game season this fall.

Marching band member Kevin Ruder is a graduating senior who loved marching at the new Eagle Stadium.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be out there in front of close to 20,000 screaming individuals,” he said.

Ruder feels badly that the kids coming up won’t get that experience next year, and fans won’t get the same experience.

“I feel people are going to be disappointed, because they’re not going to have their season tickets,” he said.

But Plano’s athletic director said the disruptions will be minor, and Allen football can rise above the distraction.

“I think if the situation was reversed, I’m very confident Allen would help us out,” Brence said.

Allen will pay about $5,300 per game to rent Plano’s stadiums.

Allen ISD says it doesn’t yet have a number of how much money it will lose from moving the games. Ticket sales alone for five home games is about $600,000.

The district said it expects to be made whole by whoever is responsible for the defects in Eagle Stadium.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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