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$60 million high school football stadium closed for next season

Posted: May 21, 2014 at 1:35 p.m.

This Aug. 28, 2012 file photo shows the front entrance of Eagle Stadium at Allen High School in Allen, Texas. The $60 million high school football stadium that opened to massive fanfare in 2012 will be shut down for the upcoming season after cracks were found in the building's concrete concourse. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

ALLEN, Texas (AP) — A $60 million high school football stadium that opened to massive fanfare in 2012 will be shut down for the upcoming season after cracks were found in the building's concrete concourse.

Administrators in Allen, Texas, northeast of Dallas, had hoped to have Eagle Stadium ready for this fall's games, but said further inspections found the structural problems will need significant repair. They insist the architectural firm and construction company will fund any repairs.

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," superintendent Lance Hindt said in a statement.

Allen taxpayers approved a $119 million bond issue that included funding for the 18,000-seat stadium, with a high-definition video board, a second deck on one sideline and vendor stands hawking Chick-fil-A and Texas barbeque.

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.

But the district had to close the stadium in February after extensive cracks were discovered in the concourse. An outside consulting firm hired by the district has found further building code violations, including parts of the stadium where seating capacity exceeds the legal maximum by more than 70 percent.

Allen, which won the Class 5A Division I state championship last year, will not sell football season tickets this year. It will host three "home" games at two stadiums in neighboring Plano and switch two other home games to road games.

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