When Allen (Texas) High opened its new, $60 million home stadium on Friday, fans flocked to celebrate a uniquely Texan experience. After all, who else would spend tens of millions of dollars on a prep football facility?
Now, for the first time, that Allen sticker shock may not seem so glaring, after the Dallas Morning News uncovered the sponsorship deals which will be brought in at the stadium, raising funds that could go some way toward easing the fiscal burden on the town. The details add another layer of gloss to Allen's season-opening, 24-0 shutout win against fellow perennial state power Southlake (Texas) Carroll High.
As noted by the Morning News' Jeff Mossier, Allen already has six $35,000 annual sponsors who have committed to a three-year sponsorship term, guaranteeing $105,000 from each company to the Allen School Board. Those six sponsors range from the local -- an Allen-area car dealer, supermarket and hospital are all among the "founding" sponsors -- and MetroPCS, a major wireless carrier. The school still has room for four more founding sponsors, meaning that the district was hoping to raise more than $1 million in the first three years of the stadium's operation from top-tier sponsors alone.
While the Eagles may not have landed their full complement of top paying sponsors, they still have plenty of others more than willing to jump on board with lesser commitments. Companies like Chick-Fil-A, Dr. Pepper and Duckie's Barbeque Pit, a local establishment, all shell out $15,000 per year in sponsorship funds as part of their concession rights.
Put all that sponsorship dough together, and Allen was clearly aiming at pulling in more than $500,000 per year from sponsors for a high school football product which will be hosted at the stadium as few as six times per season. They may not quite hit that threshold yet, but if they can fill the remaining slots at their founder level, the Eagles could probably go on to reach the $500,000 annual mark without trouble.
Clearly the outlay is a significant amount for any company involved in the school's sponsorship plan, yet it still pales in comparison to the overall construction cost absorbed by the district. No one can possibly think that Allen plans on completely earning back all the money it spent constructing Eagle Stadium. After all, at current rates that would take 60 years.
Still, the significant influx of sponsorship money is no coincidence, with the combination of Allen's on-field success and a new, exciting facility encouraging plenty of area businesses to jump on board with high school football.