It’s often true that everything is bigger in Texas, but that’s rarely more true than when considering the attendance at high school sporting events. The ultimate case comes each December during the UIL football state title games, which draw crowds that would make some collegiate programs jealous.
As it turns out, 2012 was no exception, with the final game of a title game slate at Cowboys Stadium drawing a whopping 48,379 fans to watch Allen (Texas) High knock off Houston (Texas) Lamar High, 35-21.
Incredibly, the Allen-Lamar total fell short of setting a new state record, but it does serve as a powerful testament to just how rabid high school football fans are in Texas. Other top football states can’t even compare to the size of the Texas prep fan base.
Consider, for instance, the case of California: The attendance for the three CIF bowl games at the Home Depot Center, a slate of games meant to emulate what Texas produces at Cowboys Stadium, drew just 11,631 fans.
Not only did Texas draw more than four times more fans than California, it featured an attendance within 5,600 fans of an NFL game earlier this season; Buffalo’s 34-18 victory at Jacksonville featured an attendance of 53,971.
This huge football fan base is precisely the reason why other stadiums are desperate to get in on Cowboys Stadium’s action. Houston’s Reliant Stadium has reportedly purchased a removable Field Turf surface in part so it could host high school football events, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which game it would ideally get to host (here’s a hint: more than 48,000 people paid to watch it in 2012).
Regardless of who gets to host the games in the future, one thing seems certain: There will be plenty of fans at Texas high school football games for years to come.
Outside the Game from Yahoo! Sports
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