As an athletic director of a state high school football power, come playoff time, Cowboys Stadium is the only Metroplex venue that will please the masses.
Because the 3-year-old facility is booked Saturday for a Dallas Cowboys event uniting past and present, playoff teams go to Plan B.
Euless Trinity (10-2) vs. Southlake Carroll (11-1)
Class 5A Division I
Region I semifinal
6 p.m. Sat., Birdville FA/AC
Tickets: $10. In advance: $8 adults, $6 students.
At Euless Trinity: Wed.-Fri. at the school; beginning today at Pennington Field
At Southlake Carroll: 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. today-Thur.; 8 a.m.-noon Fri. at Carroll Sr. HS, Carroll HS and Dragon Stadium
In this case, Birdville Fine Arts/Athletic Complex in North Richland Hills, site of the Class 5A Division I Region I matchup pitting Southlake Carroll (11-1) against Euless Trinity (10-2).
"The standard is Cowboys Stadium and we tried to get in there as much as possible, but it's not available this weekend and from what I understand it may not be available next weekend," Carroll athletic director Kevin Ozee said.
Birdville FA/AC opened in 1999 and seats 12,500. Carroll-Trinity kicks off at 6 p.m.
The selection has drawn the ire of some via social media due to the enormity of the game that features programs that have won eight UIL 5A state championships in the past 10 seasons.
Remarkably, the teams, whose campuses are 11 miles apart, have only clashed once before. In 2006 Carroll edged Trinity 22-21 in the second round of the playoffs before 46,339 fans at Texas Stadium in Irving. Many never made it into the stadium that day due to traffic jams.
"They've only played once and that was an epic battle. It was one for the ages and we're certainly hoping for a similar experience Saturday night," Hurst-Euless-Bedford athletic director Mike Fielder said.
While many were hoping for a Cowboys-type setting reminiscent of '06, Ozee and Fielder along with Carroll coach Hal Wasson and Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver chose to follow the example of 2010's Trinity vs. Coppell game at 12,600-seat Dragon Stadium.
Trinity-Coppell "was the most electric atmosphere you could imagine and probably one of the best high school football games I've ever witnessed," Ozee said. "We think that's what's going to happen Saturday night for our game."
Even with all the available sites in the area with bigger capacities, all involved quickly settled on Birdville.
Talk of SMU, North Texas or Mesquite Memorial quickly fizzled. Too far.
Neither team had played on grass all season, so Amon Carter Stadium at TCU and the Cotton Bowl in Dallas weren't viable options.
As the designated home team Carroll will have 7,500 seats and Trinity will have the visitor's side, which holds 5,000 seats. Areas behind both end zones are for overflow. Extra stands will be brought in for the end zones and there will be standing room only available in at least one if not both end zones.
"The stadium's going to hold, if we're lucky, 12,000 to 15,000 people, and I think it's going to be an incredible, incredible atmosphere," Wasson said. "We've all seen those days when high school stadiums were packed, and Birdville's been a very gracious host. I'm getting goose bumps thinking about the electric atmosphere that it's going to be."
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760
Twitter: @Johnson Jarret
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