As this ESPN.com article recalls, Ross Perot once asked: “Do we want our kids to win on Friday night on the football field or do we want them to win all through their lives?” Although it can be a false dichotomy if athletics and sports fandom are pursued moderately, this was a fundamental question to ask given how much money so many school districts lavish on sports while pinching pennies (and time) on the important things.
Well, apparently his question has been answered in Allen, Texas and…surprise, surprise…football won again down in the Lone Star State (the star, I imagine, stands for the 1 school still focused on the 3 R’s – and no, I don’t mean running, receiving, and returning kicks). Behold, the $60 million high school stadium:
For the sake of comparison, Fenway Park cost $650,000 to build in 1912. This is only about $15 million today! The Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas was built in 1930 for the whopping price of $328,000. In today’s dollars, that is a mere $4.5 million. Of course, those aren’t the replacement costs for the identical structures.
So get this — The University of North Carolina-Charlotte is currently constructing a new football stadium. Cost? $15 million less than Allen’s!
Is it any wonder that state and local budgets are going bust and many of our children lag behind even developing countries on standardized tests?