Friday Night Lights: A New High Tech Football Stadium for McKinney ISD

State of the art visuals created by 900lbs will light up McKinney this football season.

Last night, the McKinney Independent School District opened the doors to its new $70 million, 12,000-person stadium, taking Texas high school football to a whole new level. 

In addition to a state-of-the-art arena, the McKinney ISD Stadium houses the largest TrueHD video board in Texas high school football, says Steve Deitz, CEO and founder of  900lbs of Creative. Deitz and his team at 900lbs—a Dallas-based tech-driven creative agency that works with digital imaging, lighting, and more—took it to the next level.

900lbs is used to being in the sports world, as it has designed projects for professional teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Mavericks, and Philadelphia Eagles. However, this was its first time working with a high school, and according to Deitz, the firm was excited to work with the “next generation” of football. 

“Ongoing, there is going to be more and more stadiums created, and more and more large HD and 4K jumbotrons that are going to be created.” Steve Deitz

As for the future of luxury stadiums being taken to the high school level in the Lone Star State, Deitz believes that this is just the beginning. 

“Texas, in general, is known for football,” Deitz says. “Ongoing, there is going to be more and more stadiums created, and more and more large HD and 4K jumbotrons that are going to be created.”

While the stadium itself has been in the works since May 2016, 900lbs completed the animation, motion graphics, story and editing, scripting, voice-overs, and all of the production in just eight weeks. 

The stadium will be shared by three different high schools in the McKinney area, and was paid for by local taxpayers. While this may seem like a daunting task for those in charge of visuals, the staff at 900lbs was looking forward to taking on the project. 

“We had to compile assets from three different high schools, those three different logos, mascots, colors, sponsors, and condense those all into one really cool hype video, and a whole bunch of graphics to go on the ribbon board as wellso it was a really fun challenge,” Deitz says. 

CRACKS DETERMINED TO BE COSMETIC, NOT STRUCTURAL

The stadium also made headlines in recent weeks after cracks were discovered in several slabs in January, causing widespread concern. The cracks have been deemed cosmetic rather than structural by Nelson Forensics, after the firm was hired to examine the issue. Manhattan Construction Co. and Stantec Architecture, who were hired to construct the stadium, are scheduled to make repairs once football season is over in the spring at no cost to taxpayers, The Dallas Morning News reported

McKinney ISD Superintendent Rick McDaniel said that none of the cracks are structural in nature, and that it is completely safe for the stadium to open for this season. Nelson Forensics has warned that the cracks could widen and corrode, according to KERA News, but the stadium is not in any immediate danger. 

Officially open, the stadium welcomed its first local rivalry last night when McKinney North defeated McKinney High School, and it will host two more teams this evening. 

VIDEO GALLERY

Motion video courtesy of 900lbs.  

Updated Sept. 1, 2018, 9:22 a.m.

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