One wrinkle to the recent release of the NFL schedule that Texas football fans may not have immediately picked up on is the benefit it may have on the area high school game.
As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes, this past season’s Texas prep football state championship games were moved from AT&T Stadium in Arlington to NRG Stadium in Houston, because the Dallas Cowboys hosted the New York Jets on Saturday, Dec. 19, and the Houston Texans were on the road that same weekend against the Indianapolis Colts.
This coming season, however, both the Cowboys and Texans don’t play until the Sunday following Texas state title games from Thursday, Dec. 15, to Saturday, Dec. 17 (even if both teams are hosting opponents within 24 hours of the Class 6A championship games).
Considering attendance for all 10 state title games at AT&T Stadium in 2014 was 250,652 — nearly 100,000 higher than at NRG Stadium in 2015 (156,143) — returning to the Dallas area could prove a financial boon for the state’s University Interscholastic League in 2016, especially since AT&T Stadium charged the organization a whopping $300,000 less in 2014 ($195,000) to use the facilities than NRG stadium did in 2015 ($495,000).
While the choice may seem obvious, the state’s governing body for high school athletics is keeping its options open, as UIL athletic director Susan Elz told the Star-Telegram:
“We’re still looking at venues and still have those same criteria that we have in place.
“We still want the four locker rooms and covered field, and so it’s all open for options right now. We’re still at a point where we’re checking our options and figuring what we’re going to do and where will the best place be to have the state championship games.”