Katy ISD unveils 12,000-seat, $70.3 million stadium

18 August 2017

Katy ISD had its first chance to show off the new Legacy Stadium to the public during a series of tours preceding the stadium dedication Thursday.

Located across from Rhodes Stadium, the 12,000-seat, $70.3 million Legacy Stadium is the new jewel of the burgeoning Houston suburb. It sports a design and features that push it to the center of the Texas high school football landscape.

It comes complete with a 1,500-square-foot high-definition scoreboard, a ribbon board, a fieldhouse that houses everything from state title trophies to offices and everything in between.

There were hurdles to get to this point, like the failed bond issue that rejected a more expensive version of the stadium in 2013. But Katy ISD officials said this was needed and received input on the stadium's features. Katy ISD hopes the creation of this stadium is the first step toward limiting Thursday games.

"We really tried to make it something that our community could be proud of but also that would be functional for our participants and our fans," Katy ISD athletic director Debbie Decker said.

That functionality is what Decker praises most. For example, there is a space for bands to prepare to perform just outside the stadium behind the scoreboard. It'll keep them from gathering outside the end zone during game play before halftime, which is a common sight at many other stadiums.

The top floor of the press box houses a film deck, police command station and hospitality suites for corporate entities complete with a flat screen TV and viewing decks.

The concession stands on each side are 1,500 square feet and will offer new items Rhodes Stadium does not.

Some of the best seats in the house might be outside the hospitality rooms in the field house. Those hospitality rooms will be reserved for the home team or for rent.

Bulging trophy case

Legacy Hall in the field house is another highlight. There, you'll find a trophy case with state titles from every Katy ISD program that has won one. A bit of legwork was put into finding commemorative T-shirts from every year a Katy ISD athletics team won a state title, so the shirts could be framed and placed in the hall.

Two 2,600-square-foot locker rooms are another staple in the field house. They can be divided into four at 1,300 square feet each. There also is a co-ed training room in this space.

A game-day operations room and designated rooms for officials are also in the field house, but Katy ISD officials are excited about the first-aid room, too, which can be used for players and fans. If someone needed medical attention in the past, it usually took place in the back of an ambulance.

Perhaps the stadium's best feature are the lights on the façades on both sides of the stadium. The home side will be lit with the school color of the home team and same for the away team on the opposite side, as long as it's a fellow Katy ISD team. If it's not, the away side will also be lit with school colors of the home team.

Hometown feel

The idea came from HKS Architects and VLK Architects and Katy ISD officials embraced it.

"We wanted to try to create some type of an atmosphere, an atmosphere that when our fans pull up, they have that hometown feel," Decker said. "Like they're the only game in town."

Katy Taylor hosts Foster to open the stadium Aug. 31.