AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo ISD changed the venue for Friday night’s rivalry football game between Amarillo High and Tascosa to Bain-Schaeffer Buffalo Stadium in Canyon.
The two teams were scheduled to play at Dick Bivins Stadium on Friday, Sept. 23, but the AISD administration decided to switch venues because the game falls on the last weekend of the Tri-State Fair.
AISD Athletic Director Brad Thiessen said the four districts in District 5-2A drew for their football schedules back in February.
“When you get that many districts involved, people are afraid of some advantage being taken,” said Thiessen. “So you end up with just the draw and the way the draw fell this ballgame ended up being right during fair week.”
AISD said it takes all school districts to agree to change dates after the draw, and all four did not approve of moving games. For that reason, the district is bound by the dates previously drawn.
According to AISD, the district anticipates a large crowd and has faced several problems in the past while hosting the game at Dick Bivins stadium during the fair.
“The last time that’s happened I think was about eight years ago, and that it was a mess, it really gave us some issues, we now have some more issues, because with safety being the way it is, we have to have a plan for emergency vehicles.”
Thiessen said typically they use the backside of the fairgrounds to stage emergency vehicles, which is impossible this year.
“If we have something that goes down during the game or at the stadium, we will have a hard time getting any kind of emergency vehicles into the stadium with the traffic that’s coming in from both sides,” said Thiessen.
After discussions, AISD’s administration agreed to move the game to Buffalo Stadium.
Thiessen said they expect between 10,000 and 12,000 fans at Friday’s game.
“It holds about 9,000 and they figured with about 3,000 and standing room all the way around, we anticipate that that’s about what we’ll have. So we think it’ll be fine. The the end zones will open up if we need to,” Thiessen added. “It’s going to be a crazy stadium. So the atmosphere is going to be pretty neat.”
But not everyone is happy about the change, including one football fan Myhighplains.com heard from Thursday afternoon.
“I really don’t like it. I think that it’s just too short to notice…to move the game from the current venue to out at buffalo stadium,” said Glynn Pride.
However, Thiessen said they are selling tickets just as quickly as they always have and do not expect the venue to change the rivalry.
“Obviously, there’s some trepidation from some parents who look at it that we’re losing a little bit of the tradition when their kid is playing. And so we understand that, but we think I really believe that atmosphere when this is over, and they see the atmosphere down there, and how intense the sound will be with all those fans right on top of them. I think they’re going to have a good time and really enjoy it,” said Thiessen.
He said the venue won’t make a difference in the game, which will come down to turnovers and big plays.
“I really believe when when this game is over, that the kids and the parents and the fans will have had a great time in WT’s fabulous stadium,” Thiessen added.
AISD is asking Tascosa fans to park in the lots on the north side of the baseball and softball fields and in the ag building parking lot, and Amarillo High fans to park across the street in the activity center and dorm parking lots.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.