Enjoy this, Baylor Nation — McLane Stadium is really here
We are blessed.
For years, Baylor fans talked about the idea of bringing football back to campus from its home two miles away, but it was never more than a “maybe someday…” dream. But then, in less than three years, that idea jumped from dream to possibility to reality — one we will fully enjoy for the first time this Sunday.
Stop and think about that for a moment. Three years is not a long time; for context, consider that most of today’s Baylor seniors were already on campus as freshmen when the first renderings of an on-campus football stadium were unveiled in November 2011. Baylor football players such as Bryce Petty, Antwan Goodley and Bryce Hager had already taken snaps for the Bears.
Now here we are, just a couple of days from seeing the Bears take the McLane Stadium field for the first time. Amazingly, while a few of the details have changed, the core of that first concept is exactly what we see sitting on the banks of the Brazos today. Here’s how we described the idea then:
The architect’s preliminary vision is for a 45,000- to 50,000-seat stadium, open on one end to look out across the Brazos at the Baylor campus, with a red-brick exterior to match Baylor’s campus architecture. A foot bridge would span the river to allow fans and students to walk freely from campus to the stadium and back and offer boat access to the stadium as well.
On Sunday, the first “sailgaters” will celebrate out in the harbor and on the river. Students and alumni will tailgate — on campus — before walking to the game. A sell-out crowd will pack the stadium, as it will every game; after selling out the final four game at Floyd Casey, Baylor fans have snatched up every available ticket for every game this year before the first pass is thrown.
We are blessed. Enjoy the moment, Baylor fans. It’s been a long time coming — but has taken an incredibly short time to actually arrive.
Sic ’em, Baylor family!
[Pictured above: At top, a CGI rendering from March 2012; below, an actual photo taken earlier this month]