Texas Football Stadium Database

W. T. Barrett Stadium

W.T. Barrett Stadium - November 16 1951 - Odessa vs Lubbock

Sixty Years of Football History

The Ector County Independent School District school board started planning to build a new football stadium after the Odessa High School Bronchos won the Texas High School Football State Championship against San Antonio Jefferson on December 28th, 1946

When the plan was revealed, it was seen as very ambitious. The new stadium was to be built toward the north side of Odessa on school land at the corner of 27th Street and Golder Ave. on the west end of the proposed campus of the new Odessa Junior College. The stadium was designed to hold 20,000 fans, 10,000 on each side. The west side would have a two story press box. The stands were 48 rows high and ran from the back of one end zone to the back of the other. The stands were curved around the field to allow for the potential of adding end zone stands to complete a horseshoe or bowl design as needed. The plan called for three large locker rooms, one for each team and the officials on the south end. The facility also included a 10 lane cinder track and other facilities for track and field events. The football field itself was made up of the best grass in town and was kept that way by a full time grounds keeper

The then named 'Broncho Stadium' opened in the fall of 1948. It was one of the largest High School Football Stadiums in the state and there was never any regret about its large size as illustrated in a story told by Bill Dean, an Odessa band director from 1953 - 1981.

"I drove to Odessa to start my new job in the fall of 1953 and arrived at the Odessa High School band hall to meet my new supervisor Robert Maddox. On my way I passed the football stadium and it was obvious to me with the all the lights and cars this must be an important game. When I met with Mr. Maddox I asked him about the game. He told me, 'we will go by there a little later. After we went to the game I was amazed to see it was the 9th grade championship and the crowd numbered about 12,000."
Bill Dean

In 1956 with the untimely death of school superintendent W. T. Barrett the students voted to rename Broncho Stadium to W.T. Barrett Stadium.

With the construction of Ector High School 1957 and Permian High School in 1959 W. T. Barrett stadium became a shared facility. In 1959 three teams called W. T. Barrett Stadium home. Those teams were the Odessa Bronchos, the Ector Eagles and the Permian Panthers.

In the late 1970s there was pressure to build a new stadium. Odessa College needed the land that W.T. Barrett stadium occupied on their campus and growth of the college had created parking issues during big games. Also the success of the Permian Football program and the perceived age of the old stadium made what would seem like an easy bond election for the football-centric community. However it took at least three tries at the ballot before the bonds for a new stadium passed. Most of the controversy was not about the desire or need of a new stadium but the location the stadium. Finally the bond election passed and in 1983 Ratliff Stadium was built at the corner of N. Grandview and East Yukon Road on land donated by the Ratliff family.

The 35 year old stadium wasn't destined to the scrap heap yet. In 1983 W.T. Barrett Stadium was dismantled and sold for $61000 to Leander ISD. It took 57 tractor trailer truck loads to move the stadiums 1 million tons of steel the 300 miles to Leander, Texas. The stadium was reassembled, in a slightly smaller configuration, and renamed Lion Stadium. Later it would be renamed A.C. Bible Jr. Memorial Stadium, in honor of a former school board president who spearheaded the purchase of the old W.T. Barrett Stadium.

The old stadium that had seen so many victories in Odessa added new traditions with each new identity. But time ran out on the old stadium. Plans for a renovation were thwarted because of the cost of mitigating the lead based paint for a much needed paint job. The decision was made by Leander ISD to demolish the old stadium and replace it with a new stadium.

And so it finally happened in December 2008. Broncho / W.T. Barrett / Lion / A.C. Bible Jr. Memorial / Stadium was torn down and sold for scrap.