A new look at Baylor’s new football stadium
March 13, 2012 2:54 pm, CDT

By: Flint Harris

Baylor has one of the worst stadiums in all of major college football, but that is about to change. Baylor graduate and billionaire Drayton McLane Jr. has made the largest capital gift in Baylor history to make this waterfront stadium a reality. McLane made his money in the logistics industry. McLane took over the family business and turned it into an empire. McLane eventually sold it to Sam Walton (Yes, that Sam Walton=Wal-Mart) for 10.4 million shares of Wal-Mart and $50 million dollars. McLane was giving name rights for his donation, but asked the stadium be named Baylor Stadium. Baylor Stadium will be on-campus and hold 45,000 fans with the capacity to expand to 55,000. The school said with a successful spring fundraising campaign, Baylor Stadium could host the first game of the 2014 season.

Baylor Stadium at night.

Baylor Stadium from the end zone.

A bird's eye view of Baylor Stadium.

Baylor Stadium could open in 2014.


19 Responses to “A new look at Baylor’s new football stadium”

  1. Daniel Kirk says:

    The statement that Floyd Casey stadium “is one of the worst stadiums
    in all of college football” is (to be charitable) patently false. It seats
    50,000, is comfortable, has adequate parking, good traffic egress
    to major highways and arteries, plus suites and updated facilities
    that are state of the art on the north end. There have been precious
    few occasions when its seating and parking have not been adequate
    to accommodate any previous crowd. The mania for a “new on campus
    stadium” costing well over $200-million is unwarranted in this
    economy and could be utilized which much greater ROI on other
    university academic projects without harming the football program.

    • flintharris says:

      Daniel,

      How many college football stadiums have you been to? I have seen 50 in person (everywhere in the SEC and Big 12) and watched games in more than 30. Floyd Casey is on par with stadiums at Vanderbilt, Kansas, and Duke. Your debate about ROI is interesting. I bet RG3 and the success of the basketball teams helps enrollment far more than anything the academic side of the equation at Baylor (a solid institution) could ever dream of doing. A private school like Baylor needs students to come to Baylor. RG3, Brittney Griner, and Perry Jones III are making that happen.

    • Ed says:

      I know this a very old post – Daniel you are out of your mind. Parking at Floyd Casey is awful, it’s uncomfortable, incredibly hot, and it has the worst PA system I’ve ever been forced to listen to ever.

  2. DJ says:

    Two points:
    1) I believe that Mr. McLane has certainly earned the right with the size of this gift to have his name spelled correctly in this article… a very simple check on Google would have sufficed.
    2) Secondly, I agree that this stadium is a waste of money – especially when they are actually reducing seating capacity at the stadium. They should at least wait and see how the program performs now that Griffin has graduated. Baylor football will now return to thier previous level of performance.
    As far as beinf rated on a par with Vandy, Kansas & Duke…. that’s actually about right. At least Kansas has played in a BCS bowl game in the past 5 years!
    People need to remember that there are only 5 or 6 home games in a college football season! The ROI will never be realized. Its an ego thing…

    • S.D. Williams says:

      ROI? Are you mentally challenged? I would think you people would be more educated when talking about ROI for an institution like Baylor. As an OSU fan I know how special and game changing a big gift like $200 million toward football can change things. OSU had never won a Big 12 Championship or a BCS before the gift. These new facilities at Baylor will help very much in recruiting against schools like Texas, OU, OSU, TCU, and Texas A&M. This combined with good coaching can accomplish great things. ISU, OSU, and TCU all have new stadium updates and this Baylor update will payoff for both Baylor and the big 12 as a whole.

      Furthermore, with the big 12s new deal with the SEC, the sugar bowl, Fox, and ESPN, Baylor will make 30 million per year from media alone from 2014 on. This is about 8 million more than anything the SEC, Big 10, or PAC 12 will earn per school from media. If you want to say its not going to have a return on investment you are being completely stupid for not paying attention.

      You probably also think its important to get back to a 12(or more) team conference but really its better to split $300 by 10 than it is to split $300 by 12 or 14 or 16. Its less money that way for you ROI challenged people. Right now the Big 12 is set up to be the best moneymaking conference which will also improve the football roster the league over, Baylor included. For Texas and OU to want to stay Big 12 over SEC or PAC or BIG10 beyond 2025, other big 12 schools will need to make investments and improvements. Baylor needs this and is doing it. You nay sayers can suck it, Baylor is doing the right thing for Baylor and the Big 12.

  3. Emily says:

    Haters. Wtf?

  4. Billy says:

    All of these arguments are flawed. Floyd Casey Stadium is not a good stadium in comparison to the schools that Baylor is competing for recruits with. The idea to reduce the seating is a genius idea because most of the home games, Baylor was unable to fill the entire stadium and/or there would be more fans from the opposing team. By reducing the number of seats makes a better atmosphere for college football given Baylor’s enrollment size. Last the thought that ROI is being mentioned makes me laugh. If you knew anything about ROI you would realize that investing in college sports is one of the highest returning investments an institution can make. Baylor normally has 12k applications for the fall, this year they had 55k. This makes Baylor more prestigious because the can turn down more apps and more profitable because they can allow a few more thousand in. Sports drive academic success. The return on this stadium will be incredible and your forgetting its mostly funded by donations.

  5. Ray Gipson says:

    I love the idea of an oncampus stadium. I have enjoyed wearing my Baylor cap and shirts the last 3 years and am very proud of the success of our sports programs lately. Everywhere I turn it is Baylor this and Baylor that. Everyone knows Baylor academics is really good but our sports programs have suffered because we aren’t drawing the talent like our larger competitor schools. This stadium would be a big recruiting tool for coaches and a source of pride for students and alumni. I just hope it will be maintained as a beautiful attraction for students, alumni, Waco general public and visitors. I have three questions. Is the water blue or green or muddy brown around the stadium site, are boats really expected, and will there be eating places along the river to complete the Baylor Stadium experience?

    • Debra Godby says:

      Yes sir, the water is a beautiful blue on sunny days! There are already quite a few nice restaurants near the new stadium & plans for several more. In my opinion, this is having a gigantic ripple effect for the whole city & surrounding areas. I have lived in the Waco area for over 30 years & this new stadium & Baylor’s new, improved reputation have brought much prosperity to this economy. I am not affiliated with Baylor in any way, but it is easy to see that Waco’s economy has not suffered as much in comparison to other areas of the state. I feel Baylor has an overwhelmingly positive effect here!

  6. Tom FIneout says:

    I’m Baylor ’82…. and we have needed a stadium since before i was there. I remember hearing when i was young all the other young people saying i would never go there to play, the stadium is awful… not the actual words they used. This will increase recruiting and will bring more money, be more visible, and above all put us on par or in front of other major schools in every conference. If you went there you would know and if you did and don’t know then your ignorance is unmatched. The prestige alone is worth the time and money and the fact it would now be on the campus… and you must drive by it on the way to almost anywhere is priceless. you never even knew where Floyd was. Now every recruit in Texas will drive by this thing of beauty. Thanks for everything Coach Briles, RG3 and the women’s girls basketball etc. YEAR OF THE BEAR! Build it! for heaven’s sake. Build to the future not because of the past. “if you build it they…” Sic’em!

  7. George moss says:

    Floyd Casey Stadium was a relic in the 60′s. My step son went there in the 90′s. We saw every game for years. The faciity had lived long past its prime. This will punctuate so many good people working so hard to make it happen at Baylor. The college athlete today is recruited by the whole package. Coaches,alumni,campus and the athletic facility. Now we can be competitive with the schools that always get the top athletes. Thank you Drayton. Sic’em Bears Ever faithful to the line the Class of 1969.

  8. Tony says:

    Anybody saying this is a waste of money doesn’t quite seem to understand what is going on here. The money is being donated to build a stadium. The money ceases to exist if it is not spent on a stadium. There is no other ROI, because there is no other “I.”

  9. Martha says:

    I am a Baylor alumnus and believe we are consistently underrated by the public. A lovely campus is great, but the kind of eye candy this stadium provides will tip the scales for top talent considering Baylor as an educational or career investment.

  10. seanb60 says:

    my only problem is the color of the water next to the stadium lol, it’s brown baby…
    always a nice trip to waco, and see more burnt orange than green and gold

  11. Steven says:

    Daniel…you are a moron

  12. Ronnie says:

    Congrats Baylor. The new stadium looks awesome. I hope Mississippi State pays y’all a visit in the future. Good luck

  13. KAJK says:

    Wow!!
    Awesome!!
    I agree with y’all Daniel is a moron hater!
    I don’t have a dog in this fight but have attended several Baylor football games in the past. Remember seeing Nebraska & Oklahoma vs Baylor several years ago and you would of thought the games were being played in Lincoln & Norman respectively. The only time I ever thought I really had heat stroke was a 2-3 pm Baylor vs Miami football game…Brutal…120 on the field!
    Congrats Baylor & Waco great addition! Remember Dan football pays for almost every other sport on campus, including athletic scholarships & coaches salaries! Get a clue dude

  14. Todd says:

    Wonderful improvement BU.

    Daniel, stop sipping the tea.

  15. Luke says:

    Why so small — that’s what’s so weird. They say they had trouble filling Floyd Casey but isn’t that back in the dark ages? Not advertising confidence in the future of your program to saddle it with the smallest stadium in the conference. And considering a billionaire donated all the money.

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