Odessa, Texas "The Epicenter of Texas High School Football "
Ratliff Stadium -- October 26, 2001
Odessa High School vs. Abilene High School
Live Trucks set up at Ratliff Stadium
Ratliff Stadium - Aerial photograph - 1998
Ratliff Stadium Facts
Cost: 5.6 million.
(9651 per side) standing room only tickets available for high
profile games in the end zone brings the capacity to 19,500.
There are usually 1 or 2 "high profile" games a season.
The Odessa Permian vs. Odessa High Game and if played at Ratliff,
The Odessa Permian vs. Midland Lee game.
A Fall Friday night in Odessa, Texas can
only mean one thing, Texas High School Football. Texas High
School Football is great anywhere, but in Odessa they play in a
venue that has been called the "Epicenter of Texas High School
Ratliff Stadium is a great place to watch football
and the home field of the Odessa High School Bronchos and the Odessa
Tonight's game pits the Eagles of Abilene High School against the
Bronchos of Odessa High School. These are two of the oldest
high schools in West Texas and have been playing each other since
footballs were made out of real pigs and helmets were nothing but
thin leather bonnets. But tonight these boys will play with
Reddell on the front of their helmets and some science experiment
called "turf" under their feet. Any game played in this district (2-5A) is good but any game
played at Ratliff is special.
We arrived at the game early (I always arrive early), at least 1
hour before the kickoff. This gives us time to check out of
"Football Fan" equipment and see if we have what we need.
Let's see, stadium seats, those aluminum benches can be cold;
binoculars, great if you watch the game from the top of the stands
the way I do and they come in handy when trying to find your car.
Did you see the size of that parking lot? Cold weather gear,
fortunately tonight's weather is perfect requiring only a light
jacket. The weather and wind can be brutal in West Texas.
First I drove around the parking lot to see the preparation and activity
going on around the stadium. The Abilene fans were there early
too, Abilene is a two and a half hour drive away and this was the second
week in a row that they have played at Ratliff. Two local TV
stations were setting up live trucks for the local sports feed back to
the station at 6:00 and 10:00.
Ratliff is totally wired for television. All games are
rebroadcast on public access channel in the Midland / Odessa market
on Sunday afternoons. Occasionally play off games are
The bands and football teams arrived so we head for the ticket window.
The ticket booths were a little late in opening but when they did all
five windows were doing a land office business. At Ratliff all seats
are reserved except the student sections so its a good idea to have an
idea where you want to sit. For the really big games the ticket booth
may never open. Most of those tickets are sold days before the game and
many times after standing in line all night.
My estimate of the crowd on this night was about 9,000.
That gave us enough room so after the game started it was easy to
move around and get the seat you wanted.
The Odessa High "Marching Red & White" march out and did a
pre-game show then played the "Star Spangle Banner". (The Henry
Fillmore arrangement) Everyone in the stands sang along. Isn't
amazing how much better it sounds than it use to?
The game was great. How great? You'll have to find out
for yourself. In a minor upset Odessa beat Abilene 13 to 10.
Of course Ratliff is the home of upsets. Last year Odessa High
beat Midland Lee in Ratliff. Midland Lee went on to win the 5A
Division 1 State Championship. Odessa High? Just another
great season at Ratliff Stadium.
The information contained in this website is for general information
purposes only. The information is provided by TexasBob.com and while we
endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no
representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the
completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with
respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related
graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on
such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.
In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without
limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage
whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in
connection with, the use of this website.
Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not
under the control of TexasBob.com. We have no control over the nature,
content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not
necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within
Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly.
However, TexasBob.com takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable
for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues
beyond our control.