Fans Invade McKinney for National Title Game

McKinney Independent School District marks a milestone this weekend.

The city is hosting its first major event since its mega-stadium opened this fall.

Universities from Georgia and Michigan will compete for the NCAA Division II Championship.

Final preparations were made Friday at the $70 million, 12,000 seat stadium.

The Ferris State Bulldogs and the Valdosta State Blazers had the chance to practice on the field for the first time.

“Both these teams coming in, Division II football teams, have communicated this is the nicest stadium they've played in,” said McKinney ISD Athletic Director Shawn Pratt.

Pratt helped score the nationally-televised event two months ago.

“We were very surprised when we got it to be honest with you. We had such a short time with little experience in the process,” Pratt said.

At a brewery down the block, beats and beer set the tone for a pep rally Friday night.

To say it's an ‘away game’ for Vicki Boonstra is an understatement. She left Grand Rapids, Michigan at 4 a.m. Thursday and drove 15 hours straight to be here.

“This whole situation is mind-blowing. I mean my son's a sophomore on the team and it’s just, I mean, for the kids and all their hard work, it's a dream come true,” Boonstra said.

For almost everyone in town, the reputation for McKinney’s stadium precedes it.

“Pretty impressive,” said David Caccamise, a Valdosta State fan. “The fact that we're playing in a high school stadium for a college division championship tells you a lot about what's going on over here.”

Sports aside, Pratt says Saturday's game is a promise kept to voters who passed a bond to build the stadium two years ago.

“We promised that we were going to after a large events, and we've done that,” he said.

Pratt said the District has also secured major marching band contests and regional UIL soccer games.

Kickoff for the championship game is 3 p.m.

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