North Texas

Crews Begin to Tear Down Fouts Field at UNT

The Mean Green moved to Apogee Stadium before the 2011 football season

Demolition crews in Denton began work Tuesday, to tear down a football stadium where "Mean" Joe Greene played his college ball, and which once served as a location for a Hollywood production.

When something's stood as long as Fouts Field has, you get used to it.

"You'd see the stadium off 35," said Patrick Cobbs, who starred for the University of North Texas football team from 2001 to 2005. "I'm from Oklahoma. Anytime you'd come down you'd see it."

Fouts Field once served as a filming location for the movie "Necessary Roughness." Cobb himself left UNT as the school's all-time leading rusher, and later played in the NFL.

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The 66-year-old stadium is full of memories.

"Man, great ones," Cobbs said. "We went to four straight conference championship games. Won conference four years in a row."

Memories which last, in a stadium, which won't.

"Yeah, it's crazy," he said. "I mean, we knew it was coming."

Fouts Field is being torn down. Demolition is scheduled to be completed during UNT’s upcoming winter break. The school is in need of parking. Once the debris is cleared, it will free up room for 1,000 additional parking spots.

A small crowd – many of them folks with strong ties to the school and to Denton – gathered to watch the demolition.

"It's time," said Don Lynch of Denton. "It's unfortunate, but part of the way things go."

As a child, Lynch watched UNT football games at the stadium. Later, in high school, he ran track meets there.

"Just brings back a lot of memories," he said. "The teams, they were good teams. Big crowds, and it was a lot of fun."

Cobbs said players used to refer to Fouts Field as the "tin can" – because of the noise which filled the stadium when fans stomped on the aluminum bleachers.

"It was our place to play, Fouts Field," he said. "It was tough to come in and beat us. And we enjoyed playing here."

The UNT Mean Green haven't used Fouts Field since 2010. Home now is Apogee Stadium, built across the street.

On an interior wall of the old stadium, someone spray painted a message. It says "Fouts Field 4 Ever." The memories, perhaps. But the stadium's time has come.

"We've known for a long time it's going to happen," Lynch said. "Now it's just time to move on."

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