By spring, the plan is to have new turf on the fields at Tom Landry Hall of Fame Stadium and Veterans Memorial High School Patriot Stadium. Although Mission CISD is in the design stage, there is a legal issue causing a hiccup in the process.
The Mission High School football stadium, named after Dallas Cowboys coach and Missionite Tom Landry, has the official Pro Football Hall of Fame logo at the 50-yard line on the existing turf. However, the legal documentation that allows Mission CISD to use that logo is nowhere to be found.
“It was more of a handshake agreement. There was no written license agreement,” Deputy Superintendent for Support Services Lorena Garcia said. “So we’re trying to find out if we can get it licensed, and if there’s going to be a cost associated with that, [and] if anybody even remembers that this arrangement was made.”
The existing turf with the logo has been part of the stadium since 2014. At the time, Dr. Ricardo Lopez was the superintendent of schools. Lopez left the district in 2018 and is now the superintendent at Garland ISD just outside of Dallas.
In an MCISD news release from 2014, Lopez said, “Tom Landry Stadium is now the only high school football field in the country, outside of Canton, Ohio…to have permission to use the official Hall of Fame logo as a part of its playing field.” The Pro Football Hall of Fame website used that same quote from Lopez in an article about the Mission stadium. It also states, “school officials reached out to seek permission from the Pro Football Hall of Fame to incorporate the Hall’s logo at midfield of Tom Landry stadium.”
But at the Sept. 7 Mission CISD board of trustees workshop, Superintendent Dr. Carol Perez said she was told the district has been able to use the logo because of a “verbal agreement.” However, she assured the board administration is doing its due diligence to ensure all the paperwork is in place before proceeding. Assistant Superintendent for Operations Rick Rivera said administration must decide on the 50-yard line emblem before the school board can approve the final design and proposals.
The district is on a tight timeline for the turf project. Installation is supposed to start immediately after football season to have the fields ready for the spring sports, and turf replacement takes about three months. Administration will need to decide on the midfield logo promptly to keep the proposed timeline.
Javier Hinojosa Civil Engineering presented schematic designs of the turf at the board workshop. The end zones and midfield artwork at Patriot Stadium will remain exactly the same on the updated artificial grass. However, there will be minor changes on the end zones at Tom Landry stadium to help the logos and wording stand out. The design team met with Mission CISD staff, coaches, campus principals and administration for the preferred motifs.
Tom Landry Hall of Fame Stadium is already open to the public and at substantial completion. G&G Construction and Terra Fuerte Construction are now working on closing out documents to present to the school board for final completion.
Mission CISD held its first game at the stadium on Sept. 2 after the board approved substantial completion for the project on Aug. 24. Following the game, Assistant Superintendent for Operations Rick Rivera said he received reports of concrete droppings scraping people when they grabbed the handrails. But, as of Sept. 7, the contractors cleaned up the issue.
G&G and Terra Fuerte have 30 days from the day of substantial completion to complete any remaining issues and prepare closing documentation. Once everything is complete on the contractors’ end, administration will present the final documents to the school board for it to approve final completion.