Maintaining Ratliff Stadium On a Daily Basis Is a Job In Itself

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - It took $5.6 million dollars to build Ratliff Stadium 30 years ago. It can hold close to 20,000 people and it's been ranked among the top 10 high school stadiums in the nation.

In 2001, Ratliff Stadium was ranked by USA Today as one of the best high school stadiums in the nation. In 2004, most of the filming of Friday Night Lights was filmed at that Ratliff.

Eliser Albarado, Caretaker of Ratliff Stadium, says it's no wonder why people want to take a picture of the iconic stadium.

"I get a lot of tourist especially when they hear Permian and OHS are gonna play. They all wanna buy tickets ahead of time, you know people from California or out of state," Albarado said.

Imagine going to Ratliff Stadium and calling it your place of work. For the past 12 years, Albarado has been doing this. He says the maintenance for Ratliff is year round and it's not an easy task to keep the stadium looking good everyday of the year, especially after a football game.

"We gotta clean Saturday mornings. We come here at 6 a.m. in the morning, pick up the trash, and then Monday morning start washing it. It takes us three days to wash it. It's clean washed before a football game and we clean the foyer's on Thursday afternoons to make sure that it's ready for the game on Thursday and Friday," Albarado said.

All though the facility is used year round for various activities, he says football season is by far the busiest.

"Football season is a big deal here in West Texas in every year for soccer or softball, but for football, it's always packed," Albarado said.

When crowds pack the stands and players take to the field, everyone will notice some new upgrades.

"It's a nice turf and it's a good material, it's nice and it's softer and we got new goal posts," Albarado said.

Albarado says he takes pride in maintaining the stadium that he cares for as if it was his home.

"I gotta take it like it's my own home, and I gotta mow grass, we gotta water, we gotta spray parking lots, weed eat the whole nine yards in order for it to be nice and clean," Albarado said.