4 Great Places to Experience Austin’s Real Friday Night Lights

It’s that time of year. The days get a little shorter. The evenings feel a bit cooler.

It’s football season, and all over Austin (and everywhere, really) stadium lights flicker on before sunset on Friday nights, casting a sharp light onto the fields. Younger kids play their side games, parents show their school pride and players create memories that they’ll retell for decades to come.

You don’t have to have an alma mater or a high school kid to enjoy a game. You can dive into the nostalgia of high school football with a short drive and a few bucks to get into the games.

Here’s a look at some of the best places to watch a game in and around Austin. See local schedules here.

House Park, 1301 Shoal Creek Blvd: This may be one of the more iconic stadiums in Austin. Built in 1939, the 6,000-seat stadium is the home field for Austin High, Anderson, McCallum and Lanier High Schools. It’s probably the closest Friday night football venue for most of Central Austin. And it’s especially close for people living in the Old Enfield, Pemberton Heights and Clarksville neighborhoods.

Chaparral Stadium, 4100 Westbank Drive: This 10,000-seat stadium has more of a college stadium feel than high school. Completed in 2002, the stadium is home to the WestLake Chapparals and has been used in the filming of Friday Night Lights TV show. It’s relatively nearby for folks in Central, Southwest or West Austin. And it’s especially close for those living in West Lake Hills, Lost Creek or Rollingwood.

Lake Travis ISD Stadium, 3322 Ranch Road 620: Home to one of the area’s highest-ranked teams, the Lake Travis Cavaliers, this 7,000-seat stadium also has the feel of a mid-sized college game. The Cavaliers have been the Austin American-Statesman’s top-rated preseason team for five of the past seven years.

Gupton Stadium, 200 Gupton Way Dr, Cedar Park: This 10,000-seat stadium is home to the Cedar Park Timberwolves, who ranked second on the Statesman’s preseason power poll. They were the Class 4A Division II state champions in 2012. It’s a convenient spot for those in Cedar Park. And, if you’re not affiliated with the hometown teams, it’s a relatively short drive for people in Round Rock and Leander. It’s also a close shot for folks in Avery Ranch and Brushy Creek.