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Let’s go back to 1995. The North Texas football program was reinstated into what was then known as Division One-A, and the team played its home games where it had since 1952 — Fouts Field. But the school knew to take the program to the next level, Fouts Field was just not going to cut it.

And with the presence of a running track, having a front-row seat was nothing to brag about.

The school realized that the only viable solution was a brand new facility. So in 2002, one year after becoming UNT’s athletic director, Rick Villarreal got the ball rolling on a new stadium. But he didn’t just set out to simply build a stadium with all the modern amenities, including a fancy press box, luxury suites and a palatial locker room, he set out to build a stadium that’s energy efficient. And Apogee Stadium became the first newly-built stadium in the nation to achieve LEED platinum certification. Villarreal says fans will notice the efforts even before they enter the stadium.

And the energy savings extend to inside the stadium.

And instead of clearing the area of trees, the school planted trees around the stadium to provide shade for tailgating fans. And the grounds around the stadium are irrigated with recycled rainwater.

And since Apogee Stadium opened, the school has taken on an agressive recycling campaign. Villarreal says about 85-percent of the stuff used on game day is recycled. All in all, Mean Green fans can agree that Apogee Stadium sets the standard not only in North Texas, but across the country.

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