The City of Celina and the Celina Independent School District today announced an agreement to preserve much of the complex at the historic Bobcat Field near Downtown Celina.
Members of the Ousley family, who generously donated the land to the school district in 1950, provided overwhelming support for the plan which will repurpose the stadium as an amphitheater as a part of a large linear park to be developed along Doe Branch Creek. Of the existing buildings that stand behind the stadium, one is currently being redeveloped as a community center for Celina senior citizens. Specific plans for remaining structures and bleachers are still under consideration. Varsity football games were played there from 1952-2018.
“The City wanted that stadium to stand as a living monument to Celina’s past, while allowing Celina’s present and our future residents to memorialize some of our earliest and greatest days we shared as a city,” said Celina City Manager Jason Laumer. “I am forever grateful that Dr. Maglisceau’s team and the Ousley family allowed us to enshrine a good portion of the entire complex as the crown of the new linear park that is being developed in the beautiful surrounding area.”
“Few stadiums embody so much of a community’s roots as our beloved historic Bobcat Field,” said Celina ISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Maglisceau. “I am overjoyed with the vison and partnership of our city leaders and their willingness to work with the district and the Ousley family to memorialize the moments and memories made in that sacred stadium.”
“Over the years, that stadium hosted great games and even greater memories,” said retired Celina Head Football Coach G.A. Moore, who coached two stints there between 1972 and 2002. “Most importantly, that stadium is a place where young men and women learned to develop real life lessons and leadership through hard-fought wins, heart-breaking losses, championships, and state records that followed. I am thrilled that parts of those hallowed grounds will be preserved, and I hope people not only see it as a place where games were played, but they also see it as a place where the values and traditions of this community were celebrated and cemented.”
“Maxine Ousley, who was born here in 1915 and called Celina home for most of her life, wanted the people of Celina to have a public place to gather and celebrate life and the culture that makes our community so special,” the Ousley family said in a statement. “Maxine originally donated property in 1950 for a park, but it quickly became Bobcat Field for Celina ISD. The Ousley family, working in conjunction with the City of Celina and Celina ISD, recognize the importance of this land and how it has impacted Celina. We are grateful for the opportunity to memorialize Maxine Ousley's dream of a city park with special appreciation to Celina football, the Ousley family, and the other families who are an important part of Celina's history.”
While many of the plans for the area surrounding the historic stadium are still under development, an artist’s rendering can be seen here. For more information, please see the Celina Entertainment District Master Plan and The Parks Master Plan.