||As the focal point of the city of Odessa for over 30 years, W.T. Barrett Stadium was built in 1948. The stadium, built of steel and wood and nicknamed “W.T.,” witnessed thousands of west Texans compete for the win as football players, members of track teams and marching band participants.
Prior to 1948 when “W.T.” was built, games and events were held at Fly Field, adjacent to Odessa High School. In 1946, Odessa High School won the state football championship. In honor of their accomplishment, the school board erected a new stadium to hold over 17,000 fans. The first game held at the stadium on october 15, 1948, boasted 15,000 people in attendance to see Odessa play Abilene High School. At times, the stadium held almost 20,000 people.
In addition to football games, the stadium hosted University Interscholastic League marching band competitions. Bands from west Texas high schools hoped for the opportunity to march at “W.T.,” the largest stadium at the time between Abilene and El Paso.
In 1950, a cinder track was installed making it the only one of its kind in west Texas. An advanced improvement at the time, the track helped cement “W.T.” As a first-class track facility. Eventually open to junior high through college students, the West Texas Relays crowd held at “W.T” totaled in the thousands and many competitors went on to be members of the U.S. Olympic team.
From the first football game in 1948 to the last game in 1981, the W.T. Barrett Stadium was a place of excitement, enthusiasm and community spirit for generations. The stadium was sold and moved to Leander in 1983 but the memories live on through the community and competitors who experienced the “W.T.”