By Jon Platt
Cars will soon be crushed on campus thanks to an upcoming monster truck rally at McLane Stadium on May 2, 2015.
“We were talking about how big this show could be,” said Ed Beckley, who calls himself the world’s largest motorcycle jumper. “It’s not going to be like anything in the state of Texas.”
Beckley, a long-time veteran of the daredevil entertainment industry, spoke to a crowd of reporters about the coming event at a press conference Tuesday morning. He said not only will 10 monster trucks entertain crowds, but there will also be a hotrod tractor-trailer pull and an attempted world record jump.
According to a press release from Service Management Group, the stadium’s management service, Fort Worth based Checkered Flag Productions will bring the event to McLane Stadium, The size of the stadium is what solidified the deal between SMG and Checkered Flag, Beckley said.
“You couldn’t do this in the Astrodome,” Beckley said. “You couldn’t do this in San Antonio. But, you can do it here because Baylor, the best school around with the best football team around, built the best stadium around.”
Scott Neal, SMG general manager, said the event will help expand McLane Stadium beyond football.
“This is a good opportunity for families or the general public who generally can’t visit McLane to experience the stadium,” he said.
Neal also said the current football field will be transformed into the monster truck rally-ready arena through a careful process.
“Obviously, protecting the field is very important to us, so we’re going to be covering it with a layer of plastic,” he said. “When we’re done with it, we’re going to be bringing in 9,000 yards of [dirt]. There will be semis coming in for a day.”
At this time, ticket prices have not been listed, nor has a date or location of ticket availability been given by SMG.
Corey Schlicher, an experienced monster truck driver, said he was amazed at the size of McLane Stadium.
“I came yesterday afternoon when, all of a sudden, out of the horizon this stadium comes up, and I was like, ‘Man, that’s got to be the place where we’re going,’” he said. “Most of the buildings we’ve been to are a lot older and a little bit smaller. This is huge, huge.”
Because of McLane Stadium’s size and dynamic shape, visitors will be able to get a good view from wherever they sit, Beckley said.
“Any seat is going to be a good seat,” he said. “Whether you’re up in the top or down in the bottom, something is going to be going on where you’re sitting.”
After the initial press conference, Schlicher, who has been working with monster trucks for seven years, climbed inside of Bigfoot #8 and crushed a Baylor-themed junk car. As the 9,000 pound truck crawled the side of the old Pontiac, it’s roof quickly gave in and all four tires blew.
After flattening the car, Schlicher said his interest in monster trucks originated from racing Tonka toys down his driveway as a kid and jumping them off ramps he’d constructed.
“The best part about doing this – well, there’s really nothing bad –is the fans,” Schlicher said. “Seeing a kid’s smile after you just crushed a truck is awesome.”
At the event, Beckley will be attempting a world record jump across 10 semi-trucks. At 300 pounds, even with his special built Harley and years of experience, he said this will not be an easy task and he will be spending many hours rehearsing and preparing for the jump.
Tyler Gambrell, SMG marketing manager, said she was excited to see this event come to McLane Stadium and thinks it will be a big draw for crowds.
“Everybody likes to watch a car get crushed,” she said.
Gambrell also said SMG plans to offer stadium tours soon and they are hoping to make another announcement in the coming months.
“This is just the beginning for McLane Stadium,” she said.