Austin: We visit fictional Dillon, TX, home of Friday Night Lights
The TV series Friday Night Lights—it was preceded by a book and movie—takes place in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas, where high-school football is a life-encompassing pursuit. But even those completely uninterested in sports can find something to love in the series, which is currently airing its fifth and final season.
The show was shot almost entirely on location in and around Austin, which served as a second home to the cast and crew for years. Pop pilgrims can visit the ice-cream shop where Matt Saracen worked, the garage that housed Riggins Rigs, or the Landing Strip club. But the best stop is almost certainly Del Valle Field—located in Del Valle, Texas, next to the Austin airport—and its accompanying field house, where the football, locker room, and coaches' office scenes were shot.
A disused high-school football field, Del Valle served as both the home of the Dillon Panthers and, beginning in season four, the East Dillon Lions. It's funny to visit, because the rival teams' field houses were actually different sides of the same building: One side of is painted Panther blue, and the other Lion red.
The show converted an adjacent baseball field into the Lions' home field, building a gymnasium facade to hide the bleachers that faced the Panther field.
Nearly all remnants of the show have gone since shooting wrapped late last summer, thanks to an agreement the network had with Del Valle to remove any structures it built for the show. On the field you'll still find the Panther P (and the artificial turf), and the berms on the side of the bleachers, which were built to make Del Valle Field resemble a stadium in nearby Pflugerville, Texas, where the pilot was shot.
But the field houses still have their dueling paint jobs, and inside, you'll find remnants of Friday Night Lights' set design, from team logos to player names on lockers.
That is you'll find them for now. The field house is undergoing renovations to be turned into a textbook-storage facility, but the school district is eager for another film or TV production to use its now famous facilities.
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