Three decisions were key for the design of the new stadium. The most obvious one is orientation — while Robertson Stadium had a north-south orientation, the new stadium will be positioned east-west.
Mack Rhoades, the university’s athletics director, says the new position exposes fewer fans to the setting sun, and it yields a better view of the Houston skyline.
“In the old orientation there were only just a limited amount of people that really were able to take advantage of that view and so now by reorienting the stadium to what we call an east-west orientation, we have so many more fans that are able to look at that, that downtown view.”
Another change is the field level, which will be 25 feet below ground. The field at Robertson Stadium was only seven feet below.
“Felt like we could make it just a much better feel when you’re able to walk into the stadium and see many of your seats below grade.”
The third key change is the place for the club seats and suites, which will be much closer to the field than in most other stadiums.
“We decided that we were going to be bold, we were going to something different, we were going to be unique, and maybe treat it somewhat like what baseball stadiums do.”
Naming rights for the new stadium are yet to be sold. While the capacity will be 40,000 seats, the stadium is designed to eventually seat up to 60,000 people.
The scheduled opening date is August 30, 2014.