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UH Stadium Construction On Pace For August Opening

Opening day for the University of Houston’s new football stadium is closer.

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UH Athletics Director Mack Rhoades gives a tour of the stadium construction site.

A lot has changed since July, the last time we went on a tour of the construction site. From outside, the stadium looks like all it needs is some cosmetics before it’s ready for game day.

“The interior areas are coming along very well as you can see from the outer structure,” says T.J. Meagher, associate athletics director for capital and special projects at UH.

“All the precast is hung. They’re setting the steps that make for access up through the seating decks. The seats will go in later on in the spring, I believe it’s late April, early May.”

He says construction is on time for its scheduled August opening. The 70-year old Robertson Stadium was demolished in December 2012 and the university broke ground on the new 40,000-seat structure in February of last year.

UH Athletics Director Mack Rhoades takes us into the concourse. You can already tell where the many concession stands and the restrooms will be. Rhoades says the new stadium will have a lot of unique features.

“You start with the concourse. Two-thirds of it are open to where you can see the field of play while walking in the concourse, so I think that’s going to be a really great fan experience. We took the suites and the club level and really brought them down, and so your club level is 25 feet above the playing surface, the suites are about 35 (feet above), so it’s a really great view. You’re right on top of the action.”

And unlike the old Robertson Stadium, the new field is aligned east to west, so that should give more fans a view of the downtown skyline. That will also look good for ESPN’s national broadcasts of UH football games.

Rhoades says the new stadium will do a lot for the Cougars.

“Just the national recognition that it’s brought to the school so far and that we think it will continue to bring. Obviously, it’s a big boost for our football program. This past season, we had a really good year, a very, very young team. And so I think the timing of this, along with the growth of the football program, is perfect for us.”

Rhoades expects the number of season ticket holders to grow further from about 12,000 last season. And he says he feels good about filling the larger stadium. Capacity will be at least 25 percent higher than at Robertson Stadium.

“Obviously, you have to have a good product. And coach Levine and his staff have done a great job. And so that’s part of the equation. I think the fan experiences and the new amenities is certainly the other part.”

The university is currently in the process of securing naming rights for the new stadium. They’re in talks with both local and national companies.

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The new stadium will yield a better view of the Houston skyline.

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