Houston City Council has approved a $3.2 million deal to help the Houston SaberCats build a new rugby stadium. The stadium will form part of the redevelopment of the city-owned Houston Sports Park, just off the South Freeway. The money will reimburse team investors for putting up not only the stadium, but also a variety of improvements to the park for general use – including a new parking lot, lighting, and access roads.
"This is a beautiful example of public-private partnerships that we ought to look at in the future," said Council Member Jack Christie just before the vote, "because as far as I have heard, there's not been one city tax dollar used for this development." The $3.2 million comes out of a public improvements fund previously earmarked to upgrade the park.
Major League Rugby in the U-S is less than a year old. The Houston franchise is one of seven teams that will begin their first season in April. The SaberCats are currently playing exhibition games at Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters baseball team.