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NRG Stadium Upgrades and Experimental Drugs: Wednesday’s Show (March 18, 2015)

As we discussed last month on this program, Houston’s NRG Stadium will host Super Bowl 51 in February of 2017. According to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, the NFL says it now wants around $50 million in renovations to the stadium before the big game. The Chronicle quotes Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s Senior Vice President […]

As we discussed last month on this program, Houston’s NRG Stadium will host Super Bowl 51 in February of 2017. According to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, the NFL says it now wants around $50 million in renovations to the stadium before the big game. The Chronicle quotes Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Events, who says the improvements needed include $5 million to add Wi-Fi to the stadium (a requirement from the NFL for all venues) with the rest devoted to upgrades to suites and club seats.

On a tour of Houston and NRG Park last month, O’Reilly said Harris County should foot the bill for the improvements to the stadium, which opened in 2002 and hosted the Super Bowl in 2004. He said the upgrades are part of the commitment made when the city entered a bid to host the game. However, Edgar Colon disagrees. He’s the chairman of the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation, which is the county agency that manages and operates NRG Park. He says at least some of that money should come from the Houston Super Bowl 51 Bid Committee, the organization that sought out and landed the event.

Who should pay for upgrades to NRG Stadium before 2017? We’ll talk it over on this edition of Houston Matters.

Also: The Food and Drug Administration offers an exemption to allow terminally ill patients access to unapproved experimental drugs, but the process is arduous and lengthy. A proposed bill in the Texas Legislature would make it easier. Five other states have passed similar laws already. Supporters say terminally ill patients should have access to what could potentially be life-saving medication. But critics argue these laws set a low bar for patient safety. We’ll discuss the ethical issues surrounding “right-to-try” in Texas.

Then: Since 2012, Houston has led all U.S. metro areas in the export of goods. We’ll learn more about the products we export.

And: Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse talks with lyricist Tim Rice about his show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. A production of Joseph is on stage now at the Hobby Center.

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