Houston Matters

Who Should Pay for Upgrades to NRG Stadium Before 2017 Super Bowl?

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

As we discussed previously on this program, Houston’s NRG Stadium will host Super Bowl 51 in February of 2017.

However, according to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, the NFL says it now wants around $50 million worth of renovations to the stadium before the big game.

The Chronicle quotes Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Events, who said the improvements needed are $5 million dollars for adding Wifi to the stadium (a requirement from the NFL for all venues) and some $45 million dollars for upgrades to suites and club seats.

On a tour of Houston and NRG Park in February, 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 Host Committee, the organization that sought out and landed the event.

So, who should pay for upgrades to NRG Stadium before 2017? To discuss, we’re joined by Houston Press writer Jeff Balke, who’s written about the upgrades, and Edgar Colon, Chairman of The Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation. The Super Bowl 51 Host Committee declined our invitation to join the discussion.

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