What was the purpose of the stadium/arena feasibility study completed in the summer of 2010?
- The Athletics Feasibility and Analysis study was intended to evaluate a variety of facility enhancements in order to arrive at a recommendation that was both prudent financially and offers the best environment for the development of our athletic programs and student-athletes. This effort included market research, financial analysis and revenue proforma, facility programming and concept design and detailed order of magnitude cost modeling. This combination of data sources provided a comprehensive platform for university/athletic officials to review and accept recommendations for the path forward.
- Guiding Principles included but were not limited to:
- National competitiveness and awareness – Houston Athletics is committed to improving its facilities;
- Improve both the perception and reality regarding quality of UH Athletics facilities;
- Elevate recruiting by enhancing the student-athlete experience;
- Provide strong rationale supporting any athletic facility modifications proposed; and
- Develop recommendations which will drive demand, fit a Houston niche and improve the fan experience.
What factors influenced the design?
- The design team studied the historical architectural character of the UH Campus with specific focus on buildings adjacent to the athletics corridor including the Science and Engineering Classroom and Research Center buildings, the Science Teaching Laboratory building and the new Stadium Parking Garage to ensure the new stadium exterior captured similar features to these buildings.
- All exterior facades, brick and metal, utilize material and color palettes consistent with those found in UH’s design standards and many of the buildings recently constructed on campus.
- In addition, we wanted the stadium to have a unique look and character easily differentiated from the majority of other collegiate stadiums throughout the country.
- Other factors contributing to the design of the exterior skin: 1) allowing natural light into the concourse while still protecting fans from the elements; and 2) assurance of ample air flow throughout the concourse and stadium for the comfort of our fans without hindering the performance of student-athletes.
- The stadium bowl exterior skin will be a combination of special coated corrugated metal and/or aluminum panels providing long-term durability with minimal maintenance.
Why did we change the directional orientation of the stadium?
- The new East-West orientation provides more fans and our TV audiences a dynamic view of the Houston skyline.
- The east side seats in Robertson Stadium experienced intense sun during day games. We conducted a comprehensive sun and shade study at three different kickoff times in both early and late fall. The study indicated improved shading and comfort for our fans without hindering the ability of our student-athletes. The new orientation attempts to mitigate the impact of the late summer sun on the fan experience while also achieving several other goals:
- The north sideline seats are adjacent to the new Stadium Parking Garage for convenient access;
- The new orientation is congruent with the University’s current grid system;
- Creates a more efficient surface parking system; and
- Creates vibrant and relevant interaction with the adjacent academic corridor.
- The new East-West orientation is not unique to the University of Houston. Many FBS football stadiums such as Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Oregon have similar orientations.
What type of field system will be installed?
- A state-of-the-art synthetic turf to allow a multitude of events including, but not limited to, high school football games, band practice, specific UH student intramural events, etc.
- This type of surface allows for low maintenance and is cost efficient.
- More than half of Houston’s away games will also be played on synthetic turf. As such, one of our current practice fields will be outfitted with this same type of surface.
Where will Cougar Walk (Team Entry) take place?
- We are still discussing the best route but more than likely a portion of the walk will occur between the Stadium Parking Garage and the North Stadium Complex.
Will there be tailgating at the new stadium?
- Just like Robertson Stadium, tailgating will be allowed in parking lots adjacent to the stadium and throughout campus.
- Tailgating is a special component of a college football game. As such, we will do all we can to encourage tailgating around the stadium and on campus.
- We will educate fans on campus tailgating policies and locations with a goal of creating an enhanced tradition of tailgating throughout campus like at many institutions we visit during the year.
- A specific area for the Cougar Pride Tailgate Village and RV Parking will be designated at the new stadium. Both locations are still being discussed.
- We are currently working with the Student Government Association (SGA) to determine the best area/location for an exciting student tailgate area.
Will there be pavilions?
- Yes, we are currently meeting with architects regarding the design and specific placement of the pavilions. We hope to have a design and cost estimate we can share by April 1, 2013. Pavilions are not included in the current stadium budget and will be funded per each pavilion holder.
- Current pavilion owners will have the first right of refusal for a new pavilion.
How will the new stadium impact parking?
- We will have 1,467 surface spots in the immediate vicinity as opposed to the 2,620 we had this past season (2012).
- The stadium parking garage opened in September, 2012 adding 2,268 parking spaces.
- There will be a total of 3,735 parking spaces in the new stadium precinct compared to 2,398 spaces in the 2011 season.
- The larger stadium requires a larger footprint thus reducing the number of spaces immediately surrounding the stadium.
2010 – 2,148
2011 – 2,398
2012 – 4,888
2014 – 3,735
What kind of unique features and/or seating options will the stadium have?
- A 12,400-square foot club overlooking the field of play (25 feet above the playing surface) located at the concourse level on the south side of the stadium providing fans with first-class hospitality while enjoying premium drinks and food.
- Twenty-six (26) suites (22 are for sale) located above the club level (35 feet above the playing surface) from end zone to end zone. Each suite will consist of 12 22-inch padded arm chairs (two rows of six) located outside, four (4) inside bar stools and an entertainment area with a high-definition television, solid surface countertops, hand-crafted cabinetry and stainless steel sink and appliances. Suite patrons will have access to the club during games.
- Thirty-four (34) loge boxes each containing four padded seat (total of 136 seats) and a hi-definition monitor. Twenty (20) are located on the south side and 14 on the north side of the stadium. Loge box patrons will have access to the club during games. Particular loge boxes can be expanded into eight-seat and 12-seat options.
- Seven hundred and sixty-six (766) armchair style padded clubs seats (22 inches wide) located in the south lower bowl between the 25-yard lines with access to the club during games.
- Additional premium seating – 2,778 armchair seats (20 inches wide) located in both the north bowl (1,186) and the south bowl (1,592) and 1,210 bench backs with the majority located in the lower bowl.
- Four (4) open-air lower bowl party decks with 24 armchairs (20 inches wide). Both the east and west lower bowl end zones contain a party deck with two located on the north lower bowl sideline.
- Two (2) open-air party suites located on the suite level positioned at each end (east and west end) of the suites. Each open-air suite contains 58 padded armchairs (21 inches wide).
- The Bert F. Winston Band and Performance Center (39,089 square feet) that includes Spirit of Houston Band Recital Halls and classroom spaces, gallery multi-purpose area (see below) and Houston Athletics Ticket Office.
- The gallery (2,000 square feet) located in the Bert F. Winston Band and Performance Center will highlight University of Houston history, host pre-game receptions and special events and select academic functions throughout the year.
- The Legends Plaza located at the northeast entrance recognizing the proud tradition of Houston Football.
- Bridges connecting the east side end zone upper concourse to sideline seating on both the north and south stadium complexes.
Has ticket pricing been determined for premium and other seating locations?
- We will announce all ticket pricing in the first quarter of 2013 providing fans ample time to make purchase decisions.
- We will have a variety of price points to match everyone’s budget.
Will there be a donation associated for each seat?
- Yes, a percentage of seats will have a per seat donation.
- Donation amounts/levels have not been finalized as we continue the process of benchmarking this information with similar institutions (including Big East) and Texas schools.
- A per seat donation is extremely critical to the future as we currently compete against schools with larger operating budgets that implement per seat donations.
- Per seat donations will count as Cougar Pride donations as they have in the past. The donations are tax deductible per IRS guidelines.
Are there benefits to buying 2013 season tickets?
- Yes, 2013 season ticket holders will have guaranteed access to 2014 season tickets. Please refer to next question.
When can I reserve my seat (s) in the new stadium?
- During the first quarter of 2013 we will issue a detailed ticket purchase and seat allocation timeline for 2014, the first season in the new stadium. In addition, at this same time, we will release details on priority levels to determine seat location and access. This will allow ample time for season ticket holders to determine their desired seat location/type.
- Priority levels will be based on the following: Cougar Pride Priority Point System and your past and present seat ticket purchases.
- Please note you will not have a Cougar Pride account if you have not donated since its inception in 2003. Priority points are given for donations. You can also receive priority points for each season ticket account per sport program. For more information, please contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GoUH (4684) or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the budget for the stadium?
- The total base project cost is currently estimated to be $105 million pending final Board of Regents approval and bid package pricing.
What is the status of stadium funding and is there a need to raise additional money?
- Yes, we still need to raise additional money even though we are proceeding on a 40,000 actual seat stadium as outlined and shown on this website (fact sheet and renderings).
- Sources of stadium funding are as follows: private and corporate gifts, student referendum, potential future facility management agreement and higher education assistance fund (HEAF). We need to raise an additional $15 million in order to reach our funding goal.
- The Board of Regents approved an initial finance package of $85 million in August. This immediate approval was necessary in order to prohibit any delays in the construction of the stadium.
How can I donate to the stadium?
- We initially focused on major gifts ($100,000+) as to ensure the scope of the project (new stadium vs. renovation).
- Please note we greatly appreciate all gifts provided at this time and even though the scope of the project (new with 40,000 seats) has been determined, we continue this process.
- We will unveil a “grassroots” donation campaign at the same time we announce ticket pricing in the first quarter of 2013 so our fans have a complete understanding of the variety of methods they can support the stadium and our athletics program.
- In the meantime, now that stadium renderings have been released for our fans, please click here if you would like to make an immediate donation. Please call the Cougar Pride office at 713-743-GoUH (4684).
Are naming rights for the stadium being sold?
- Yes, we are currently identifying and working with potential prospects. Securing naming rights usually takes 12-18 months.
- The first game will not be played in the stadium until August 30, 2014.
Will I be able to rent the new club space for an event?
- Yes, the 12,400-square foot multi-purpose club overlooking the field of play (25 feet above playing surface) with views of the Houston downtown skyline will be available for events throughout the year with food and beverage service available. We will provide more information in the summer of 2013 regarding lease policy and procedures.
How will concessions change?
- With a total of 160 concession points of sale throughout the stadium (compared to 71 in Robertson Stadium) plus multiple portable concessions, fans will always have an option nearby for concession items.
- With a full service kitchen in the stadium, our concession stands will offer a variety of quality items.
- In addition, the onsite kitchen will service suite holders, club patrons and special events throughout the year.
Will beer be sold throughout the stadium?
- Yes, beer will be sold responsibly throughout the stadium (as was the case in Robertson Stadium).
- In addition, a variety of premium adult beverages will be available in both the suites and club.
Can the current design accommodate more than 40,000 seats?
- Yes, while the stadium will originally seat 40,000, it is being designed for a future capacity of 60,000 seats. This includes the strategic placement and installation of foundations in the current phase to accommodate future expansion.
What type of videoboard/scoreboard will the new stadium have?
- A state-of-the-art HD, LED wide-screen video board located on the west end of the stadium along with an auxiliary board (location to be determined) in the stadium.
- A video production room will be housed on the working level of the press box.
Will the new stadium have palm trees?
- Landscape design has not concluded. As such, decisions regarding specific landscape elements (including palm trees) will be determined in the near future.
What is the construction timeline?
- Demolition began in early December, 2012 with the official groundbreaking ceremony expected in late January/early February.
- The stadium will open with its first game on August 30, 2014.
- We invite you to follow the stadium progress on the two webcams located on the front page of this website.
What type of material will be used to construct stadium seating below and above ground level?
- The lower bowl will consist of concrete poured on grade with a variety of seat types including full chair backs, bench seats with backs and regular bench seats.
- The upper bowl will be constructed of precast concrete. A small percentage of the seating will consist of bench seats with backs and the majority comprised of regular benches.
Where will games be played in 2013?
- We are currently in discussion with authorities at Reliant Stadium and anticipate a final decision by the end of January.
Please send any questions to the Director of Athletics e-mail account and we will update this page as stadium construction continues and we receive new inquiries. We thank you for your support.