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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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UH weighing options on Robertson Stadium


With Robertson Stadium now in its 67th year and increasingly showing its age, UH officials are continuing to plow ahead with the likelihood of at least a renovation of the facility.

Progress made this year will come in the form of looking at various firms’ ideas for stadium expansion, if not a new facility, and would be followed by increased study into which option is best in terms of cost-effectiveness and viability.

‘Well, right now UH has issued a (Request for Qualifications),’ UH Athletic Director Mack Rhoades said. ‘So the outcome of the RFQ will allow the University to select an architectural firm that will choose the feasibility to prepare an analysis ‘hellip; for a future football stadium.’

Today will be the last filing day for any firm wishing to be involved in stadium planning, and only a handful will be chosen to make presentations.

Options for a future stadium range from adding seats to demolishing Robertson Stadium and building a new stadium on the site.

Rhoades said that he and other school officials would take their time to carefully look over the options presented by the firms.

‘That study will take approximately three months to really look at all those options (and) see all the information,’ Rhoades said.

With Robertson Stadium 10 years removed from a significant renovation, UH officials are moving away from previously drawn plans to upgrade the end zones, which had been presented under former Athletic Director Dave Maggard who retired in 2008.

The logistics of new construction could be a significant problem, but the elephant in the room will be money, according to Rhoades.

‘The primary issue would be, with a project of this magnitude, funding money ‘hellip; making sure you can support a project of that nature,’ Rhoades said.

Such costs could be alleviated in part after the renovations, Rhoades said. Revenue could be drawn from having more stadium seating, including high-priced suites boxes.

The interest drawn from any new facility, as well as renewed success and interest in the UH football team, would likely spur an increase in season ticket sales.

‘ This would also help the University recover funds stemming from the potential loss of the Houston Dynamo.

The Dynamo, who currently play at Robertson Stadium, are looking into building a new stadium in downtown Houston. However, according to the Houston Chronicle, this is dependent on public funding, which may not be politically viable at the moment.

‘The Dynamo, right now, have a wonderful potential opportunity for their own stadium downtown,’ Rhoades said, adding that he would look forward to having a ‘continued current relationship’ with the Dynamo should their new stadium bid fail.


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