Stadium location to be reconsidered

The current rendering of what the football stadium will look like if kept in the same location.  |  Courtesy of Dave Reiter/Athletics Department

The current rendering of what the football stadium will look like if kept in the same location. | Courtesy of Dave Reiter/Athletics Department

The UH system Board of Regents requested the University’s Athletics Department to reconsider the intramural fields as a location for the new football stadium in the Regents meeting Tuesday.

If the site is chosen for the stadium, additional costs would have to be funded by private donations.

“As promised, we will not ask our students for any additional monies,” Athletics Director Mack Rhoades said in an email.

“We are extremely grateful for their overwhelming support via this past referendum.”

If moved to the intramural fields, the stadium would cost at least an additional $40 million.

“Due to the importance of this project for both the University and the intercollegiate athletics department, the Board or Regents asked to review the Intramural Fields site a second time and verify the cost … and/or explore any other creative options for building the stadium on this site with a much reduced premium,” Rhoades said.

If the location is changed, athletics would try to incorporate the General Services Building into the design.

The initial estimates determined it would cost at least $25 million to build an new General Services building, which was included in the extra $40 million, Rhoades said.

The final location of the stadium will be determined in the Board’s meeting in March.

“We will spend the next month re-evaluating this one site to determine if we continue to move forward with the existing site,” Rhoades said.

“Please note this will not cause any delay in our project timeline.”

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  • I have loved the intramural fields idea since the start. It's the large field off of Cullen between Elgin and I-45. Put the stadium right on the freeway like all the others

  • No, They're already investing in a new parking garage right next to the current stadium to ease congested parking. Don't make the situation worse, the stadium should be constructed on the same location as the current one. Also, keep in mind that they would have to run new plumbing and utility lines to the proposed field.

  • I'm not seeing the tough call here.

    We've got plans for lightrail on Wheeler and a massive parking garage that is just about finished.
    Moreover, there's already major traffic issues on the Cullen exit, so adding a stadium will back up traffic big time. Because we're so close to the confluence of 45, 288, and 59, this traffic would dramatically affect three major freeways. Without major transportation improvements that are at least a decade off, the intramural fields simply won't work.

    While I appreciate Tilman double-checking, it just doesn't make sense to move the stadium. Especially if the only real benefit is something as nebulous as "exposure."

  • Yes –
    This is exactly why it is important for Universities to have Boards that question the common place and ask for better solutions.

    The building of the Stadium at the Cullen and 45 entry would in one move offer true tier one opportunities in the following way;

    It would clearly establish UH’s presence along the main north south corridor of Houston ( i45) in a way as to offer the Houston community and its alumni a major new venue and the University a front door.

    It would allow UH to have two full Stadiums for both inter college, intramural and for potential events for outside community or professional entities. Intramural fields should be near the Wellness center, south of the existing stadium and along the existing MacGregor Park and Brays Bayou new park edge. In these locations there are existing supporting facilities and field lighting could be developed.

    The Central Facilities building is old and needs replacement and more importantly should not be located at the main entry of the Campus! There is unused space at south Cullen and the ERP for the common building areas for facilities that would be better suited for their use.

  • But the single most important reason is that UH has never developed the relationship with the private sector elements of the community that can generate a University Village like Rice has. This move could allow for private development to realize that there is a strong community here that can be served by development. How have so many other Universities gained by the development of real goods and a service provided by long term community and University relationships yet UH has little to no community interface at its boundary.

    To rebuild the stadium is for UH to tread water with the net gain of added seating to an existing facility.

    A far better strategy that could lead to community partnerships that would generate a much better Tier One campus needs to be addressed in March.

  • Wait, so about 2 weeks after the referendum passes, Athletics finds $45M in the couch cushions – roughly the same amount to be raised from student fees.

    Hey, I supported the referendum…but seriously. Does not look good.

  • It is time to stop adding layers to an old facility and build a complete new one. If you want to go big time, then do what it takes and stop using the band aid method!

  • Build on I45. If each alumnus gave $250 x 200000 alumni, that's the $50 million needed for a better, more visible location. Throw out to the alumni to ante up, now that their degree is worth more, being Tier One.

  • One of the other aspects of the new stadium was that it was going to house classroom space as well. Will this location be convenient for students to walk to class? I am not sure I know enough to say which proposal is better, but I hope the board will consider all of the impacts of the decision. Also, if the new stadium is built in a new location, the University will need to consider the costs to tear down the old facility so the property can be leveraged for class room buildings.

  • Absolutely not. The present location is near student housing, the new parking garage, and the rest of the campus. Putting it out next to the freeway separates it from the campus. People will no longer visit the campus when they come to a game and we will lose the chance to show off our campus to visitors.Also parking would be a major problem.

  • From a University that promotes Track and Field, I find it curious as to why there is not a track being built at the new stadium.

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