Football fans face game day commute

The 2013 football season is set to be one of the most memorable periods for UH athletics since former star quarterback Case Keenum expired his eligibility.

The Cougars left Conference USA for the perceived greener pastures of the American Athletic Conference on July 1 — a day players, fans and alumni have been waiting on since the move was announced in December 2011 and have a chance to make the Bowl Championship Series if they win a conference title.

Because the games are being played off-campus due to the construction of the new football stadium, there will be a challenge to get students to attend the games. Instead of a short walk to Robertson Stadium, students will need to travel off campus to see football games this season.

On SaNext football season the Cougars will play at three different venues after the destruction of Robertson Stadium for a new football stadium.  |  File Photo/The Daily Cougar.turday, Robertson Stadium will host a football game for the final time, so The Daily Cougar decided to honor the stadium’s legacy with this gallery. | Rebekah Stearns /The Daily Cougar

Next football season the Cougars will play at three different venues after the destruction of Robertson Stadium for a new football stadium. | File Photo/The Daily Cougar.

UH is set to play in three different venues during the 2013 football season with games at Rice Stadium, BBVA Compass Stadium and Reliant Stadium.

Rob Stewart, the associate athletic director for Marketing and Promotions, said he knows exactly how essential it is for students to attend these games.

“You watch any game on TV, football or basketball, when the crowd is going nuts and everyone is having a lot of fun, all that energy and all that fun is comes from the student body. We want to make everything as easy as possible to get students in the various venues,” Stewart said.

Some of the energy in the student section is usually provided by the Coog Crew. Coog Crew member and industrial engineering senior Brittney Baker said she is ecstatic about the venue change.

“I’m excited to see the Coogs play at the same field that J.J. Watt and the other great Texans play at,” Baker said.

Though the issue of getting a full student section is not solved with excitement alone. UH has a plan to get students to the venues.

The University said that transportation and student parking passes will be in place when the season opens.

A shuttle bus system and parking space will be available to the students at all the venues with the exception of BBVA Compass Stadium. Approximately 54 students will be allowed to ride in the shuttles, which will continuously run for two hours before kickoff, Stewart said.

UH is trying to finalize the logistics and details in these plans including a RSVP sign-up for the shuttle busses.

Student tickets will still be free of charge with a valid student identification card.

Psychology senior Gabriella Hauser, president of Bleacher Creatures, a student organization similar to Coog Crew that pushes students in the Honors College to be more involved in sports, said the difficulties won’t stop her or the organization from cheering on the Cougars.

“It won’t affect me. I’m going to go no matter what,” Hauser said.

“I think attendance is going to decrease a little bit, but if they’re die-hard fans they’re going to get there,” she said.

There are also plans to put together a communication group that will generate buzz and provide information about each game as often as possible.

Scott Grass, an alumnus who has only missed two home games since his freshman year in 2007, said he is not excited about losing the college atmosphere that Robertson had.

“I’m excited that they’re building a new stadium — this is a necessary evil. It’s not our stadium, but wherever the Cougars play, I’ll be there to see it,” Grass said.

Additional reporting by Christopher Shelton.

Update: The article has been changed to reflect the specific per bus shuttle limit and hours before game time that it will run.

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