Goodbye, Robertson Stadium: Replacement UH Football Venue Gets Go-Ahead

UH’s new $120 million football stadium will go up on the current site of Robertson Stadium at Cullen and Holman Sts., the university’s board of regents decided today. An alternate plan to build the facility instead on intramural fields along Cullen Blvd. next to I-45, which would have cost an additional $40 million, was rejected. According to a timeline announced previously, Robertson Stadium will be demolished this December; construction of the new stadium would be complete by the summer of 2014.

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The new stadium will seat 40,000 fans, but is being designed to accommodate a future expansion for 10,000 more. Included in AECOM’s design for the faciliity: 22 luxury suites, 200 box seats, club seating for 650, plus a hall of fame, meeting spaces, and a sports medicine facility next to the locker rooms on the east side of the complex.

Renderings of new UH stadium: Houston Cougars

24 Comment

  • Given the state of education today – including higher education – and the costs associated with it, I find it amazing there could be justification for spending $120M on such items. Yet another statement on priorities in a society’s values. Side note: I don’t think it can be morally justified even if it is paid for w 100% donations, andthe annual upkeep is financed the same way. This is a public institution, right? Experiencing budget cuts, layoffs, and the like.

  • Go Coogs! I am excited for the new stadium. Any word on Hoffheinz?

  • the amount of money being spent by UH pales do what schools like UT, A&M, flush with state money only they have access to, spends. And college sports is a major component of campus life. Students make choices on where to go in part on things like football and basketball. It also plays a major role in alumni association with the unverity, including monetary donations for education programs. UH plays in a 1950s era stadium. There is absolutely no shame in UH devoting these dollar for a reasonable place to play.

  • Being an alum, im happy about the new stadium. However, these artist’s renderings make the stadium look blah, just another building. Compared to what is on the books at Baylor, and my personal favorite the stadium at U. Minnesota, im disappointed. Considering the quality of the UH Architecture Dept, im sure they could have done better.

  • The next time our program has to go without filling key staff positions, or delay faculty hiring, or cut back on the graduate program, I’ll just remember what a mighty fine stadium we have, then I’ll feel much better.

  • I guess I’ll be the first to say it, but others will also…”not one dime of potential tuition money will be spent on this stadium, all money is through donations and private funds, education is not harmed from this facility”

    There, that should do it.

    People need to realize that Alums and fans the Saturday night tradition and are willing to support it. Some people may be surprised that a chunk of the fans may never have stepped foot in a UofH classroom. They may be parents of students or just fans. Many large college football stadiums are flooded with people that never attended the school nor have a direct connection through a child attending. They are just fans willing to pay to watch the teams play.

    UofH’s season last year has sparked even more interest in the team. Young alumni friends of mine and there fellow classmates are rabid fans. I didn’t think UofH when I first moved to Houston had that kind of support. Realizing this now, I can see them building this stadium and easily selling it out. And don’t let that 40,000 and expandable to 10,000 more fool you. Watching the LSU stadium, adding another level completely independent of the existing stadium is perfectly possible. Sections of that stadium are 60+ years old and deemed historic.

  • As a current UH student I am torn over all of this. While I am not only happy but excited to see us getting a new stadium, I am upset that next spring semester parking will suck more than it does right now on campus due to the needed closing of big lots for the demolition and construction involved with this project.

  • I have heard that the revenues from UT football program covers a substantial portion of UT’s general academic budget (can’t recall whether it was 1/3 or 2/3, but the source was a bigtime alum with inside access). I hate the idea of putting millions in a new stadium when so many educational facilities at UH are lacking. But, the fact of the matter is that a high ranking football team can bring in serious revenues for the benefit of the school and are a sound investment. And, the other cold hard fact is that sports teams are a factor for students choosing schools. Plenty of 18 year olds are going to pick a school with a great Div I football team over a school with a football program that is losing. More applicants means tighter admissions standards, which helps elevate UH to more than a fall back state school in Texas. Unfortunately, this is how the sausage is made in higher education in the US. Go coogs. . . .

  • @galvezben

    This is not the final design. The rendering are just to facilitate alumni donations. The designs are going to be submitted some time a the end of April.

  • Go Coogs! Writing another check (albeit small) today!

  • Looks like I’ll have to get cracking on that Jeppesen Stadium blog post at some point.

  • The stadium will cost no academic funding (the donations are made towards the facility) but the revenue earned from games and events is also channeled towards academics. Seems like a win win to me?

  • I like the look of the stadium! Go Coogs!

  • The students will be paying for this for quite a while via mandatory student fees. This new stadium absolutely does not come about solely from private funds/donations, though that was a part of it.

    In general, a little over half of UH’s athletic budget comes from student fees, with the rest coming from revenues. Hopefully the students will enjoy the games, since they’re paying for so much of it.

  • As a student I am excited for this to be built!!! I know that some of my tuition ($45 per semester) will be used towards the new stadium and I am fine with that. Football is part of the college experience and that is why I am willing to pay for the stadium. If I was not happy paying I would have went to a school with no major sports (UST, HBU, HCC). This is great for the students, alum, the university, as well as the city of Houston. Houston will benifit from having a great college football team that plays in a beautiful and up to date stadium. Have you ever tried to drive to and around Austin on a UT gameday? Hopefully with this new stadium and the momentum UH has right now, the entire city will eventually be just as busy on gamedays.
    GO COOGS!!!

  • Will there be Cullen family money contributed?

    Will the Robertson (Cullen) name be retained?

  • bad renderings, boring looking stadium.. can we just get a replica of the new dynamo stadium – it wasnt that expensive right?

  • From what I understand the UT football program and men’s basketball program generate enough money to cover to cover the entire athletic department – a lot of scholarships for female and minority students (and white guys) but is not used directly for any academic purposes. Mac Brown earns over 5 million dollars annually -he is the highest paid state employee- and the team is not even that good. http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/government-employee-salaries/

  • The picture is just a vision of the new stadium. I’m guessing, UH is almost a private University base on the funding. There plenty of parking space. People are getting too lazy to walk. They got 3 parking garage and 2-3 under consideration for 2012-2014. I’m hoping UH will cut more parking space for greener space.

  • I was at UH in the late 80′s when interest in football among students, alum and faculty was non-existent. Home games were held at the dome, where UH would be lucky to fill even 10% of the seats. The NCAA wouldn’t let UH use Robertson because of its size and condition. Despite that, calls for a new stadium were met with almost universal derision and open hostility from all but the most ardent athletic supporters. At the time, I was among the majority that ignored the football program and as the chairman of the student service fee allocation committee I successfully fought to cap its share of the student service fee. Despite that history, I’m glad UH fought for and succeeded in moving games to Robertson, and I’m glad that the boosters were correct in predicting such a move would rejuvenate interest in the program and the school as a whole. Kudos on the successful program and for the new facility!

  • 1) The renderings shown here received negative feedback from the donors. The new design will honor the original buildings on campus (think Cullen Bldg with red tile roof)

    2) Yes, the Cullen/Robertson families have donated. The entire West Side of the new stadium (press box, loge seats, club level, and more) will be named in honor of Mrs. Robertson

    3) There will be plenty of academic space in the new stadium. The Robertson Tower on the West side will house classrooms for the school of communications (radio/tv broadcasting) and the entire East Side, which is being built to later accommodate a 10,000 seat upper deck), is going to house a new performance hall for the Moores School of Music as well as offices, lockers, kitchen facilities and more for the Spirit of Houston Marching Band, Cougar Dolls, and cheer squads and will be named after Bert Winston, Jr.

  • Thanks doofus.

  • Not to rain on everyone’s parade, but the money for athletics comes from mandatory student fees and fund balances from university activities that make money because revenues are not enough. In the last 20 years UH has lost between $250-500 million on athletics. And for those who say that is just UH, in fact almost all athletic programs lose money, esp those in D1 football. The coaches, the consultants, the vendors all make money. Everyone else pays. This stadium is a boondoggle that we will be paying for long after the current adminstration has moved on. Time to rethink the model of college sports. And oh BTW it is not the non revenue sports or women sports that lose the money, it is the big programs.

  • I am glad to see all the great progress that’s being made at UH: becoming a tier-one research school, the great football season we had last year and the ranking in US News College ranking report. However, one thing that makes me rather sad is the fact that a stadium built over sixty years ago will be demolished. I hope that the new one justifies the cost and that it will withstand the test of time. Nowadays, we live in a throwaway society which is reflected in our architecture. Houston, in general, has no sentiment for its historic buildings. But I guess there’s no stopping progress.