New Names for Reliant Stadium, Reliant Park — and the Astrodome?

Reliant Astrodome and Reliant Stadium, Reliant Park, Houston

In what appears to be a bid to get more people to pronounce Houston’s major industry in a stilted quasi-drawl, the parent company of Reliant Energy has decided to rebrand Reliant Stadium and Reliant Park. The Houston Chronicle‘s Kiah Collier reports that henceforth (or after a vote by county commissioners at least) they shall be known as NRG Stadium and NRG Park. Collier’s sources don’t seem to have mentioned whether the name-change will result in similar switches for the other structures in the sports-and-convention complex, labeled the Reliant Center, Reliant Arena, and Reliant Astrodome since 2002.


Whether the county bothers to approve an accompanying name change for the Astrodome might provide a clue about what the political body in charge of its fate has in mind for that long-vacant and recently gutted structure. Will the Dome get NRG or not? That may be a good way to ask the question: The building’s once-legendary air-conditioning system hasn’t been working for several years now.

Photo: Russell Hancock

The New Old Home of the Texans, Etc.

12 Comment

  • This is just a reminder why I prefer college sports. with professional sports, you might as well be rooting for Chevron or Apple. It’s corporate driven, from the teams, the players, and the sporting venues. Local branding exists only to the exent it makes money for the capital and labor stakeholders. It’s unfortunate the corporate sports model has infected college sports, driven by a few programs most notably UT.

  • Yawn—I’ll continue to call it Reliant just as I call the Williams Tower, Transco etc–

  • Good grief! And I thought Reliant was bad.

  • If i recall correctly, the change from the Reliant Energy brand (old blue with red power strips) to the Reliant with the pluses cost around $250M. This covered everything from the signage on the stadium, to the logo cut out of the trashcan, and the aprons being worn by the vendors. NRG is now willing to spend another chunk of change to take one step closer and get rid of the Reliant name. Too bad they don’t have a basic understanding of brand value and want to keep Reliant. They will lose lots of customers when they eventually (speculation) transition all their Texas customers to NRG Energy branding.

  • From the Chronicle:

    “Reliant bought the naming rights for the Houston Texans’ stadium and surrounding buildings in 2002 for $300 million, the most lucrative deal of its kind at the time.

    The 32-year agreement required Reliant to pay about $10 million a year, with 75 percent going to the NFL team, 15 percent to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and 10 percent to Harris County.”

    WTF??? Why should any have gone to either the Texans or the Rodeo? Yes, they are major TENNANTS but so what?

  • As long as we pronounce it ‘Energy Stadium’ and not ‘N-R-G Stadium’ then its not too bad ;)

  • This is a bit surprising to me, considering that just a few years ago (2011, I think?) millions of dollars were spent in an effort to come up with the (trendy lowercase) current logo. If the goal of this re-brand is truly industry-centric, they will need to beef up the logo this time around.

  • @Former Employee: Did Reliant lose a lot of customers from the HL&P rebranding? Can’t speak for others but the Reliant brand is of no value to me.

  • Takeshi McFall: Straight Up. I still call them The Light Company after their old advertisements. Now, that would be a fine enough set of names: the Light Stadium, Light Arena, or the Light Park.

  • I think NRG is cute for the park considering we are the Energy Capital of the World.. but with our Texan accents we will all say Energy stadium…but no one will take the effort to say NRG

  • Considering everyone will likely just call them “the energy stadium” and “energy park” eventually – I think it sounds better than Reliant. It seems rather minimal considering where the money is coming from. Sort of like calling Wrigley Field the gum field, or Staples Center the staples center. As far as corporate branding goes, “NRG” sounds like a bottle-centric club that would advertise under my windshield wiper, or maybe a type of music you’d hear at a white party.

  • As a pro football fan, I’ve noticed that there are plenty of other stadium names more obviously corporate (Cinergy Field, Sports Authority Field, Qualcomm Stadium, AT&T Stadium, FedEx Field, etc), so NRG ain’t so bad, and cleverly reflects the major economic engine of Houston. Anyway, it beats such naming practices as calling the UT Austin football pitch ‘Jamail Field’, when the stadium itself is named after Darrel Royal.