New UH Football Stadium Will Point in a Slightly Different Direction

If you look closely at these new renderings of Robertson Stadium’s replacement that UH released a couple of weeks ago, you can see the Downtown skyline. UH, a member of the Big East starting in 2013, says that this 40,000-seat, $105-million stadium — whose naming rights are still being shopped around — will be built with a new east-west orientation, at least in part because that’ll make the skyline look real nice on teevee.

More details and even more renderings:


Robertson Stadium, which was a home over the years to professional football, track and field, and soccer — before the Dynamo moved across town into BBVA Compass Stadium — was oriented from south to north, spanning Wheeler and Holman. The replacement stadium, set to open in August 2014, will instead span Cullen and Scott, as the rendering above shows.

A stadium website lays out a list of justifications for this new east-west orientation:

The east side seats in Robertson Stadium experienced intense sun during day games. We conducted a comprehensive sun and shade study at three different kickoff times in both early and late fall. The study indicated improved shading and comfort for our fans without hindering the ability of our student-athletes.

Oh, and other people are doing it, too:

Many FBS football stadiums such as Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Oregon have similar orientations.

The rendering below shows the view of the stadium from the north. You can see in the lower left corner the roof of a parking garage-Taco Cabana combo that UH opened this year:

And this view from the east shows in the foreground what UH says will be the Bert F. Winston Band and Performance Center. Facing Cullen Blvd., the 39,000-sq.-ft. building will include the UH Athletics Ticket Office as well as recital and classroom space:

A corrugated metal and aluminum exterior will match that of the parking garage and a new academic building across Cullen:

UH says the concourse will wrap 360 degrees around the stadium; two thirds of it will allow “uninterrupted views” of the game:

Renderings: University of Houston

14 Comment

  • That’s great and all, but the Big East is going bye-bye. I imagine we will end up in the Mountain West Conference. Either way, it’s still far less than the BCS conference we thought we’d gotten into. In other words, why are we spending this much cash? The Cougars aren’t gonna be on TV. There’s no room in one of the major conferences for us. Hardly anyone goes to the games. Waste of 100 million. Wish it was otherwise, but there it is.

  • Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch new stadium. Bitch bitch bitch Houston. Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch. Bitch stupid people. Bitch bitch Big East.

    Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch. Bitch. Bitch bitch transit and freeways. Bitch bitch bitch mosquitos. Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch architecture. Bitch. Bitch bitch. Bitch bitch bitch. Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch. Bitch. Bitch bitch.

  • The Winston Band Hall will house faculty offices, instrument storage space, recital halls, kitchen facilities, and a massive flex space for the marching band, cheer, and dance teams. More importantly, it will help offset the massive overcrowding in the Moores School of Music Building. There will also be a ticket office and a University-wide Hall of Honor.

  • I loved the Rob. Look forward to new stadium. Whatever conference UH ends up in, it’s possible to build a program in a non-AQ conference. TCU did it. UH can do it.

  • Yeah it sucks what is happening to the Big East. Don’t worry though, UH’s future is with the Big 12 once they expand.

  • Yeah, the re-orientation of the field was the first thing I noticed when the drawings were leaked over a month ago. I agree with Bitch an dI knew the Big Least was doomed when they lost AQ status. BE leadership = FAIL
    The Big 12-2 won’t want UH until UT and OU leave for the PAC-??. Our best hope for a BCS league is the PAC-??, because the SEC and Big 12-2 already have the Houston market.

  • The reorientation of the stadium means that neither side will have ANY shade.

  • For some reason I thought there was a rule, maybe unwritten, that stadiums had to be mostly north-south so that players on the field didn’t have to look directly into the sun on many plays. The stands would block the sun as it gets lower. When building a stadium the school would then choose their home side depending on where the shade is. Maybe I’m just making this up but I’ve been to a lot of stadiums in Texas and they’re all this way.

  • I had the same thought as marmer. That is, my first thought about the east-west orientation was, “That’s going to suck for the players for those games with 2pm – 5pm kickoffs.”

    But hey, at least THEY get a new band hall. Harumph.

  • @marmer,
    It’s not a rule in any books, there are a few stadiums configured east/west, but it’s far more normal for a stadium to be situated north/south. in fact, it’s part of the lexicon of the game, when a runner goes straight up the middle, rather than running to the edge, it’s called running north/south.

    most famously, the Orange Bowl is east/west.

    the old stadium is already dust in a recycling bin somewhere, so no matter what conference UH is a part of in the coming years, they will have a new stadium to go along with all the other new buildings on campus.

  • is there any team in this city that DOES NOT have a new stadium? except Rice Owls…

  • I read the stadium website. I really wonder how on board the football program is with that orientation. Seemed like they glossed over it in favor of playing up the view of downtown. Of course, if the Coogs had been to the Orange Bowl, maybe there would be more of an outcry. Or maybe they have some kind of solar screens planned for the end zone areas, maybe incorporated into the scoreboard. I would hate to be a DB or a receiver in a sunny afternoon game, I’ll bet.

  • @ Brad

    You have to make investments for the major conferences to take notice. I loved Robertson during my undergrad as well as being an alumni now. But realty is, it is not a major conference stadium.

    “Hardly anyone goes to games?” 2012 season sold out approximately every game and I saw students waiting in their lines hours before game time. I made it to 4 home games this season and they were all at extremely favorable attendance levels given our performance this year as compared to last.

    In general comments, who cares about what is happening to the Big East, the continuous development of programs, facilities, and other campus buildings is not a bad thing. Football is the biggest thing that students look forward to all week across the country, why not start bulking ours up more. With things like this happening we will be getting that major conference invite sooner than later.

  • @doofus; the band hall I suppose is how it can be justified using $5 m of Higher Education Advancement Funds (aka HEAF funds) for the stadium, even though the constitution forbids their spending on intercollegiate sports. HEAF funds are usually used to recruit research faculty, many of whom bring with them large grants, so the HEAF can be leveraged. I am eager to see how the marching band leverages their HEAF funds.